38. Palms Sunday

Here I was in Jerusalem having been booted from both heaven and the Patriarchate. The only instruction I was given was to ask Saint Mary of Egypt to lead me into the cocoon of repentance. So I did.

"Blessed Mary, if it is possible, please show me today what took you decades to learn, and without all the suffering, how to become faithful to Him, by forsaking the ways of those mischievous demons who continually lure me onto their webs. I want to be an angel of God, I really and truly do.

I am afraid, dear Mary, of being a deluded angel, of thinking that I am translucent, when in fact my rebellious attitude muddies me up. Can it be that I am not the angel I think I am? I have been banished from heaven and I fear I will never be able to return. Please I beg of you, please guide me. Mary, pray for me. Woes is me if I am consigned to this Hades of Earth forever!" Did she hear me?

Weeping, I wandered aimlessly through the stone streets of Jerusalem, flying in and out of doorways and alleyways. I flew out of Jaffa Gate and headed towards the Mount of Olives when I saw a large raucous crowd in the distance, so I went up to see what the commotion was all about.

Easily passing over layers of men, women, and children, a fantastic sight appeared before my angel eyes! There was Jesus sitting on a colt. All of the people along the road were shouting in a cacophony of 'Hosannas' and 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of The Lord!' and 'Hosanna to the Son of David!' And 'Hosanna in the highest heavens!'

Men spread their coats on the street, and children gathered branches from palms trees and laid them over the coats to create a cushion for the colt to walk on. The scene reminded me of a wedding procession where the bride follows flower girls strewing rose petals on her path to adorn the ground she walks on. Was Jesus pretending to be a royal bridegroom?

What in the world is going on here? I thought. Is this real? They are treating Jesus like a king, but He is riding on a little colt instead of a regal horse. The parade was heading to Jerusalem. For miles and miles it was the same scene. Old women and young men running out of their houses and up to the road to join the crowds. Young women and boys jogging alongside Jesus. Miles and miles of palms and coats blanketed the dusty road. With His holy head held high Jesus soaked in the glory.

I even saw gaggles of angels overhead alternately chanting Hosanna and Alleluia in perfect harmony. I cringed to be reminded not to join them. Instead I hovered behind Jesus wondering how it would end. As we approached the Golden Gate, I flew in front of Him so Jesus could see me.

Waving at the crowds, He noticed me and smiled with recognition. I gazed at Him in unbelief and said in angel-speak, "What is going on here?" He replied telepathically, "I'll explain it to you later." and kept on riding. By the time we reached the city, it too was in turmoil. People were asking each other, "Who is this?"

Every few hundred feet someone would shout above the din, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee. Remember, the man who has been performing miracles. Come, let's follow Him and see what He does next."

When Jesus and His colt had arrived at the temple, He dismounted, and with the authority of the master of the house, He surveyed the temple flea market. Jesus had known about the flea market and always despised it, but today He decided it was time to provoke and to purify. I could see the anger welling up in His soul until He looked like He was about to explode. What was He going to do?

I could hardly believe what happened next.

With royal confidence and authority, Jesus actually turned over table after table and yelled at the merchants! I had never seen Him so angry, not even at me. He hollered, "My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you make it a den of robbers!" Doves flew out of their fallen cages and shekels were strewn all over the ground so that from one merchant to the other, no one knew whose money was theirs. Boys ran up to scavenge the change and merchants didn't know whether to yell back at Jesus or fight for their fallen money. Some merchants fought and others scrounged adding to the frenzy in the temple.

Meanwhile, the crowd of men, women and children that had followed Jesus all the way from Bethphage were still near and shouted, "Hooray and Hosannas." Such holy chaos had never been seen on Jerusalem, not since the Romans took over anyway.

After His tirade with the merchants, Jesus regained His composure, and walked over to the east corner of the temple. And then the most unusual thing happened, the merchants retreated to their homes, the loyal crowds dispersed, and the hosannas were hushed.

All that remained were the blind and the lame. One by one a blind child, an old woman with a cane, a man being carried, approached Jesus. And one by one He healed him or her so that all walked out of the temple on that day whole and healthy, some for the very first time. Mothers wept with joy; the necks of the newly sighted turned back and forth, back and forth blessed with vision for the first time in their lives. 'Is this what a face looks like, and a column, and a dove flying high in the temple?'

