In this Sunday’s gospel passage, we hear of Jesus’ hometown turning against him and seeking to push him down a hill ‘headlong.’ How are we to understand this passage through the lens of Quadratos?
Remember, Luke is the Gospel of the Fourth Path and the question, “How do we mature in service?” Also recall that Luke is written to the Christian Community in the 80s- first century- as the divorce between Judaism and Christianity takes full effect. This Sunday’s passage is an apt teaching for this moment. The desire to serve one’s own will often be met with enormous resistance. We should be prepared for it and not let it surprise us. Also we need to interiorly follow Jesus’ example at the end of the passage. Though his childhood synagogue and neighbors sought to do him harm, he simply “walked through their midst and continued on his way.” In the midst of our external separations and disagreements, do we have the ability to stay on our path with equanimity in the face of outer resistance, obstacles, and what others perceive as negative consequences?
Note: Alexander’s reflection on the coming Sunday gospel will usually appear on Monday morning prior to the Sunday reading. Look for it.
For the last 50 plus years, many people raised in the Christian tradition have migrated to Eastern religions. Buddhism has been especially attractive to these seekers. I think part of Buddhism’s appeal is that it offers practical wisdom and teaching in spiritual practices. If you want to be able to forgive, your teacher will commend a set of meditations that will help you cultivate this attitude of mind and heart.
In the recent past, guidelines for practicing Christianity have been scant or have seemed too arcane for anyone other those those aspiring to sainthood. One of the things that has excited me about Quadratos is that it helps to fill this gap. In The Hidden Power of the Gospels specific spiritual practices are desribed that are appropriate for the path on which we find ourselves. Labyrinth walking, Lectio Divina, contemplative silence and Soul Collage are among the practices offered for our consideration. At different points in our journeys we will need different practices to support our life in Christ. One size doesn’t fit all, not even in our own lives. As you read The Hidden Power of the Gospels, think about where you are on your soul’s journey and what spiritual practices might suit you in your quest for God.
Alexander J. Shaia, author of The Hidden Power of the Gospels: Four Questions, Four Paths, One Journey, will be interviewed live today by Diego Mulligan on the 5pm (Mountain Time) show “Journey Home.” Although Alexander has been interviewed by Diego in the past, this is one of the first in-depth interviews on the new book, which will be released next week. Listen live with us in just a couple hours by pasting this into your browser:
All are invited on the eve of the national book release to A Service of Prayer & Blessing at 5:45 PM on Monday, February 1 at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Sacramento. In this threshold moment, we will stand between the old day and the new as dusk falls; between the Feast of St. Brigid (midpoint between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox) and Candlemas when the Christ child of Luke’s 4th path is dedicated. In this ecumenical gathering we will dedicate the ancient four-fold pattern named Quadratos by Dr. Shaia to the purposes of God in our world. Our prayer is that the particular manifestation of this work at this time – and all who carry it – will be and bring blessing.
A Public Reception (with books for sale), also at Trinity, will follow at 6:30 PM. Dr. Shaia will be signing books at this special pre-release event.
As I thought about this Sunday’s gospel, I remembered a sign at a local church that I had seen a few weeks ago, “You may be the only bible people ever read.” As disciples of Jesus the Christ, we are called to embody the Good news. Luke asks us to take a step beyond saying that we love Jesus. He asks us to live our lives empowered by the same Spirit that drove Jesus into the desert and compelled him to proclaim the Good News, heal the sick, liberate the oppressed and to live as if all these things were already achieved.
You and I are the face of Christianity. What will people see when they look at us? Will they see the face of the Christ who loved without reservation and offered healing without counting the cost? As we move into a life of service, Luke reminds us that this part of our spiritual journey requires that we remain centered on the One who has sent us out. Very few will welcome the change that will come when we set out to do any of the work our baptism requires of us. Can we continue on this path with a calm and peaceful spirit? What will people see when the look at us?