Awareness means consciousness/knowledge and another word for awareness is "wakefulness." In the past few weeks during the Tridium (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday) I could not help but be "aware" of all that was taking place both from around me and within. Without were the beautiful liturgies that so moved me and assisted me in capturing, even if it be for a moment the last week and three days of Christ and then his glorious resurrection. I was sorrowful, grieved but then elated with hope and joy at his resurrection. What a beautiful moment when the angel said to the women who went to the tomb "Why do you seek the living amongst the dead?" Throughout that time I became so conscious of Christ's humanity and ever thankful for it but also his divinity; fully human, fully divine. Thankful because I struggled during this time with my own darkness, my own weaknesses and my own challenges. Why was this coming up now? Why couldn't this be a time of peace and grace? Oh, how I wanted to be comforted, to be calm but this was not the case. As the Tridium progressed I became distracted, unaware and could we say perhaps "unconscious?" How I wanted to avoid the very struggles I was faced with, how I wanted to be numb to them! Is this Holy Week I thought, is this what Lent is about and is this joy? As time went on I stumbled, I fell and I felt defeated. Is this resurrection life? Will I ever really be transformed, converted into more of Christ's likeness?
Often it is in the stillness that the grace filled movement comes to me. It visits with divine love and speaks the words of truth, the words of hope. I am human, I do fall and if I did not what then would Christ's death mean? What was it for?
This past Sunday in our weekly newsletter one of our staff wrote a beautiful reflection on Peter. How he denied Christ three times and then Christ appears to him and the disciples on the Shores of the Sea of Tiberius. Peter recognized that voice and jumps from the boat to swim to Jesus. Was Peter ashamed of those times he denied Christ and was he weak? I would say yes but that could not surpass that voice of love! The voice that called to him, to his disciples, to me, to you and calls us to share a meal with him. "I am the bread of life" he later states. Peter was asked three times "Do you love me?" and each time he replied "Yes." Each time Christ called Peter to service "Feed my sheep." Tend my lambs." "Feed my sheep." As the writer in our newsletter so wonderfully wrote, "Peter was given a second chance and was also called to service." How often have I been given a second chance? How often have you been?
I am very aware now in fact "awakened" and through this grace filled journey these past few months I would never have guessed the challenges I would have endured during this season of Lent. My challenges were not only physical, they were actually easy in comparison to the spiritual and it is not only my physical body that has been awakened but my spiritual as well. In reality are they not integrated and one of the same? For I shall not only rise in Spirit but in body and not only my Spirit lives but so does my body and soul, mind and heart. I know that my redeemer lives and on the last day I shall see him face to face. For now though he lives in me now and it is here that I have been given a second chance, a new life and it is here that I have been asked to serve.
Journey with me as I and we watch this unfold.
I am full of hope!
Blessings to each of you and may each of you know the joy of his glorious resurrection, your new life and be ever thankful, as am I that he is a God of "Second Chances!"
Grace to you,