Shouts of exaltation softened into hymns of praise and thanksgiving to God.

Young boys, anxious to participate in the celebrations of healing gathered around behind Him and softly sang rounds of Hosannas to the son of David in choral harmony while Jesus continued to heal man, woman and child who approached Him with hope and faith.

After a short while, priests and scribes in groups of two and three strutted up to Jesus, as if infected by His former rage. The chief priest roared, "Do you hear what these children are chanting? Tell them to stop!"

Jesus replied, "I hear what they are saying. Have you never read (challenging their scholarship) 'out of the mouths of infants and nursing babes You have prepared praise for Yourself."

The chief priest looked around at his colleagues and shouted, "Did that vagabond just tell us that he accepts the praises due to God alone?" They were all appalled, looking back and forth at each other for affirmation. They were more than appalled, they were incensed. Who does this man think he is, who evicted their commercial tenants, and accepts praises in their temple! Does He think he is God or something?!"

Frankly, I was frightened for Him. Witnessing this day, I had left my own problems behind. I didn't have time to consider my ego or my voice or even how to get home. I realized that I had only one thing to do and that was to stay as close to Jesus as I could, and to guard Him as best as I could because this young man seemed bent on getting Himself into big trouble.

42. Holy Friday, The Crucifixion

As the sun set, I saw more demons appear than I had ever seen in one place. Never had I witnessed such a concentration of evil celebration.

The Bride managed to fit two or three days of suffering and torture into this one but it started at sunset on Thursday and went through Friday evening. I suppose She wanted to get this bitterest of pills chewed and swallowed as quickly as She could. I will do my best to recount what happened, but I cannot report the events as well as did Mathew, Mark, Luke and John, so I won't try; you should read them. I will tell you the story from my perspective.

After supper His students (disciples) and I went for a walk with the Christ Who stopped at a beautiful garden not far from the temple. Olive trees and rosemary bushes filled the air with a holy calming fragrance. Everyone was tired after the big meal and the long walk. Jesus was clearly agitated. No longer was He the cool joker of Wednesday who thought Judas deserved more than 30 pieces of silver to betray Him.

He knew what was coming as a scholar and as God. In fact, Jesus had told Peter and the others that He was to be crucified in a surprisingly frank and fearless manner. Yet gradually a paralyzing fear dripped its poison onto His holy soul until It was suffused by a very human inner terror.

I think I know how He felt. Like me, Jesus had had authority over nature, time and matter have not phased Him. This world was a place He helped to create. Sure He could be hungry or cold from time to time, and His feet got dirty like everyone else's, and He slept. But, climbing that wilderness mountain with neither food nor water was the first time that nature showed itself to be a formidable adversary.

Both illness and death were easily manipulated by Him. He multiplied fishes and loaves when hunger struck. He walked on water to get to where He needed to go. He raised people from the dead. This Friday would sublimate the Christ to nature and evil in a violent way. For the first time in His human life He would be weak and powerless. I can imagine how frightening that could be to a Spirit like His.

When I heard Him rant at Peter and the others for falling asleep during His darkest hour, I read in it His deep anxiety. When I heard Him beg the Father to remove the cup (of death) from Him, it occurred to me that the fear of death was overwhelming Him because it meant a unique separation from His Father, however temporary. That was a thought He could not bear, no less experience.

It is the same horrible feeling I have about not being able to travel on the hairline path back home to God and the other luminous angels. In relating to Christ, I saw with my heart, the value of adhering to God's Will as compared to my own. If Jesus's Will could have been done on that day, no one would be able to reach the Tree of LIfe. Death, separation from God, would win forever, instead of for a time.

Jesus and I went back and forth from His place of private prayer to the place of the sleeping students, each return found Him increasingly more disappointed and more irritable.

Finally the dreaded moment arrived when Judas showed up and mortified Him with his kiss. Then the God who came to set men free was handcuffed, and all of His friends ran away. The Roman soldiers didn't want the students, they had their Prize.

I must tell you that the most poignant moment of all the trials that ensued was when the high priest looked Jesus straight in the eye and asked, 'Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?' Jesus replied with the same two words that God, the Father used to identify Himself to Moses.

Exodus 3:13-15

But Moses said to God, "If I come to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I tell them?" God said to Moses, "I am who I am." He said further, "Thus you shall say to the Israelites, 'I am has sent me to you."

