Saturday, November 7, 2009

Piercing the Veil

Thoughts from The Theology of the Body

Reading what Pope John Paul wrote in the TOB has brought many thoughts to my mind.

He spoke of the Original Innocence, being when Adam and Eve were created, and lived in a mutual loving relationship with God, unaware of their nakedness. Then after the fall, when Adam and Eve became aware of the knowledge of good and evil, a veil came over the Original Innocence, preventing mankind from returning to that state. So, man lives in his fallen state, a state of sin both Original and individual. In this state, man has still been able to do good, though his nature is fallen. In this fallen state, he lives separated from God.

But God wanted to bridge man back to that Original Innocence, and so in His wisdom sent Jesus to be born among us:
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
Then, of course, Jesus gave his life as a ransom for us, dying so we might have eternal life, that eternal life being a return to the Original Innocence in Him. So, I was wondering why the curtain in the temple was torn in two. It was apparently 60 feet high, and very thick.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. Mt 27:51
Pondering the meaning of this event, I looked to find more about it, and found in WikiAnswers an explanation that was where I was coming from:

Back then in the Temple they would have a curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple. This was where the Ark of the Covenant had rested, and was considered to be the place where God resided. Only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies - and God's presence - once a year, and then only after an elaborate cleansing ritual; even then he would have a cord tied to his leg so that others could safely drag him out should he enter God's presence with unatoned sin.

The curtain being torn in two shows that God has crossed the rift. With the death of Jesus the sin that separated man and God has been bridged.

It means that there is no distance now to stop God and His people from interacting, and pictures God as a God who is no longer distant, but has made the move to tear away the obstacles between man and God. Christ's sacrifice didn't just atone for sins, but removed them; now mankind can enter God's presence freely.

Since Jesus died and was resurrected, and sent the Holy Spirit to us as a guide, we are better able to interact with God in our lives.

But, how do we do that? God will not force Himself into our lives. He will let us wallow in our misery, even in our material things, and in our pain and suffering. That is not what He wants for us. He just allows it, because the second greatest gift He gave us, though you might call it a curse, was free will. He has already chosen you.

The greatest desire of His heart is that He will become the greatest desire of your heart.

He wants you to bring Him your pain and sorrow, your fears and anxieties. He doesn't want gold from you. He wants You, from you, all the warts and everything, because He wants to heal you of all those things that separate you from His Love. He doesn't want or need Bill Gates' money. He wants and needs Bill Gates' heart. Same with you.

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