Come to Me, and “Become” me

My thoughts on today's Mass readings, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

This is a very bloggy post. Not elegant or crafty, just some not-too-random thoughts on today’s Mass readings. I actually wrote this in a chat thread conducted by a fellow Substacker and I thought I’d port it over to my blog for those interested.

Something that stuck out for me at mass: 

Second reading: 

“Brothers and sisters: You are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you. Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” 

This illustrates a sort of “cross-possession,” which we also see in Christ’s words ‘Remain in me and I will remain in you” (John 15:4). 

Then, in today’s Gospel:

“No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.” 

That word “know” is not to have “knowledge of.” To “know” in biblical terms often/usually meant “to experience”—not to HAVE knowledge (by reading, for example) but to be in possession of it through experience. To know is to possess the experience not just in your awareness but, through the experience, to possess it in your very being. Just as Adam and Eve did not have knowledge of Good and Evil until they came to know it through the experience of disobedience. That knowledge changed their being. So in the Gospel the Father KNOWS the Son, and the Son KNOWS the Father because they experience each other eternally. Again, it’s a cross-possession.

Then the kicker: 

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” 

Today’s Gospel is one of my favorites. I’ve meditated on the “come to me….” portion a few times in the past, but it wasn’t until today that I looked at it in the context of “No one knows the Son except…”. 

The Vulgate does not translate this as “rest for yourSELVES” but rest for your “souls” (animabus). This is a spiritual state of rest, as I see it. And knowledge (to know by experience) is more spiritual than a temporal. I think Jesus is saying that we must exist in him and take up the yoke that he takes up (to share his being). 

Read his words in this way: 

“Take up the yoke of myself (not the yoke of mine) and learn from me (Learn–>Know–>Cross-posess). And BECAUSE I am meek and humble of heart, you will find rest for your souls. The yoke of myself (being like me…living as I live) is an easy burden, but the yoke of yourself is hard and heavy. Exist like me, by remaining in me, as I remain in you (Cross-possession).”

Something else that sounds like a clue to a mystery: “I praise you, FATHER, Lord of Heaven and Earth.” “Father” is what the Son of God calls the Father. It’s praise between co-equals. But then he says, “Lord,” which is what humans call God. Odd. Then he goes on to say, “Lord of Heaven and Earth”—heaven being spiritual, earth being physical. He’s saying something we’re not hearing. This is why I think the word “Knowledge” is especially operative since the knowledge I believe he’s talking about is spiritual knowledge manifested through physical action.

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