Likewise Jesus replied to the priest-interrogator, "I am" when asked if He was the Messiah.

I didn't know who to be more furious with, those dastardly chief priests who I am sure thought they were defending their faith, and their God, or the Romans who carried out the trial and the crucifixion.

I could feel sorry for the chief priests, as I felt bad for Judas too, for being pawns, perhaps innocently thinking they were on the side of justice. After all in their righteous opinions Jesus flagrantly broke the rule of working on the Sabbath.

When I think about how self-serving they were, about how they cared more for themselves and their status than they cared about God and what was most important to Him, I am convicted of my own self-centeredness. I see their guilt so much more clearly than I can see my own. But thanks to others who have shown me my faults, I know what I can do to be more like Christ, who though innocent was willing to suffer for sinners, and less like the self-righteous chief priests and Judas.

As for the Romans, I saw how they so shrewdly appended themselves to the problem of the Jewish hierarchy and used it to their own advantage. When Pilate saw that the Jews were hell-bent to crucify the Christ, he figured out how Rome could benefit from this. By assigning this poor man the title of King, which wasn't much of a stretch, Rome could belittle the concept of a Jewish king. In this way, Rome affirmed itself as the only ruler of the Jews. The priests and the Romans were in royal cahoots.

It was all so horrible. For my part I stood by Jesus Christ every step of the way. I fanned Him with my wings, I made happy faces to try to help him remember our better times. I stayed closer and closer with each step up Golgotha. I even refused to visit the Bride, even though at one point I saw Poppy in the periphery of my sight calling me to come. No, this time I refused to go.

And then it happen. I heard Jesus cry out, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" After that His Holy Head dropped. This was the moment of death and abandonment that Jesus feared the most. Never before had He been separated from the Father. He lived in the Father and the Father in Him, but for this moment, this black second in time, Jesus was fully human and fully dead, physically and spiritually.

Just when I was about to vaporize with grief, I heard Christ say, "Come on angel, let's go! Quick, no time to waste."

I looked up and there He was, good as new! Our spirits soared together for the first time since before creation. I wondered how I could have gone from such depths of grief to such elation so quickly. It was dizzying.

We headed straight for Hades and surprised the hell out of the Devil who did not expect us. Jesus entered Hades and grabbed the keys from the guard and tossed them to me. I opened the door, and the first ones out were our old friends Adam and Eve, then came Moses and Abraham, and all the rest, saints and sinners flew out of Hades and headed straight for earth to get one last look.

I looked over at Jesus who was more radiant than I had ever seen Him on earth; He was laughing and joking as He tied up the Hades guards.

"Uh, Jesus," I said. "Haven't you forgotten something?"

"What is it angel, I don't think so." replied Jesus apprehensively.

"The Tree of Life Lord," I replied, You need to find it so we can distribute its leaves for the healing of the nations and for human immortality."

"Oh that!" sighed The Christ, "Silly Angel, the wooden cross was the Tree of Life. the crucifixion was the flaming swords. It's done! Come with me, let's find a nice cloud to rest on together."

The saddest angel in the universe spun around three times to become the happiest angel in the universe. I said, "Watch this!" and showed off my figure eights and my spirals. Angel bliss! "Follow me Lord, I know just the place to get our rest."

And He did.

Meanwhile, I was told that the Bride held a beautiful entombment, and chanted Lamentations at His funeral into the night. I wish they could have seen how free and alive Jesus was while they cried.

43. Easter Sunday - Pascha

The Archangel Gabriel came to fetch Jesus and me as we were snoozing on Cloud 9 and called out, "Come Lord, the day of rest is soon over and you must go back into your body!"

"Oh, no no no" I said speaking for the Christ. "That body stuff is over. Jesus did His job, and He did it well. He went to earth, lived a human life, died, reached the Tree of Life, unlocked the gate of Hades, preached the good news, and let everyone out. Now humans can be as immortal as me. Done! Finito! Capput! We are going home, cha cha cha!"

Jesus smiled to Gabriel and nodded at me as if to apologize for my stupidity, which I deeply resented. Then He looked at me from deep within His bottomless well of kindness and said, "There are still four more months in my Bride's mystical year angel, you wouldn't want to cheat My Bride would you?"

With that, I took a deep breath of fresh clean air, and said, "Okay, let me try that again. Why do we have...why does Jesus have to go back to earth. Weren't those people mean enough to Him?"

