Sunday, May 1, 2016

Resurrection and (the) life

I don't mind divulging that over the whole of this Easter I've been experiencing something of a spiritual dry spell. By God's grace, I no longer panic when this happens by worrying about what I've done wrong to merit God's withdrawal. The reality is, dry spell or no, I do plenty wrong. But God is not fickle, like I am, and so God's disposition towards me never changes. He looks on me with great tenderness. One of the battles I fought for years, and sometimes still fight, is learning to gaze on myself with the same tenderness with which Christ, in his mercy, always gazes on me. At least from my perspective, the tenderness of Christ's gaze is the rock on which we must build our house. Every other foundation is sand.

The first weekend of the month is the one week I try not to have any parish duties- even deacons need a full weekend here and there. After serving at First Communion Mass yesterday, I stayed in the parish office and worked on some writing projects that were due. As the time passed I thought about going home, but I strongly felt the Lord calling me to head over to the church and serve at the Saturday Vigil Mass.

St. Olaf Church, Bountiful, Utah

The Mass was nothing out of the (extra)ordinary (Mass is ever extraordinary). In fact, due to the First Communion Mass earlier that day and the impending wind storm, which raged all night with gusts up to 90 mph, the Vigil Mass was sparsely attended. We had a cantor who sang a cappella, which I like sometimes. My parish actually chants pretty well.

As I walked from the Church to my car after talking to a parishioner who was widowed this week about life, death, the Eucharist and community, I found myself spontaneously singing the Easter "Alleluia" over and over all the way home, beginning as I walked across the parking lot. It's not that I couldn't stop singing "Alleluia," it's that I didn't want to stop. I don't want to stop today, especially now that many of our Orthodox brothers and sisters now join us in our annual celebration of Christ's glorious resurrection.
Thank you Lord Jesus for sending your Holy Spirit. As you said, the Spirit cannot come unless you send him (John 16:7). Help me to continue to live the mystery of your resurrection and ascension by the power of your Holy Spirit, who is your presence in us and among us as we await your return in glory. Alleluia, alleluia

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