Reflections by Fr. David February 2020
February Reflection upon the Future - The Great Fast
In the upcoming February 2020, the personal schedule of our Christian lives are to be altered. It is the month we are given the opportunity, once again to begin the pilgrimage to Holy Week some forty days forward in April. The Church, which embodies faithful people for these many centuries, expects us to receive the grace of preparation quite seriously.. For these forty days do suggest a different daily routine.
In particular, the first four Sundays alert us to the personal and inner life seeking repentance as the means to our salvation. We are to honor and respect the practice (praxis) that become quite evident. It is a time which can be spent embracing the "Christ-like" attitude. of meekness and humility. In doing so, opportunities will arise for each of us to reflect upon our personal prayer life, our healthy and unhealthy habits, our personal faith in the benefits implicit in the many worship services.
During the month of February and March 2020 let us realize a deeper commitment to being present in the celebrations that can guide and enhance our Orthodox Christian understanding of the "benefits seen and unseen, that are given unto us."
It is in this third decade just beginning, that a new vision of our life and "calling" (Vocation) can and will manifest themselves as we extend ourselves and embrace the opportunities evident and precious because of the themes that are expressed each Sunday as they appear. It is necessary that WE together celebrate their significance.
Many of us have been born or "reborn" into Orthodoxy and IT'S symbols it's ways it's gestures, it's rituals,, and have the opportunity to participate in the process and "the way of salvation".. As deciples of Christ WE become led by the many episodes of change that is given to us as WE are able to receive them each Sunday.
This period of preparation, acceptance, and joining Christ and His Church as He celebrates for and with us is how we learn to be loved and to love! Our repentance of our mistakes of the past and present will be painful; yet full of the grace, the relief that one can feel when we have conquered the tribulations, weakness, and long-held secret malice and resentments! Remember: 'Judge not that you not be judged! These can and do give evidence of our changes made ; simple or complex.
It is in these the opportunities...prayer, repentance, almsgiving that our lives experience and foster the transformation required. It is the sacrifice of Time. The sacrifice of talent. The sacrifice of ourselves by being present Thus the significance of Christ, personal obedience, agony, trials, scourging death and third-day resurrection will shape us personally for good. Not evil1 WE become able of insight. Our participation builds consistency and perseverance that is required as we "live-into" the present and future days of the Great Fast.
"May we commit ourselves and one another ,and our whole lives to Christ our God'!
May it be ever so?