As the month of April takes hold, and spring inches itself forward (a little slower then we would like), we are given this time to further prepare for the Holy Resurrection of Christ, Pascha. With the first Sunday in April (Sunday of the Cross) the whole Lenten character changes tone following the Gospels.
We have Jesus openly talking, and questioning his disciples (and us) about what is required to follow Him, what love and service are, and why He willingly goes to Jerusalem, to be betrayed, to suffer and to die.
The Church asks us, are we willing to take up our cross, and lose our life for Christ’s sake and the gospel’s (Mk. 8:35, Sunday of the Cross)? Are we willing to ask the Lord to help our unbelief (Mk. 9:24 Sunday of the Ladder)? Are we willing to be come the “slave of all” (Mk. 10:44, Sunday of Mary of Egypt)? And finally are we willing to say “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ The King of Israel!” (Jn. 12:13, Palm Sunday)?
As we work towards Pascha day by day, let us constantly offer Christ our “Amen” and “Yes” to these questions and challenges. Reminding ourselves that it is out of unconditional love for us, that Christ makes this journey to Golgotha and the Cross. And that it is the same love for us that Christ heals, feeds, strengthens, and enriches each of us, bringing us with him in his Glorious Resurrection.
We continue our Lenten Pan Orthodox Vespers Series this month at Holy Cross UOCC mission, Holy Resurrection ROCOR church, and finish up back at St. Nicholas for the Saturday of Mary of Egypt (April 20th). I encourage everyone to take this opportunity come out, to pray and meet with other Orthodox Christians across this city as we all work towards Pascha.
During the fast we are asked to do more then normal, pray more, go to Church more, give more, fast more, and attend to our spiritual life more. That includes confession. Father Bob, and myself are around and available for confession either before or after Vespers or Liturgy.
May the Lord bless us as we continue our journey towards His holy Pascha.