Take a moment to think about your every pain. Your every struggle and desperate cry for help.
Now multiply that by seven billion people. This is the meaning of Pascha.
Christ took everyone’s pain upon Himself, and in return, He gave us love and forgiveness.
On Holy Thursday, my priest shared a powerful analogy. There are two types of people in this world. We are either Judas, filled with guilt and despair, or Peter, filled with fear and shame.
I, quite frankly, am both. This Lenten season had a deep and transformative meaning for me, most probably because I have lost hope recently, and am trapped in a repeated cycle of despair.
For years, I’ve been praying about the same things. For the past ten years, I’ve been asking God to lead me to my vocation, something I enjoy and can do for His glory. For a visa to America where I’ve dreamed of living and working in New York City and a healthy Christian love, both a friend and partner in crime.
These prayers have lived in my heart for so long, I have struggled and grappled with them. However, as I get older and slowly enter the stage of life called adulthood, these questions – and their answers – come with greater risk and responsibility.
Pascha is New Life.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me (Psalm 50)” was my Lenten prayer.
But now, just six days after Pascha, I have sunk back into the pit.
Last night, lying flat on the ground smoking a cigarette, I looked up at the night sky and asked God, “Why do you do this to me?”
Everyone around me has moved forward. Serious relationships have blossomed, engagement announcements are pending, promotions, job offers, and grad school acceptances have been granted. There are cross-country moves and travel galore. Yet, here I am. Same old, same old.
The Myrrhbearing marathon of Lent has just begun. In Bright week, we sit in the Garden of the Resurrection, not in death but in Life – a life of love, joy, and hope.
As the Myrrhbearers at the foot of the Cross, and again on the morning of the Resurrection, we must never waver in our faith and love of Christ. The Myrrhbearers never lost focus. Their sense of duty and commitment forged a way through their fears as they continued to seek Him. Women, who proclaimed the news unto the apostles, once again birthed life into the world.
While our life might be the same, the spirit is renewed. Our worries and burdens must be transformed into prayers of humility. Our prayers must be said with hope in God, believing truly in his Divine Will.
Sitting at the foot of the Cross, eyes on Christ, we must never ever lose sight of Him. Trusting that every moment is a handcrafted stitch in His Master tapestry, perfectly fabricated to help us, and others, heal.
Understanding that it is not always about us. The stagnation might be a synchronized opportunity for us to serve others in need or a time of preparation for where we are to go. To be willing, like the animals, to not only do things for God but with God.
We must realize the Holy Resurrection every day of our lives. We must never cease believing in it. For above all, there is no greater crime than to lose hope.
Christ is Risen, Indeed He has Risen!
If a man has no worries about himself at all for the sake of love toward God and the working of good deeds, knowing that God is taking care of him, this is a true and wise hope. But if a man takes care of his own business and turns to God in prayer only when misfortunes come upon him which are beyond his power, and then he begins to hope in God, such a hope is vain and false. A true hope seeks only the Kingdom of God… the heart can have no peace until it obtains such a hope. This hope pacifies the heart and produces joy within it.
– St. Seraphim of Sarov