Gabriel replied patiently, "He must return for the students, the disciples, and all those who believe that He is the Son of God. Jesus needs to prove to them that He conquered death, not just by freeing prisoners of Hades, but also by becoming resurrected."

After a pause to make sure I understood, Gabriel continued, "Jesus had to bite His tongue when on the cross He heard them say, 'He saved others, now let us see Him save Himself.' The fact of the matter is, angel, that His resurrection will be His response! Jesus didn't just jump off the cross and run away, He returned from death, by the power of God."

Gabriel continued long after he convinced me, "Many people have returned from being dead, but they returned with mortal bodies. Jesus will return with an immortal body. He will show humankind the value and power of trust and obedience to God the Father. If only Adam and Eve had trusted Him, but it had to happen this way. If not Eve, someone would have succumb to the wiles of satan."

When given a chance to get a word in, I responded, "Personally I don't believe that one must have a body to be alive, but I see your many points. The humans want Him back, they need Him back. I don't blame them. Let's go."

Jesus, Gabriel and I arrived at the tomb in the deepest darkness before the dawn. A sleeping guard lay on the ground in a fetal position to the right of the entrance of the tomb. Gabriel looked over at me and then at Jesus as if sizing us up and asked, "Who will roll this rock away?"

Jesus looked at Gabriel and then at me and replied, "I see that this is a man's job." so He walked right through the rock and reentered His fragrant body. Pushing the rock out was not as hard as pulling it from the outside would have been. The snoring guard slept through the whole event.

Huffing and puffing, Jesus seemed to be a bit out of shape, which, considering what He just went through was perfectly understandable. Then He looked up at Gabriel and said, "Could I have a different body? This one is in bad shape."

Gabriel replied, "Okay, come here; let's see of we can refashion this one." Jesus drew near and Gabriel wafted his huge right wing over Jesus's frail body and lickety split He looked different, and yet it was the same body and certainly the same Spirit. "How's that?" asked Gabriel?

"I feel great, but I am hungry! Let's go over to Galilee and get some fish!" exclaimed Jesus, and then looking over at me, He said. "Angel, you wait here for the ladies who will come to annoint Me. Tell them to tell my students to meet me in Galilee. By the way angel, make yourself visible, okay?" With that Jesus and Gabriel rushed off and abandoned me. I sat on the marble tombstone and thought and thought about how to materialize. I knew I didn't have much time because the ladies would come soon to anoint Jesus again. After fretting about my predicament, I suddenly realized that this was God's problem more than mine, so I prayed. "Heavenly Father, please let me materialize so I can announce to the women that Jesus is alive."

Before the last word came out of my heart, there I was all shiny with a long white robe! Just at that moment I heard the ladies approaching the tomb, so I sat up straight and looked like I was expecting them. I heard one woman say, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?"

Then I heard three loud gasps. When the ladies entered my tomb, I could tell that they were terrified so I tried to calm them down by saying, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified." Three wide-eyed heads bobbed up and down with shoulders up to their ears. I continued calmly, "He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples - and Peter- that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you."

The three ladies left me quickly and fled the tomb, trembling with fear and amazement. I was sorry to see them go. My part was so short. I waited for others to show up so I could give a repeat performance, but felt myself fading fast, and no one else came looking for Jesus anyway.

Sitting there alone again, I perceived in my soul thousands and millions of white candles lit beneath beaming faces and chanting in unison, 'Christ is risen from the dead, and by His death He has trampled down death and to those in the tombs He has granted life." They chanted it in every language imaginable and they chanted the same words over and over and over again, throughout millennia in a symphonic roar.

Back to my normal angelic self, I flew over to catch up with Jesus and Gabriel who were easy to find for their magnetism. Jesus decided that it was time to appear to his friends so He chose Mary Magdalene to be first. Mary cried with joy and wanted to hug Him, but Jesus wouldn't let her and gave her the honor of announcing His resurrection to His disciples. Off she went to find them still mourning and weeping His crucifixion, but they didn't believe her.

After that Jesus appeared in another form to two of His disciples as they were walking in the country. And they went and told the others but no one believed them either."

