Holy Week 2015 (PDF)

All of the blogs which I posted during this year’s Holy Week are now available for viewing as one document at Holy Week 2015 (PDF).

You can find links to all the Pre-Lenten, Lenten and Holy Week blogs I’ve posted for the past years as PDFs at Fr. Ted’s Blog Series.   Each year I collect all of the posted blogs from the Lenten season, Holy Week and Bright Week  and put them together as  PDFs.

Bright Monday (2015)

Christ is risen!   Truly He is risen!

Pascha is not simply a onetime event, even if a spectacular divine resurrection from the dead!   Pascha is what we live daily and in eternity: humanity permanent united to God. Even death itself cannot break that union.

“The purpose and the entire mission of the incarnate Word is prompted by God’s love for the world, an unconditional love willing to risk the death of the only Son on the cross (John 3:16). Christ lived and died for the sake of the world. ‘In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him’ (1 John 4:9). The eternal Word became flesh, he taught and healed, that the intimate unity and love between the Father and the Son might be shared with those who turn to the Son and to his saving work with faith and love (John 17:20-26). The life of the believer is intended to be an unceasing Pascha of love in union with the Father and the Son. ‘If one loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him’ (14:23).”   (Theodore Stylianopoulos, ENCOURAGED BY THE SCRIPTURES, pp 6-7)

2015 Paschal Greetings

Dear  Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The image of the Passover in in the Old Testament is one of people setting off on a journey.   The people are instructed to eat unleavened bread as a sign that the journey is hurried – they haven’t even time to let the bread rise.  Rather, they are to eat with their shoes on and ready to start traveling at once.  The travel is urgent!

So for us every year we keep Pascha as a supremely urgent journey which begins with our seeking forgiveness of one another and then plunging us into Great Lent.  And, whether we keep Lent strictly or not, often it seems like a long journey.  Week after week we  persevere.   The services are long – if we are fasting, we tire more easily.  The Lenten services take of our precious time.   Patience can wear thin – a form of Lenten road rage emerges as we impatiently judge those around us who annoy us.

This year, we had a number of people join our community in the sojourn.  Our numbers increased as we worked our way toward Pascha.   We have asked God to sojourn with them and us:  “Let God arise” and lead us toward the Kingdom, despite threats and enemies in the world.  We move as did ancient Israel through a hostile world seeking the promise of the Kingdom of Heaven.

We remind ourselves every year of the destination – Pascha, the resurrection of Christ.  And we recognize that though the destination is clear, the sojourn continues.  Daily we carry the Cross always moving toward God.   We walk with Christ, beginning at His tomb, which is also our baptismal font.  We are buried with Christ in baptism, and then raised with Him to a new life.  Through His Cross, joy has come into all the world.  

May God bless you and strengthen you to continue the sojourn.  Rejoice constantly on the road to God’s Kingdom. Ultimately, the suffering of this world is nothing when compared to the glories of the world to come.

Christ is risen!