• Daniel 7:13-14 • Revelation 1:5-8 • John 18:33b-37 • 34 Ordinary (CTK) B 12 •
The trivialities of daily life consume our attention and energy. Most of us tend to think of “my own life” as the center of the cosmos. I am not the center! Christ is! Today is “the solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe?” What does that mean?
Thanks to movies like star wars, most of us now have some awareness of the scope of the cosmos. There are billions of galaxies like our Milky Way, each with billions of stars. Open your imagination. Pick out one grain of sand. Imagine it represents our Sun. How many grains of sand does it take to represent the stars in the known universe? You have seen “RailLink” coal cars passing through town. Try to imagine each of those cars filled with sand. Each single grain of sand represents one star in the cosmos. Imagine those loaded cars passing through town at the rate of one per second, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It would take three years for all the sand-filled cars to pass by. The cosmos is immense!
Jesus of Nazareth was not a one-man show. When questioned by Pilate he refused the title of “king.” He identified himself as “the Son of Man” — “the human being” and he is emphatic. “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.” To serve is to give oneself to others. To give oneself to others is to be in union with them – “communion.”
That message runs counter to almost any culture history has produced. The Romans achieved world dominance by force. Jesus and his followers taught love, nonviolence and peace. He/they were committed to the emergence of a world quite different than that created by empires, including our own! He spoke often and repeatedly about a “new reality” in which the entire cosmos is moving toward a deep communion in God. He called it “the kingdom of God.”
Seeking to kill his vision, the empire killed him. Even so “God’s new reality” is emerging through, in and among us here and now in our everyday lives.
Our ancestors in faith sought to continue his ministry. As those first communities emerged they embraced the vision of the historical Jesus — “the Son of Man.” In those Christ-centered environments each person discovered the power s/he already possesses. For about 150 years those communities grew. The “Christ of faith” – “the Cosmic Christ” spread around the Mediterranean world, into Northern Europe, the West and now outward into the entire world and the cosmos.
Those first communities struggled to understand and comprehend the Christ Mystery. As they did so their images of Christ shifted.
Today one of those images is moving deep into our imagination. It is the image of “the Cosmic Christ.” By bringing contemporary science, scripture and theology together, Father Teilhard deChardin refined that image. Christ is ahead of us, drawing us to fulfillment, the one in and through whom the cosmos is converging – “the Alpha and Omega” of Revelation.
I invite you to contemplate “the Cosmic Christ,” the future of this evolutionary cosmos. Jesus, “The Son of Man,” was the most fully integrated human being. In him we see the vessel of love we are to become, are becoming. As we become more fully human, through the creative process of evolution, the Gracious Mystery we name God is linking the entire cosmos as one in Christ.
How many grains of sand does it take to represent the stars in the known universe? The cosmos is immense! Our instinctual response to the apparent confusion and chaos we encounter is to find meaning, initially by thinking and acting as if “I am the center of it all!” I know I am not the center! Christ is the center! In “the Cosmic Christ” all that has been continues to be part of us, just as all that is and all that will emerge tomorrow is part of us. In Christ, we are utterly entwined with all those we have known and loved as well as those we have never known. In our creed we name this The Communion of Saints.” This last Sunday of our liturgical years provides incentive for us to contemplate “the Cosmic Christ,” the future of this evolutionary cosmos.