To bring an end to all of this disbelief, Jesus showed up at their dinner table where He found them all together. He yelled at them for their unbelief and hardness of heart. After all, He had even told them that He would rise again. It was an emotionally chaotic reunion with shouts and tears of joy, but no hugs. We were in the same room as His last supper. I wasn't sure if it was really happening or if I was experiencing echoes of the last time I was in the room, but as I was sitting there watching the chaotic reunion, I perceived long lines of people receiving His body and blood from golden chalices while holding the white candles. Each person who pro ached the golden chalice held his or her mouth open to be fed, looking exhausted but radiant. Millions of others waited patiently in line.

The Bride and Her Bridegroom were both alive and well on earth in a mystical dance with time, rejoicing and victorious. Satan's three days of victory between the arrest and the crucifixion were trumped by Christ's masterful forging through the flaming swords to The Tree of Everlasting Pure and Sacred Life with God.

Even I felt myself happy and beaming. It was as if all of heaven had come to visit us on earth for the first time since Adam and Eve had been evicted for not trusting that God knew what was best for them. On this day I learned that love is most certainly more powerful than evil with its million ugly faces. The consequences had been devastating for humankind and indeed for all of creation. Today Jesus cleared a narrow, but open path to the Tree of Life, to immortality, to life with God for His Bride who contains in Her bosom every man woman and child of every race and nation who hears Her call and answers. "Here I am Lord, take me."

With immortality in its midst, this planet is not as corrupted by time and matter as I had thought. Not that I want to stay here forever, but it is not a bad vacation spot, after all.

47. Ascension - The Homecoming

To accompany Jesus during His last days as a human being on earth was an honor that I never expected. We talked about our memories, our hike up the Mount of Temptation, I told him the story of my journey with the wise men from Persia to Bethlehem before He was born. He laughed imagining me holding the star the whole way, and then hovering it over His infant head.

Mother Nature did her very best to adorn the earth for those crystalline days. The weather was unusually sublime. Cool nights and sunny warm afternoons. A smattering of rain caused wild flowers to burst forth in a rich palette of colors, shapes, textures and fragrances. As much as I love the heavens, I have to admit that earth can be spectacular, and never more than now. Not at least according to my experience. The songs and sounds of hundreds of living breathing wildlife contributed a symphonic element to the scene that put all the choirs of angels to shame.

From time to time we encountered His disciples and friends so Jesus could prove that He was alive in one way or another; at first shocking them, then just amusing them when they got used to it. None of His students knew when He would show up, what He would look like or where He was going when He left to be alone.

On the walk from Tiberias to Bethany Jesus was either in silent contemplation, prayer, or He was in high-alert perceiving mode, soaking it all in, thinking about how to improve upon the design for the new heaven and new earth to come.

I wondered why He asked me to join Him when He rarely spoke to me. Just then Jesus said, "Angel, I want you to know that I am grateful for your companionship."

I replied, "Lord, if You could mention that to my boss, it may help with the promotion I have been seeking."

Jesus smiled and said, "Of course I will. I suppose some day we will be remembering this old earth together."

"Maybe so, Lord," I responded "but I can't even imagine what it is like to be a human. Your experience on this planet is very different from mine."

Jesus replied, "True. Becoming human was very important for Us, important to Our desire to bring Adam and Eve back from exile, to give humanity the right to become Our children" He paused to reflect and added, "I think the Father also sent me here to get a Bride!" With that mini revelation, Jesus blushed and smiled, and then He went on. "Becoming human has helped Us also to be able to judge fairly and compassionately. Creating humanity in Our image and likeness seemed easy enough, but as people strayed farther and farther from this image We wanted to know why and to understand the influences they are under that keep them from the Father. By the way, you should know that I will soon be returning to heaven."

Without hesitating to respond to the surprised and anxious look on my face, He said, "and I look forward to that, but I am sad to be leaving." Then Jesus gave me a stern look, and added, "You must stay here until My Bride's year ends! I promise to be the first to welcome you home at the end of August."

Without offering me a nanosecond to complain, Jesus returned to the topic of becoming human. He said, "It has not been enough to create them, there is a law of nature [thermodynamics], that forces deterioration and skewing of Our design. Life simply requires a counter force to dissipation." With that Jesus grew anxious to talk to His students before He left earth...without me.

"I must go soon, please gather my disciples on Mt. Olivet and I will meet you there, okay? Now go, hurry!"

