“The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.”

Jesus forewarns of his impending ‘death’ by relating the metaphor of the grain of wheat; just as the grain of wheat dies in the field it also brings forth much fruit, as Jesus’ life and wisdom will following his own mortal death. I am so impressed by Jesus that rather than selfishly clinging to his life, attached to his body and his temporal existence, Jesus demonstrates fearlessly letting go of this life, sacrificing attachment to familiar comforts for the promise of eternal life. To serve the Spirit which is within Jesus, Jesus instructs us to follow his consciousness, where he will reside. I note that the man Jesus did have some trepidation, indicated by this statement: “Now my soul is troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour…” This sounds like the fear anybody might utter at such a time, however Jesus finishes his sentence by saying, “…but for this cause came I unto this hour, Father, glorify Thy name.” Again, Jesus shows us his great courage.

Jesus was indeed born for this moment. Dying in this sense is the ultimate ‘letting go’ of the world and of oneself in both the Buddhist and in the Christian sense. To me, this is a parallel process that we encounter when we ‘empty ourselves’, ‘make ourselves last’, ‘become as a child’, ‘take up the cross’, or ‘dying unto self’ as in dying to an old way of being and entering a new way of being. Buddhists might call this ‘liberation through enlightenment’ and a Christian might call it being ‘born again’ – not all that different a notion or experience. The outcome of this experience is great love and compassion in each tradition, in the likeness of both Christ and of Buddha. This is the wisdom teaching of both traditions, both so similar that unity can be found within. This speaks mightily to the presence of a greater spirit speaking almost identical words and life stories through Jesus and Gautama. These wisdom traditions are amazing in their similarities.

When Jesus asks that this hour be glorified, remarkably the disciples heard something, some holy vibration ring out from the heavens, be it thunder or the voice of angels. Jesus tells us that this voice is not because of him, but because the truth of his testimony was indeed inspired by God. This voice is soon to leave the man Jesus, as Jesus’ body will die, and yet his consciousness will be lifted up to bear fruit in each of us just as the tiny grain of wheat exalts the miracle, the spirit, of God.

In 12:35, Jesus again uses that wonderful metaphor of walking in the light. Our spiritual path is illuminated by this wisdom. When we strive to be like the light of Jesus, when we believe in this Christ light that radiates God’s presence, we become like children of light, individual reflections of God’s radiance, like shafts of golden wheat.

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2 responses

  1. Thank you for this beautiful post, Meredith. I feel like I smoked you out to resort to theology in showing the near simultaneity of the two great faiths. I never understood so well before why Thomas Merton was in Thailand when he died; and also wondered why God saw fit to promote him to the next level at that point.

  2. Thank you for your kindness, Larry. Thomas Merton is a favorite mystic of mine. Merton loved life with a passion of a romantic poet, just as I do. In his work, he became so close to God. In fact, one of his poems, ‘In Silence’ was actually life changing for me. I still become very tearful as I read and realize the truth embedded in this poem. Merton had an immediate and intimate relationship with God, and his writings are beautiful records of this profound love. Merton’s life expemplified an enlightened Zen Buddhist Trappist monk!

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