Not only CAN you take it home, you MUST
...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 3:47 PM [+]
In the midst of all we are doing, I have been having pressed upon me (perhaps by the Holy Spirit) a nagging sense that this experience we are having should be more than an experience in and of itself. It ought to be something that is changing us. It's far more than a vacation from which we will retain a few fond memories or stories and perhaps create a slide show to entertain friends. Instead, all that we are doing as the pinnacle of our Lenten experience should have lasting effects.
For many of us this "Liturgication" threatens to be indiscernible from a regular vacation filled with pretty sights, warm fuzzy feelings, nice music and some good drink and food. If we allow it to only be this for us, then perhaps we would have been better off just going to work.
Are we growing? Are we climbing the ladder? Are we seeing fruit in our lives? Are we changing? Are we seeing us move, albeit slowly, ever closer to fulfilling our vocation of fully being the Image and Likeness of God? Or are we content to remain as we are and be entertained by the richness of this week?
I think it is fair to suggest that the Resurrection made a rather significant change in the lives of the Disciples. It leaves me wondering, in my seemingly changeless state, whether or not I've allowed my eyes to be opened to see the reality of what we experience this week and through Pascha itself. As we lead up to Pascha and are experiencing the crucifixion and death of our lord, you will hear us praying in the hymns over and over again, asking that our Lord "SHOW us also Thy Resurrection..." Yes, to soothe the pain of experiencing death and torture, but perhaps also we ask in order to have our eyes opened to the reality of it?
Perhaps our personal prayers should also involve us asking: "Make it real to me...not just on an emotional level, but to a degree that shakes me free of myself. SHOW us Thy Resurrection and let us be forever changed."
Lent is not unlike a great revival because throughout it we are exhorted to wake our souls from sleep, to reanimate ourselves into the reality of the Kingdom...a reality to which we are usually utterly oblivious. This week, though no longer technically Lent, is the culmination of all our efforts. And, in the spirit of St. John's Paschal homily, even if we did little in Lent, it's not too late.
I want His Resurrection to be mine as well. His victory over death and sin to be the first fruits of my humble victories (even if just from time to time) over my passions and sins. A Resurrection that leaves me startled into reality and ready to live the day to day life I ought to be living. Not that I seek to walk away from this week ready to be reverenced as a Saint by my new found willingness to live such a life...rather I'd just like to see it awaken me a little from the selfish sleep I'm stuck in. Just a little. Some change. Some progress. Make it REAL! We're not going to see a movie, we're going to have a life-altering experience. We (I) need to orient myself toward this goal.
We worship Thy passion, O Christ. Show us also Thy glorious resurrection.