"Certainly Lord, I am at Your service." I said. Bucking for that promotion, I promptly flew away, leaving Jesus to head up Mount Olivet alone with His thoughts and prayers.

Gathering the disciples was not an easy task. I didn't know where to find them. Fortunately another angel, whom I had never met flew up to me and said, "You look north as far as Galilee and I will gather everyone from Jerusalem up, and meet you on the mount."

One by one, or when I was lucky enough to find them together, we lead the disciples telepathically to the mountaintop. John and James were the first to arrive. They recognized Jesus immediately and greeted Him warmly asking the reason for the assembly. Soon, Peter, Bartholomew, and Matthew showed up. Thomas was the last, as usual, but we were all grateful that He made it so no one would have to try to convince him that Jesus had ascended.

Jesus found the perfect spot to address them. Some men chose to stand, while others sat on large rocks.

"I am about to go to my Father." He announced "I want you men to go together to Jerusalem. Go to the house with the upper room; remember where we had supper that evening before My arrest. Stay there and wait for the Holy Spirit to come upon you. John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

Peter asked, "Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?"

He replied, "It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witness in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.

Go into the world to proclaim the good news to the whole creation that I can save men's souls from sin and death. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved, but the one who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe, by using my name they will cast out demons, they will speak in new tongues, they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them, they will lay their hands on the sick and they will recover."

Standing on top of that mountain in the warm sunshine Jesus looked as bright and beautiful as ever. Then the remarkable happened. Jesus gradually ascended as if he was filled with helium. We all, men and angels, gazed intently on the sight. When He was high enough a big puffy cloud moved in front of Him until He could no longer be seen. I wondered why He didn't say 'goodbye!'

Just then, I could feel myself becoming visible, and saw one other angel becoming visible too! We were wearing long white robes that reminded me of the morning I waited for the ladies to arrive at the tomb.

While the disciples were still gazing at the cloud looking for glimpses of Jesus the other angel said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heavens, will come in the same way as you saw Him go into heaven." I nodded in agreement, and wondered why Jesus hadn't mentioned this return trip to me.

When they were sure Jesus was gone for good, the students all chattered with each other about their astonishment while descending the mountain and walked to Jerusalem together. Instead of being sad at His departure, as I was, His students were full of joy and amazement, blessing and praising God along the way.

Their merriment bored me so I sneaked away and flew up to follow Jesus into heaven. There I saw the most spectacular sight of all. Jesus Christ was clothed in luminous glory, and God the Father was beside Him. Their Spirits were intertwined in a hug to beat all hugs. Tears of joy flowed from Christ's human eyes. All of Jesus's nostalgia dissipated in this glorious moment of reunion. He was overjoyed to be back home after 33 years in exile on earth. His Father was thrilled to have Him back.

As the climax of the godly reunion died down, Jesus looked around to see who else was there and spotted me. I cringed at His surprised and angry look.

Without a further word or grimace, I turned around to head back down to earth. But when I thought He stopped watching me, I turned back for one last look. Lo and behold! Jesus was being ushered by the Father Himself to His golden throne right beside the Father God! Cherubim and seraphim encircled them chanting in perfect harmony. Jesus looked so regal and so comfortable there. Under my breath, I whispered, 'See you later Victor; thank you for everything.' Then I turned back to head to the upper room to wait for the Holy Spirit with the guys.

48. Pentecost(s) Power and Prototypes

When I arrived at the upper room, I found the students or disciples or apostles or whatever they want to be called milling about talking to each other and to God. Still feeling disappointed that I couldn't stay in heaven with Jesus to participate in the festivities of His return I decided to lay low and just wait and watch with them. Fortunately no one could see me pouting.

“Peter, what are we waiting for?” asked John, the youngest of the group.

“We are waiting for the Holy Spirit, but I have no idea of what to expect. Let's be patient.”

“We have been sitting here for over a week!” whined John.

(Now that was a man after my own heart!) thought I.

Peter responded, “Tomorrow is Pentecost, Shavuot. I have a feeling something will happen then. Come, help me get ready.”

As Peter and John were preparing for Pentecost, it occurred to me that God would cleverly pour out His Spirit on the anniversary of the day that He poured out His law. The Law and the Spirit both are needed for mankind to become holy. But, I wondered why Jesus had to leave in order for the Holy Spirit to be distributed. If I was still in heaven I could have asked, but I am not.

