Not Just Back Then

by | Mar 19, 2024 | Reflections

The Gospel of Thomas, an ancient Christian manuscript discovered in 1945, gives us new understanding of Jesus from the Wisdom tradition. It offers these words for the spiritual journey. You hear echoes of these words in Matthew and Luke. The Thomas saying goes further.

If you are searching you must not stop until you find.
When you find, however, you will become troubled.
Your confusion will give way to wonder.
In wonder you will reign over all things.
Your sovereignty will be your rest.
– Logion 2 in The Gospel of Thomas, Translated by Lynn Bauman)

This short saying outlines the shape of the spiritual journey.
We seek. We find.
Discovery can be uncomfortable while we sort it out; we become troubled.
This gives way to wonder and a deeper sense of Presence.
We sense the unity/wholeness of all things. We rest.

It is a spiral journey. When we open our heart to the invitation, we make and remake this journey.

We stand on the threshold of Holy Week. Embedded in this week is the shape of this journey.
It’s all there: the yearning, the agitation, the anguish, the wonder, the knowing, the peace.

I’ve had marvelous opportunity in my life to walk through Holy Week.
With the Iona Community, in the day-by-day unfolding of the story in art and liturgy.
In Jerusalem, literally walking in the footsteps of this story.
In worship, remembering the events in word and song.

These are often re-enactments and they have their place in supporting faith and practice.

There’s more. There is the inner work of Holy Week. The not-just-back-then Jesus invites us to bring our open hearts to this week. Beyond belief, there is a journey of seeking and discovery, of agitation and anguish, of marvel and wonder, of unity and  peace.

St. Teresa of Avila hears Jesus invite:

“Seek yourself in me
And seek me in yourself.”

In this mystery we enter Holy Week  — into our heart, heart of Hearts.

This post is updated from 2015 original Prayer Bench post.

For another Palm Sunday reflection see  Love Riding On: Palm Sunday

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  1. Yes, very thought-provoking as the journey begins once more.

  2. Wonderfully said.Thank you Janice. “Seek and ye shall find” comes to me.

  3. Thank you Jan. A moving memory!

  4. We use the “journey” language so much…here you’ve helped me put places on that travelling… The place of seeking- takes time…and the discovery! Inspires more pondering. The places and times of agitation and anguish…often requires a stop over …a heart rest. And oh the vistas of marvel and wonder….love those places!! And unity and peace…these places we long for. Thanks for this !

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