ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN
“Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven...” (Mt 6: 9-10)
This season of the Afterfeast(s) of Theophany (NC) or Christmas (OC), I’m thinking about this whole business of perceiving my world “on earth as it is in heaven.” How is that even possible, and is it not delusional or unrealistic?
Earth and heaven are already united in their “ways,” because of the coming into our world of the God-Man, Jesus Christ. He unites, in His divine-human presence among us, the invisible and visible realities of Man and God, of earth and heaven. And He calls us to participate in unifying both those realities, if we let Him do that, by us stepping into communion with Him, in daily prayer and sacraments of the Church. St. Maximus the Confessor even states that it is the vocation of the human being to “make one earth” (μίαν ποιήσειε γῆν) “by a way of life proper and fitting the saints…” (Ambiguum 41). So, as Church we are all called to participate in Christ’s unifying work, bringing earth and heaven together within ourselves and then in our surroundings. But He does not perpetuate any “Walt Disney style” versions of reality, generated by our various brands of delusion, which bring us false hope and/or false fear, as we walk through our daily responsibilities.
So today let me embrace the gentle honesty that is humility, in the human-divine reality that is truth, “on earth as it is in heaven,” in communion with my gently-humble Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. “Thy will be done” with me today, O Lord, not according to my self-isolated conceptions and misconceptions, but “on earth as it is in heaven!”