Richard Rohr’s – The Resurrected Christ

As Richard Rohr explains below, “Understanding the Universal or Cosmic Christ can change the way we relate to creation, to other religions, to other people, to ourselves, and to God.

May we all enjoy the healing presence of this Easter.

Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation

From the Center for Action and Contemplation

The image on the left shows a glimpse of a whale with its mouth open. A human figure is either jumping into or being spit out of the mouth. The image in the center shows multicolored watercolors dripping from top to bottom. The image on the right shows a glimpse of black, blue and red watercolors.

Week Fifteen: The Resurrected Christ

Christ Is Risen

Alleluia! Christ is risen!  

As we celebrate Easter, the Daily Meditations explore Father Richard’s teachings on the Universal Christ, which reconnect Christ to his cosmic origin. 

Understanding the Universal or Cosmic Christ can change the way we relate to creation, to other religions, to other people, to ourselves, and to God. Knowing and experiencing this Christ can bring about a major shift in consciousness. Like Saul’s experience on the road to Damascus (see Acts 9), we won’t be the same after encountering the Risen Christ. 

Many people don’t realize that the apostle Paul never met the historical Jesus and hardly ever quotes Jesus directly. In almost all of Paul’s preaching and writing, he refers to the Eternal Christ Mystery or the Risen Christ rather than Jesus of Nazareth before his death and resurrection. The Risen Christ is the only Jesus that Paul ever knew! This makes Paul a fitting mediator for the rest of us, since the Omnipresent Risen Christ is the only Jesus we will ever know as well (see 2 Corinthians 5:16–17). 

Jesus’ historical transformation (“resurrected flesh”) and our understanding of the Spirit he gives us (see John 16:7–15; Acts 1:8) allow us to more easily experience the Presence that has always been available since the beginning of time, a Presence unlimited by space or time, the promise and guarantee of our own transformation (see 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Corinthians 1:21–22; Ephesians 1:13–14). 

In the historical Jesus, this eternal omnipresence had a precise, concrete, and personal referent. God’s presence became more obvious and believable in the world. The formless took on form in someone we could “hear, see, and touch” (1 John 1:1), making God easier to love.  

But it seems we so fell in love with this personal interface in Jesus that we forgot about the Eternal Christ, the Body of God, which is all of creation, which is really the First Incarnation. Jesus and Christ are not exactly the same. In the early Christian era, a few Eastern Fathers (such as Origen of Alexandria and Maximus the Confessor) noticed that the Christ was clearly older, larger, and different than Jesus himself. They mystically saw that Jesus is the union of human and divine in space and time; and Christ is the eternal union of matter and Spirit from the beginning of time.  

Jesus willingly died—and Christ arose—yes, still Jesus, but now including and revealing everything else in its full purpose and glory. (Read Colossians 1:15–20, so you know this is not just my idea.)  

When we believe in Jesus Christ, we’re believing in something much bigger than the historical incarnation that we call Jesus. Jesus is the visible map. The entire sweep of the meaning of the Anointed One, the Christ, includes us and all of creation since the beginning of time (see Romans 1:20). 

Adapted from Richard Rohr, The Cosmic Christ (Albuquerque, NM: Center for Action and Contemplation, 2009). Available as CD and MP3 download.  

Richard Rohr, Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi (Cincinnati, OH: Franciscan Media, 2014), 222, 210. 

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