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Yesterday I ended by saying that raising the level of human consciousness is a common responsibility both of all the wisdom traditions and of each of us personally. Individually we may not feel we have much to contribute in terms of wisdom and individually that may be true. But, as a supermarket chain slogan tells its customers, ‘every little counts’.
A week after the inspiring online global gathering of our global community with Ukrainian meditators, many of us have reflected on what it means to par-ticipate, to share in and co-llaborate with each other. It was a vaccine for the virus of individualist isolation spreading in our materialistic culture. We all felt this but in a way hard to put into words.
A few years after the Resurrection, Paul of Tarsus argued with Peter and James and the other leaders of the Jesus movement in Jerusalem about who could be allowed into their community. The dispute came down to: do you have to be a Jew to belong in this movement? The struggle was – archetypally - between universalism and separatism. Eventually, the more spacious and inclusive mind of Christ prevailed.
As a sign of this inclusive unity of the two points of view, that Christ was big enough to include everyone, Paul agreed to raise money for the suffering Jesus followers in Jerusalem. This became an important part of Paul’s later mission. A large sum was collected from gentile Christian communities for their Jewish brothers and sisters. It was only money but a powerful, sacramental sign of love.
After our time of meditation and sharing with the Ukrainians last week we reminded people of the needs of the Ukrainian refugees fleeing from the invading forces. Albert and Maria, our coordinators in Ukraine are helping the refugees flowing into Lviv. Yesterday I heard from our Hong Kong community that in less than three days they raised more than 30,000 euro to support this work flowing purely from the spring of contemplation. This gift is a sacrament of love and unity. It is an example of how communities around the WCCM are showing, in many different ways of generosity, the thankful wonder they feel in knowing that we are one – a knowledge that is a fruit of our daily meditation together.
Laurence Freeman
Lenten Reflections 2022
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