Posted by: Terry | April 13, 2017

Easter Triduum begins – my Holy Week so far

2348016316_e001d55790_zLast Sunday, Mo. Cynthia observed that the needs and state of the world have resulted in many of us developing “compassion fatigue.” We feel overwhelmed and even small when confronted with all that needs doing, frustrated at the things that seem impossible to change. Her advice was to become immersed in Jesus’s Passion and Resurrection; let the message of the Cross bring comfort, motivation, and direction for how we face the real world that we live in. So what have I learned so far this week.

Monday’s reading was from Philippines, “That I may know him… I press on… to take hold of that to which I was called.”

Our identification with Christ through baptism is our Exodus and entry in to the Kingdom of God; we are freed from the bondage, the journey begins. “He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son…” The Episcopalian phrase “Living in our baptism” makes sense. Baptism is the physical expression of our faith, it makes us part of the people of God. Now life is about living out God’s Kingdom each day – to press on, to reach for that which we were called for.

The Aorist tense in Greek does not have a clear equivalent in English. In its simplest concept it means an event that happened at a point in time with the effect carrying on into the future. When it comes to our relationship with God it is a wonderful concept: my Baptism with Christ places me in his kingdom once and for all, there is peace and security there. I am part of the family, brothers and sisters with Christ and with a common Father. The danger is that for many of is that once we enter the family we grab a chair and sit down, on our best behavior of course, but just waiting for the end when we spend eternity with God.

Paul said, “I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it…” When the Israelites were freed from the bondage in Egypt they had quite a journey ahead of them before they got to the promised land. When we enter the family of God we begin a journey to know Christ and to influence our world by living in our Baptism. I am reminded this Holy Week that everyday is a step toward taking hold of that to which I was called. Every act of love, every moment in prayer and meditation, every encouraging word, my failures and frustrations, all in little ways reveal Jesus to me and to the world, I get to know him a bit better.

Tuesday’s reading, “He will transform our lowly bodies so that we will be like his glorious body.”

My thoughts immediately went to the frustration that Paul expressed in Romans 7, “Who will free me from the body of this death?” I may be a full fledged member of God’s family and Kingdom, yet so often I fall short of all that I should be. My hope is to one day be freed from this body of death, it will be glory. On that day we will finally reach and grasp that which we are called for. Thankfully we are promised that this hope does not disappoint. So on those dark days when I fail, or when I am overwhelmed at the world, it is good to be reminded that one day it will all change, we will be like him, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Wednesday’s reading, Psalm 55 ended with, “But as for me, I trust in you.” And Jeremiah 17, “Heal me and I shall be healed… for you are the one I praise.”

What a thread, pressing on to know Christ, the hope of transformation, the promise of healing – all dependent on the one we praise and trust, the Lord. “How you pray is how you live.”

What I have pondered this Holy week is that this journey to know Christ is critically dependent on my daily time of prayer. The order of prayer that includes Praise from the Psalms, Lessons from Scripture, then Prayers common to other Christians as well as prayers from my own needs and the needs of others.

The remedy for compassion fatigue, is the daily application of the passion and resurrection of Christ.

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