Rejecting birth according to the corruptible body, these chose the second birth, which is spiritual. They tread underfoot the world that is below and ascend to the world that is above. Leaving behind the shadows of ignorance and death, they yearn for the light of wisdom and life. Ceasing to be children of human beings and beginning to be children of God, they leave behind the world of vices, destroying these in themselves, holding before their mental eyes the world of virtues, longing with all their strength to ascend there.
- Eriugena, Homily on John 1.1-14 (Irish, 9th century)
Yet another said, I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home. Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."
- Luke 9.61, 62
Eriugena was writing about those who, by grace through faith, had entered "the invisible world." They were citizens of the Kingdom of God, and the exalted Christ was the new North Star of their lives. Everything changed.
Including - and perhaps especially - their yearnings. Those who have entered the Kingdom of light yearn for more light, and they put away anything of darkness which dampens or blocks the way to the light they seek.
They yearn for a clearer vision of the exalted Christ, and search the Scriptures faithfully and diligently to pull up every reference, be it ever so partial.
The citizens of God's Kingdom long with all their strength to be with Jesus, to be like Jesus, to live for Jesus, and to embody in their own flesh the reality of that unseen realm for which they yearn and toward which they strive with all their might.
When this is true of us, our lives will show it. We will be known by what we yearn for then, even as we are known by what we yearn for today. The people who know you best - what would they say you yearn for most? And what does this say about the real focus and orientation of your heart, mind, and life?
We are known by what we yearn for, because what we yearn for shapes the way we live, the things we talk about, the uses to which we put our time, our priorities, values, delights, and hopes.
What yearning rules in your heart?
You who have put your hand to the plow, where have you fixed your gaze?
Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe
ReVision - Alas, classical music! RIP?
In the Gates - All this week we're considering how to interpret the Law of God. You must read this week's columns if you ever hope to benefit from God's Law.
Kingdom Civics - How did the Apostles envision the Kingdom of God?