Do you ever think about Resurrection? Not this church. Not the Resurrection of Jesus, but the resurrection of people alive right now? The Gospel reading this past Sunday struck me. The Saducees described a scenario where a woman had married seven brothers in succession, widowed by each one. Which man would be her husband in the Resurrection?
Jesus said to them, “Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection.
[Gospel of Luke 20:34-36]
Jesus uses the term “age”, a time when life as we know it, has radically changed from what came before.
I grew up into the information age, the digital age, which can be overwhelming. So much email, identity theft, fake news, deep fake photographs. And now we’re moving into what I think of as the age of climate change — temperatures rising, storm ferocity increasing, shorelines moving inland, whole island villages under water. Both big scary changes that are right here, right now, and not what we had in mind.
Big scary changes can be personal, too. But those are, well, personal.
So here we are — it’s our age now — like it or not. What can we do about the challenges of change, big change? Can meditation help?
I think so. Consider three things we learn, every time we meditate.
- How to let go of our selves, the thoughts and feelings, who we are, or were five minutes ago What is the previous age, but who we were, how we used to think about things. That’s a time we need to release. Learn from, yes, but we need to live in the now. If there are problems to be solved we must solve them in the now, this reality. The industrial age didn’t use stone age tools to solve the problems of the day.
- How to focus on the simplicity of our mantra and our breath, carrying forward into the next minute, and the minute after that, the here and now. There’s a lot going on in a new age. It can be disorienting. The familiar discipline of focus, like a walking stick, can keep you going in the unfamiliar age.
- How to persevere through failure. Failing to make the time to meditate. Failing to sit still when it itches. Failing to stay awake. Failing to repeat your mantra all the way through, lured away by the irresistible thought. Meditation is all about the journey. There is no ta-da, you’ve won, you’ve crossed the finish line. Today’s session can be great. Tomorrow’s could have two fire trucks, an ambulance, and a roto-rooter van. Meditation is a journey, like life in the current age, with all the failures and successes, epic and trivial, along the way.
And perhaps, above all, our meditation teaches us, reminds us, assures us, that God is there — no, Right Here, with you, with us, as we navigate the current age, this next age between us and the Resurrection.
Delivered at Resurrection Catholic Church, Aptos, California, on November 16, 2019.