Spiritual April Report
Reflecting on The Past and Hoping in the Future
We have just completed the first quarter of a brand-new year and are hoping for the best. I am sure most of us are glad that 2020, and perhaps even the first few months of 2021 with its bad weather: rain, tornados, floods, and snowstorms across the country, are over. Imagine, snow in Houston!
On a lighter note, I am reminded of a personal experience I would like to relate to you. As some of you know, I grew up in San Diego, CA, two blocks from the beach. During my first year in the seminary, when it came time for all of us to go out and shovel snow on the seminary grounds, I would make sure that it was difficult to find me. I was finally discovered “working” in the library and dragged out by my classmate Richard Lambert (the former National Spiritual Advisor of the GCU) to help shovel the snow. They even took a picture of me shoveling and published it in the Byzantine Catholic World. That was the first opportunity my parents had to see me after I left home for the first time in my life.
In 2020, and into the beginning of this year, we were not able to travel freely, or shake hands, or hug those we love. We had to wear facemasks and keep six feet apart. Worst of all, we had to experience our loved ones dying in nursing homes and hospitals without their family by their side. Our churches were closed after the third Sunday in Lent, and the glorious singing by the entire congregation of Christ is Risen could not be heard. All this and other restrictions because of a coronavirus named COVID-19. We were not alone; the entire world was affected by this pandemic. The popular catch phrase became “we are all in this together.”
Indeed, we are all in this together but now, Spring has come, flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, the temperature is rising, and we are celebrating the Glorious Resurrection of our Lord. If this does not bring hope to our lives, nothing will. Because of His great love for us God has given us a new life by His Resurrection. In a world filled with sorrow and cares, the light shining from the Risen Lord gives us the hope and courage we need to continue our journey to eternal life with Him. The message of Pascha (Easter) breaks into our lives with its hope and joy in the face of the frustrations of our daily lives and the troubles of an imperfect world. We call Easter “Pascha,” which means pass over or a passage. It refers originally to the Jews flight from Egypt to freedom, from slavery into the promised land. For us Christians the word Pascha means the ultimate passage from sin to salvation, from death to life through the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Hopefully, we will pass over from the coronavirus pandemic to a healthier world.
As we look back over the past year with all its restrictions, problems, and sorrows, we have a great hope for our future leading into eternal life because we can experience and share with everyone the joy and hope that God has given us through His Resurrection.
It is the day of Resurrection, O people, let us be enlightened by it. The Passover is the Lord’s Passover, since Christ, our God, has brought us from death to life and from earth to heaven. Therefore, we sing the hymn of victory. (Matins of the Resurrection)
CHRIST IS RISEN!
INDEED HE IS RISEN!
Mitred Archpriest John S. Kachuba, GCU Spiritual Advisor