Friday 24 April 2020

Second Week of Easter

Word for today
The Gospel of John 6:1-15

Abstinence

He said this to test him. Jesus tests us to see if we are capable of changing  our way of thinking, if we can leave the usual mental and spiritual paths to undertake new ones.
What happens if we decide to change the sequence of our thoughts; if instead of thoughts of anger, shame, possession and competition we decide to think in another way? When it stops following ordinary mental sequences our mind no longer produces the same chemicals and falls into a state of abstinence. It is a chemical abstinence that the mind perceives as physical stress and psychologic instability, failure and inadequacy.
Jesus offers us the met├ánoia, an inversion of our thought sequence following the sequence of evangelical procedures. If practiced, it disturbs our mind because it creates, at least at the beginning, chemical abstinence, behavioral distress, mental destabilization.
Deciding to have no more angry thoughts basically means that our brain and its receptors are no longer provided with that particular chemical dose characterized by that particular mechanism that is set off by angry thoughts. It means deciding to abstain, deciding to let our minds experience a state of destabilization, of absence of control and judgment. The mind will react transforming thoughts into psychic screams, that is obsessive compulsions, unceasing desires, distorted thoughts, aiming to restore the normal situation. Only by praying and meditating on God's Word can the spirit remain firm in its decision to change the sequence of thoughts; the chemistry will gradually change and the tension of abstinence will be replaced by mental serenity, spiritual joy, physical health and harmony.
Jesus tests his disciples and gently encourages them to change the sequence of their thoughts  which lead them to face their problems, any problem, by themselves, in a state of tension, division, fear, misery, lack, submission, conflict. He helps them to begin to consider a new sequence of thoughts, knowing that with Him and in Him everything, absolutely everything, is always really possible, while without Him nothing can be done. That is why fear is always useless and deadly.
It is a new spiritual setting, which produces new kinds of thoughts, a new chemistry for the brain, new serenity for the mind and the spirit, together with all possible wealth for everyone: twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. Jesus reveals to us that thoughts are energy and they become matter in our veins, in our neuronal circuits, in every fiber of our body and brain and just as they can become matter in the wretchedness of not having what is needed they can also become the abundance of twelve baskets full of leftovers.