the green of Jesus
is breaking the ground
and the sweet
smell of delicious Jesus
is opening the house and
the dance of Jesus music
has hold of the air and
the world is turning
in the body of Jesus and
the future is possible
It took those last days of Lent to really drive the point home that salvation is wildly unpredictable. It's not something I understand – why seasons of spiritual earnestness must be punctuated here and there with unforeseen episodes of crashing and burning. I take comfort always in the example of the Apostle Peter who thrice denied his beloved Christ, and beat his breast over it, was wracked with agonizing regret, and yet came through to the other side of that self-disgust more in awe of his Christ- Jesus' Passion, His controversial message of humility and Love, His miraculous Resurrection – than ever.
This year, I'm approaching Holy Week like the prodigal son, head bowed, still reeking of my infirmities and foolishness, more keenly aware than usual of how thoroughly undeserving I am of this the Feast of all Feasts. Does this not blow your mind?!
And he shows mercy upon the last, and cares for the first; and to the one he gives, and upon the other he bestows gifts. And he both accepts the deeds, and welcomes the intention, and honors the acts and praises the offering. Wherefore, enter you all into the joy of your Lord; and receive your reward, both the first, and likewise the second. You rich and poor together, hold high festival. You sober and you heedless, honor the day. Rejoice today, both you who have fasted and you who have disregarded the fast. The table is full-laden; feast ye all sumptuously. The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.
- from St. John Chrysostom's Paschal Homily
Holy Week and Pascha contain the purest Joy there is – Joy unattached to circumstances or accomplishments, unfettered by potential loss – Joy whole, complete, in and of itself – Joy untainted by disappointment, Joy undiluted, Joy victorious! I feel hope welling up like a spring in my soul, that just a little while ago had seemed dry and barren as a desert. I'm preparing for Jesus' death with a song of triumph on my lips: Christ is Risen, Christ is Risen, Christ is Risen!