Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Mar 21, 2013 | Comments (0)

Easter Day

Bottom Line Spirituality: Worldly and Godly Thinking

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for Easter Day

Godly Abiding Spiritually in Jesus Changes the Meaning of What we See Worldly When Not Abiding in Jesus.

Spirituality is our innate ability to feel the difference worldly or godly thinking makes to the way scripture translates to our daily life and relationships.

John 20:1-18 “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father.”


The resurrection is not an event from the past. It is an experience of His Presence in us now that changes our life. When we are thinking worldly, we try to be loving, faithful and hopeful to feel God’s Love, Faith and Hope in us. When we are feeling the godly Love, Faith and Hope He has for us and in us, we become loving, faithful and hopeful.

The worldly mind on Easter Day is limited to what it can understand rationally. The worldly approach is limited to what we can rationally know. With a godly approach to start with, we spiritually know and are free to discover new things we never thought of rationally. 

Rational thinking cannot understand how Jesus could have physically risen, much less ascended, to heaven bodily. How could He have walked through a barred door and into the upper room with the disciples? How could He could have met with Peter and at the same time be on the road to Emmaus with two disciples, or how could He have eaten a meal with His disciples after the resurrection. Rationally, it could not be a physical resurrection. It was all a spiritual, experience.

Spiritually, we must ask what Jesus meant when He said to Mary: "Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father.”?  He meant exactly what He said.

In John’s writings he gives us the spiritual answer to the worldly question. Starting with “The Word” it is both “with God and is God”. The Word is made flesh. God is God incarnate. He is still God. By being in the flesh, He is with God. Jesus is different from God, but it does not make a difference. He still is God.  

God incarnate has the same human feelings we all have. He bled from the whip, nails and spear. Both blood and water flowed out from His wounded side. He thirsted on the cross, cried over Jerusalem and laughed with sinners and the outcast.  “He came into His own and His own knew Him not.”  He was accused of being a drunkard and a glutton by those who thought they were pleasing God. Rational lips cry “Lord, Lord”, but their conscious hearts are far from Him.

When John said “we beheld His glory”, he is referring to the glory they beheld on the Mountain of the Transfiguration. Glory, for the rational mind, is a bright light. Glory, in godly terms, is to feel the Presence of God. To understand the resurrection we need to go back to the Mountain. Read the words just before He goes up with Peter, James and John: “I say to you that there will be some that stand here who shall not taste of death until they have seen the Kingdom of God come with power,” Mark 9:1 ff

The Kingdom is not a place or a group of people. It is the Presence of God. There were those standing right there who did not die before they saw this Kingdom. Who were those people? They were Peter, James and John. What is it they will saw? It was the transfigured Jesus. The word “transfigure” is the Greek for “metamorphosis.” It is the same word St Paul uses in Romans 12:2 where he writes, “be transformed”.

They were witnessing the transforming of the body of Jesus that they would see at the Resurrection. The Presence of God from inside the flesh moving to the outside. His body died physically on the cross. His Spirit went to the Father, “Into Your Hands I commit my Spirit”. It was “Finished”. His dead body was buried. His Spirit was fully with the Father.

Now the Spirit of Jesus comes back into the body. His Spirit transforms His physical body and appearance. This is why Mary could not hold Him at that moment of resurrection, because He had not yet “ascended to the Father.” This explains how Jesus could walk through a barred door. He could meet with those on the Emmaus road at the same time He is in Jerusalem meeting with Peter. His physical body is being transformed spiritually. It is not limited by time and space. It explains how He can eat real food with His disciples. It also is the reason His physical body could ascend forty days after the resurrection as the conclusion of its transformation. As He ascended it was a body that was transformed into the Light of the Presence of God. “In Him was life and the life was the light of the world.” John 1:4

We sometimes make too sharp of a connection between who we are and what our body is. Our body is a gift from God. It is not ours. It is on loan. It is not us. Our body dies when our spirit leaves, but we do not die. We move on.

Rational thinking sees the body of Jesus before His resurrection the same as after. Spirituality sees the resurrected, transforming body of Jesus different than His body before the resurrection. You can experience transformation today. It is not hard with an open heart. You just do it. Every time we do it, it is Easter, it is Resurrection, it is Transfiguration time.

I Corinthians 15:22 “As all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ”

Spirituality can change our life. When we turn on the spiritual light to feel His Presence, the darkness of the old life disappears because it is only shadows.

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