In this 5th diagram (see below), we continue our deepening of Jesus’ descent in us. Doing so is the first step in trying to understand the complete shape of our “spiritual journey”. In order to “understand the Way” itself (the steps of our Spiritual Journey) we have first to understand “what Jesus did for us”, “how He opened the way for us”, “how He became the Way for us”. As you see they are both directly related. Understanding Jesus’ journey helps us understand our journey, through the new way He opened for us (about the “new Way” He opened for us see He 10:20; Is 35:1-10; Is 11:15-16).

Remark: As you see, “real dogmatics” lead to “real Spiritual Theology”. They are two sides of the same coin, totally adapted to each other, they match perfectly. They attract each other, they call upon each other. They sift each other as well, in the sense that when dogmatics become too abstract (i.e. not “practical”) it should be revised, purified; remember “all Theology becomes Economy”, according to the Father’s adage. Both, Dogmatics and Spiritual Theology, put together, they constitute “Integral Theology”. We’ll come back to “Integral Theology” another day. 

Immersion

This fifth diagram we are about to study is all commanded by this quote from saint Luke where Jesus says: “I have to undergo an Immersion (Lk 12:50). As you can see, the verb “immersed” is preferred to the word “baptised” that you’ll find in the majority of the translations. “To immerse” translates the verb “to baptise”. So, it is better to put “immerse” in order to remember what it means and not to jump into rapid conclusions (about “baptism”) that are not in the text.

Mystical dimension

Jesus’ choice of the verb “to be immersed in” is very deep and opens in front of our eyes a whole mystical dimension to the operation of salvation He undergoes. Here we will explore some of its angles. “mystical dimension” means that we are invited to dive in the deep waters of the expression, and not to fall in the trap of just giving it the reading or interpretation that our brain today can grasp. It is a real mystery. Like an ocean, the mystery invites us to dive in it and explore it. A “mystery” is not dissuasive (it doesn’t deter us), it incites (it invites us). “mystical dimension” means that it is not “one dimensional”, but it has many dimensions and implications. “mystical dimension” means that “salvation” (the immersion) is not a mathematical, or a juridical operation, it implies the existence of a real interaction between Jesus and us. He mystically reaches each one of us during His lifetime and more especially during his Passion and Death. Deeply, and invisibly (but truly), He touches us, transforms us, and is united mystically to us – He does it of course from His part, and we will have to receive all what He does for us. Not being able to see it with the naked eye doesn’t mean the eye of the soul and the eye of the spirit can’t see anything. Blessed are the mystics who can see what is happening and can describe it and enrich our faith and love!

“I have to undergo an Immersion” 

Jesus has to undergo an immersion. All His Mission is to achieve this Immersion. All His life is a long Immersion, a long descent in us. When Jesus says it (Lk 12:50) He is obviously alluding to His Passion and Death. This is obvious. To a degree, this is the toughest part of his Immersion, so the global is named after the part.

We shouldn’t reduce though the “immersion” to a limited moment of Jesus’ life (his Passion and Death). The Incarnation itself of God, in a body-soul-spirit, is itself a first step in the long journey of immersion that the Second Person of the Trinity, God, is undergoing. As we previously said, this journey doesn’t stop there, it continues until it reaches the very moment of Jesus’ Death, where He reaches the bottom of our being, uniting himself totally to us.

This immersion covers not only the whole length of Jesus’ life, it covers as well: 

– all humans (each human being)

– all places

– all times.

Nobody is excluded from this immersion. In this sense, any human being, in any moment in history, in any place in the globe, can contemplate a moment of Jesus’ life and say: “this moment belongs to me, and I see my Lord entering in me, trying to offer me His transformative Spirit, in order to purify me and make me “His” “.

It covers as well all the human being. From the most exterior part of ourselves, to the most interior and deepest part of us: our spirit, passing through our soul. All our being is assumed, purified, transformed and saved by by the Son of God. He enters and enlightens all the parts of our being.

Blue: waters of our human nature

The blue colour used in this diagram, from light blue to deep dark blue symbolises the waters of our being where Jesus has to be immersed. This choice of colour helps us visualise better that journey of descent, from the most “light”, exterior part, to the most “difficult”, interior part of us.

 
5- Jesus’ immersion in us
Washing our dirty feet
 
Another quote may attract our attention: “I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet” (John 13:14). This quote explains more specifically what the Lord performs mystically during His Passion. Here, the image the Lord is using is still “water” but in a different way, not a baptism but a simple direct washing. Of course the meaning is the same, because “to baptise” is to wash and purify. 
 
Here, the Lord is the one who uses the water of His Love and Sufferings, the water of His Human Nature, united with His Divinity and full of Holy Spirit, in order to wash and purify us.
 
He says that He is washing our “feet”. “feet” are the lowest part of our being, the part of the body that is most exposed to dirt. If He washes our “feet”, this means that he washed “all our being” (see John 13:10 “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean”). If the toughest part is done, this means that it is preceded by the easiest parts. Purifying our spirit is the toughest, then the soul, then our body.
 
This image of “cleaning the feet” sheds a light on the “immersion in us” He is performing. Immersion brings cleansing, immersion is cleansing. They, Purity brings Union.
 
 
Drinking the cup of our sins
 
Another image can help us enter in the divine meanings of this “Immersion”: “drinking the cup” (Matthew 26:39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this Cuppass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
 
The “cup” here alludes to the cup full of our sins. It is a “bitter” cup. Sin is a distance from God. Therefore “drinking” the cup means that He integrates in Him, He experiences the distance between us and the Father, the darkness where we are (see Is 9:1:), the darkness we became. “Drinking” here shows how we are intimately assimilated to Him. We become part of Him. What a frightening concept to get that close to Darkness for a Being who is ONLY “divine LIGHT”.
 
 
Carrying our sins
 
One final image can help us understand better the “Immersion” that Jesus is undergoing: Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) He is the Lamb of God. The characteristic of the “Lamb of God” is his permeability, his “capacity of absorption”. He carries the sins. But not only the “sins”, He carries first and foremost all the Human Being.
 
Plus, one has to mention the capacity of exchange: He takes our being, He takes our sin, our darkness, and, in the same time, He offers His Divine Life. He communicates His Holy Spirit.
 
This is the double way action of the Holy Spirit: from one side: He purifies, and from the other He communicates Divine Life.
 
The Body of the Lamb absorbs our Body, His Soul absorbs and carries our soul, and is united to it, and His spirit as well.
 
The Pastor carries his sheep
 
An image that goes with this last one is the image of the “Pastor carrying on His shoulder his sheep” (Luke 15:1-7). The deep analysis of the “immersion” we are going through, suggests that in reality the Pastor (Jesus) is not only carrying us on His shoulder, but “inHim”… His Body carries our body, His Soul carries our soul and His spirit carries our spirit and brings it back to life.