At the Heart of Apocalypse

See Soulwork Toward Sunday: self-guided retreat
The Reign of Christ (year B), November 25, 2012
“Drawn Toward the Kingdom”

detail, The Last Judgment, Giotto, 1306

The Sacred Cycle of the Church year ends with apocalypse in the last Sundays of Pentecost. And the sacred cycle of the Church year begins with apocalypse on the first Sunday of Advent. Between apocalypse and apocalypse is the Feast of the Reign of Christ.

To begin and end the year with apocalypse reveals a profound and loving psychology. Face your deepest fears, says the Church. Unless you undertake the journey through your deepest fears, the shadows of the things you depend upon, the questions of existence and annihilation, you won’t approach the Real at the heart of reality.

Apocalypse (apokalypsis), although associated with the sun darkening, the moon not giving its light, the stars falling, earthquakes, and fire and destruction, literally means “unveiling.” The lifting of the veil, opening the curtain. Revealing. Revelation. (Ah, but there are so many veils to cling to!)

At the heart of the apocalyptic season Jesus reigns from a cross. It is the end. It is the beginning. His death is the catastrophic end that begets new life. Jesus is the High Priest of the Temple. A temple not made with human hands but through the spaciousness of his own self-sacrifice. Through the curtain of his flesh, he opened a new and living way. (Hebrews 10:20)

On either side of this revelation of Christ enthroned, not in suffering, not in glory, but in the human heart, every person must undergo great upheaval. The Church helps us practice year by year for the unveiling of the Real at the heart of the heart.


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