The deep darkness of night stilled the men and each found a place to sleep. I appreciated the dark quiet that reminded me of the night sky and began to feel more peaceful in my angel heart.

While it was still dark an hundred luminous angels poured into the room. They positioned themselves like an army beside each man. None of them even acknowledged me. I didn't mind as I could tell that they were focused on their mission, and I was here simply to witness.

At daybreak, suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where we were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among the students, and a tongue rested on each of them. It looked quite strange, but oddly enough no one seemed afraid, which I attributed to the angels.

All of the men were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. I could hardly believe my eyes! I was at the same time amazed and envious to see God's Spirit enter men. I wondered how the Spirit would affect the humans.

The disciples delighted in their newfound ability to speak many other languages. The cacophony of the room reminded me of the Tower of Babel scene. I was there. This tower was erected upon the pride of men. In those days God did not want the men to be like Him. They were not ready, He was not ready. So He confounded their speech making it so that each man spoke a different language and they could not understand each other. I laughed and laughed. I think that was the funniest moment I have ever experienced. Eventually the people became so frustrated that they separated, scattering around the face of the earth, and taking their new languages with them and their families.

Back to this day, the men full of joy and power walked out of the upper room into the streets of Jerusalem to proclaim the glory of The Lord God. Men, women, and children left their homes to hear what the disciples were saying.

Reversing the days of Babel, no matter what language was spoken there was someone who understood. Arabs, Asians, Libyans, Egyptians and many others all heard God glorified by the Galileans in their own languages. The barrier of language between men melted away as did the barrier between man and God when Christ died on the cross.

This was truly a sight to behold.

I could see in this verbal unity of mankind the birth of a Bride, one holy and universal mate for the Word of God, Christ, comprised of people from every country around the world in unity with each other.

I exaggerated. There were some skeptics in the crowd who thought everyone was drunk. Being 9 am, that was unlikely, but some people stuck to their skepticism. I could clearly see the difference between a human fill with the Holy Spirit, and one who was not.

Peter, standing with the eleven, boldly raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, we are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, what you see and hear is what was spoken through the prophet Joel.

‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.

Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.

And I will show ominous signs in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist.

The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.

Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

Peter continued, “You that are Israelites listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know— this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power.” Peter stopped speaking and peered into the eyes of those in the crowd surrounding him.

I was shocked that Peter, the louse who wouldn't even admit that he knew Christ on the night of His arrest, suddenly had the hutzpah to accuse these Jews of killing their Messiah. Surely this was a difference that the Holy Spirit made.

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”

Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”

So those who welcomed His message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons entered into the unity of the Bride, Christ's beloved Church. Each person who made up the one Bride devoted him or herself to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayers.

By the end of that day, I was mush. It had been so intense and amazing that I think every ounce of my spirit was overwhelmed and exhausted. Here I was more than two-thirds of the way through the Bride's year and She had just been born! I had to chuckle. I think I am growing to love Her more and more every day.

56. August 15 - Dormition and Assumption of the Ever Virgin Mary

I saw no purpose in following the hikers all the way to the foot of Tabor so I left them to have some summer fun. Without purpose or deadline, I simply flew around and around the skies of Jerusalem. I had no sense of the eras I was flying through nor did I care. The air was thin, fresh and dust free! I felt so clean and energized. Flocks of birds below me looked up and chirped sweet hellos. I didn't even let myself think. I didn't wonder where I should have been because I didn't care. Joy.

Then, out of the corner of my eye I perceived another angel flying alongside me. It was large and very fast. I slowed down to get a better look and watched it fly figure eights and spirals. It made me dizzy to look at it. I thought to resume my own pleasures while trying to ignore the faster angel when it slowed down enough for me to recognize Poppy!

She exclaimed, "That was terrific! I haven't had so much fun in ages."

"Poppy! What are you doing here?" I spit out in my astonishment.

She replied cheerfully, "The Bride told me to fetch you for your next assignment. Your flights inspired me to take a little play-break! Now, I don't even want to go back!"

Poppy was the happy kind of angel I wished I was.

Then with innocent enthusiasm she said, "Don't you adore the Bride? I just love how Her children form Her as She forms them.

Mothers are wonderful, aren't they? I think the best human mothers manifest God's love. In fact, I imagine that to be reunited with a holy mom makes heaven worth aspiring to, for a human that is."

