Today’s readings are a great reminder of how important it is to have a vision of our fulfilled life. This vision, itself is a form of prayer. From this desire for personal fulfillment unfolds the vision of God. ‘For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates.’ Thus, the desire, ‘I want to become a better person’ contains the yearning ‘I want to become a better person in God.’ ‘I want to see my God who is the source of my life.’
Christians know that the full dynamic is that our observance of faith creates our flourishing. ‘All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers.’ Actually, there is even a step further. Life, in the final outcome, stems from humans’ ability to praise God and thank him. ‘When thou hat eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.’
The importance of envisioning the Sacred is also raised in Acts. The eunuch man of Ethiopia is reading prophet Isaiah when Philip joins him. It is his pre-existing desire to ‘see God’ which leads to their conversation. In it, Philip explains what the words he read mean. ‘He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dub before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth….I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this?...Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.’ It was this already-there-desire that lead to the Ethiopian’s baptism. ‘And the eunuch said, See, here is water: what doth hinder me to be baptized?’
Again, Kristeva’s question haunts us: do still people have a soul? Do still people have a preliminary vision of the Sacred, however rudimentary it is? Losing this desire and ‘icon’, would be a fatal turning point in the course of human history. Losing the joy what the Eunuch felt would be the loss of everything, the loss of our way. ‘…And he went on his way rejoicing.’
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..