Have we noticed the change in our readings? We have left behind the Easter stories of the Gospel. Now are entering the teaching ministry of Jesus. The normal, day to day life of the church resumes. We experience the toiling work Christians. In our own ups and downs we can recognise the experiences of the early church. What actually happens, through these readings, is the new life of the church. That new life which is governed and sustained by the Resurrection of our Lord. It is working life, where work, joy, failures, and new beginnings blend. The point is that the focal point, the nourishing centre, always remains the same: the Risen Lord!
This yearning for our Easter joy - never leaves us. Like the glory of God in the desert which led the Jewish people, this Light of Easter, is guiding us. It inspires us. We can truly say, ‘our dream is the Risen Lord’. Our dream is life with Jesus... So, as an exercise, can we spend some time in answering the question. ‘What is your dream about Christian life?’ ‘What life do you imagine with Jesus for Saint Augustine’s?’ ‘What is your dream about your own religious life, how do you imagine it with Jesus?’
Easter, our communion with the Risen Lord, symbolically and literally, is our dream. Compared with our daily life this ideal, this first love, is like a dream. It feels like something to return to, something to be recalled. The joy of the Easter celebration, as a ‘dream’, is leading us, this ‘dream’ wants to merge with our present life. It wants to fertilise and transform our deserts, our personal shipwrecks, or our unfinished businesses. It wants to fulfil our ‘dreams’.
In this coming week, our readings would like to make us think about the significance of the Risen Lord in our lives. Again, I would like to apply few of Melinda Powell’s thoughts from The Hidden Lives of Dreams to answering this question. Why is it so important to ‘dream about Jesus’, and imagine and re-imagine our life with Him? The ‘Hidden life of Dreams’, in our context, can mean the hidden life of Easter, the hidden life of our ‘Easter-dreams’. She says: ‘we can appreciate how our drams challenge us to think and to feel “outside the box”. We can do so by attending to our right brain’s [‘our Easter imagination’] metaphoric and associative qualities, characteristic of the intuitive, creative mind, rather than the left brain’s [practical intelligence ready to opportunistic compromises with reality!] more linear and rational approach.’ The result is not illusionary day-dreaming or escapism. On the contrary, ‘these are not different ways of thinking about the world: they are different ways of being in the world.’
So, is it worth ‘dreaming Easter’? It is well worth dreaming and imagining our life with the Risen Jesus. It is this creative imagination which makes our life real, the most real. ‘Such intuitive knowing has significant implications not only for how we view our dreams [our meditations on our Easter life with Jesus] but also for how we share the earth [the gifts of life] with one another.’ The final point I want to make is that Easter as the centre of our imagination is about sharing. Faith, our ‘dreaming faith’ [as ‘thinking’ faith!] is the only realm that connects us. Easter, as our creative imagination, is the only way to unite all people, to see the human family as one and united.
Let us re-read today’s readings in this light. All confirm the significance of following the desires of our imagination to be and work with our Lord. ‘There are many rooms [dreams] in my Father’s house… I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place [‘dream’], I shall return to take you with me.’ [To bring to realisation our dream work!] ‘I tell you most solemnly, whoever believes in me [dreams about life shared with me] will perform the same works as I do myself.’ Keeping our Easter-faith (Easter-dreams!) alive is so important that the Apostles decide to invest into the work of faith. Actually, keeping ‘the creative imagination of faith’ is what they are investing into and what they want to preserve at any price: ‘It would not be right for us to neglect the word of God so as to give out food; you, brothers, must select from amount yourselves seven men of good reputation, filled with the Spirit and wisdom; we will hand over this duty to them, and continue to devote ourselves to prayer and to the service of the word.’
So let us think about how important it is to live the truth: our dream is Easter!
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..