To Ponder: ἐντός (entos)

image“ For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” – Mat. 18:20

“Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Lo, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”

Luke 17:20-21 from the RSV

“Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”

Luke 17:21 from KJV

Why the different translation? The Greek word in question here is ἐντός (entos). It can mean “in the midst of you” or “within you”. Or perhaps it means both? Perhaps Christ is referring to both the Church and our bodies – our bodies being the temples of God (1Corinthians).

Since someone has always said it better, I will quote Bishop Alexander’s lecture on the Corpus Dionysius given October 3rd, 2001 at Marquette University.

“The Liber Graduum, whose author is confronted by certain ascetics living away “off on the Mountain” and disdaining the liturgy and sacraments, offers [a] coördination between, as he puts it, the “three churches”: the heavenly church, the earthly church of sacraments and clergy, and the “little church” of the heart. It is the middle term, he insists, the earthly church, which enables the Christian “to find himself in the Church of the heart and [thence] in the Church on high”….
Ephrem Syrus’ Hymns on Paradise, offer a striking set of parallels between: (1) the Paradise Mountain; (2) Sinai; (3) the Jerusalem Temple; (4) the Christian Church; and (5) the human being. On the peak of the Paradise Mountain enthroned on the Tree of Life, on the summit of Sinai, within the holy of holies of the Temple, on the altar of the Church, and in the innermost chambers of the human spirit we find Christ. Ephrem also, on at least one occasion, refers to Christ’s presence as the Shekinta, i.e., he deploys the same word (in its Syriac form) as the Shekinah of the Rabbis, who in their turn use it to mean the radiant manifestation of God, the divine Glory abiding in Israel. For Ephrem … this radiance and splendor of God in Christ abides in the Church and in the Christian. It is the secret within the complementary sanctuaries of the Church and the heart.”

Let us mystically represent the Cherubim and sing the Thrice Holy Hymn. Holy Holy Holy Lord of Sabaoth.

– שְׁמוּאֶל

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