I replied, "Poppy, wouldn't it have been nice to have a mother?"

"Yeah" said Poppy dreamily. "I suppose we can pretend the Bride and Jesus's mother, are our mothers. Mary reminds me of Eve or rather the kind of person Eve should have been instead of being so skeptical." With that, Poppy struck a cord in my soul and she knew it.

Quickly glossing over her insinuation of my negativity, I responded, "Mary is the most trusting person I have ever met. Eve never even suffered and she didn't trust God, but Mary suffered shame and embarrassment, physical hardships, abandonment, grief and separation and all the while she calmly and patiently trusted Him. Pretty amazing." As I heard myself speak those words I felt a cleansing and calming spirit surge through my heart.

Remembering why she came to meet me Poppy popped out of her nostalgia, "Your assignment! We must hurry. We need to gather the disciples and rush them over to Mary's house in Ephesus. She wants to speak to Her Son's best friends before She leaves them. Can you do that?"

"How will I find them?" I asked.

"Look here, I have programmed them into this ap called Find My Friends. I will take the ones north of this line and you grab the others. Ephesus, in Turkey, is also marked on this map. Now, let's hurry, Mary is ready to rejoin Her beloved Son. I have instructed Her angel to wait for us."

"Okay Poppy, but how do you expect me to gather people who can't even fly?"

Poppy's cheerful expression turned to sadness. I soon realized that it was the sadness of disappointment in me.

"My angel friend," she said condescendingly "simply tell their guardian angels that Mary wants to speak with them before She dies. They will figure it out. Once in a while God overcomes nature for His will to be done. This is one of those rare but important occasions.

Come on, let's go! I'll bet I can beat you to Ephesus!" With that Poppy took off like a rocket.

Up for the challenge I internalized my map and took off too.

When I arrived at the bedside of Mary (before Poppy) Gabriel was already there, and a few other angels and friends who I didn't recognize. Mary looked as radiant and lovely as She did when I first met Her giving birth last December. Her serene face greeted the disciples who one by one joined Her bedside audience.

When she was sure everyone had arrived, She began to speak. Her parting words brought tears to every human and angelic eye in the room.

“My children, I heard that My Son said to Mary and Martha, 'I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in Me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die?' I will die today, but I will live and never die.

I want you also to be filled with life, which is also the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit, so you too may never taste the corroding effects of sin and death."

Then She paused. I couldn't tell whether she was listening to receive the words, or if She merely needed to regain strength.

"I abjure you My children to endure life in peace and trust. Heal everyone who asks. Answer prayers for our Lord whenever and however you can. Feed the poor, heal the sick, give sight to the blind and knit lonely hearts to each other so that their sadness may turn to joy.

Remind the children of my Son's Bride, the Church, that although they are in this world, they are not of it. My peace I leave you."

Mary struggled to speak these final words: "Farewell my brothers and sisters, love each other, until we meet again...." then She paused and took one final breath of earth's air and whispered... "in glory."

Her eyes shut gently as in a deep sleep. The serene smile on Her face remained fixed to expose to us the pure joy of Her trusting heart.

I cannot tell you whether Her holy body was first placed in a tomb or whether it rose immediately. All of us witnesses of Her assumption straddled heaven and earth, so that we didn't know whether Her body was with Her soul or not when Poppy and Gabriel and all of the angels, even I, ascended with Mary's spirit.

We surrounded Her as a white luminous cloud up to the royal doors of the Throne Room of God where Jesus stood waiting to receive His holy Mother and Queen.

When we arrived She pulled away from us and went over to kneel before Him in the same manner that She knelt in prayer under His Cross. He reached down and tapped Her shoulder and extended His hand to lift Her up. She looked at His glowing face and received the hand of Her Lord and Son and then gracefully stood in front of Him. They hugged each other tightly both with tears of joy streaming down Their holy cheeks. Finally, They released Their grip on each other, and Jesus took Her hand again and said, "Come, Mother, I want to introduce you to Our Father." Michael then opened the royal doors. Mary walked in with Jesus close behind Her.

But before entering Jesus turned, grabbed my eyes with His, and said to me, "Go back now. I'll see you again in two weeks and then we can talk. Poppy, take him back to earth quickly for the final event of the year."

With that, Jesus entered the Throne Room and the huge royal doors closed behind Them.

Poppy look at me with a huge grin and said, "Wanna race?"