Sunday, April 19, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
If anyone is devout and a lover of God, let him enjoy this beautiful and radiant festival. If anyone is a wise servant, let him, rejoicing, enter into the joy of his Lord. If anyone has wearied himself in fasting, let him now receive his recompense.
If anyone has labored from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If anyone has come at the third hour, with thanksgiving let him keep the feast. If anyone has arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; for he shall suffer no loss. If anyone has delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near without hesitation. If anyone has arrived even at the eleventh hour, let him not fear on account of his delay. For the Master is gracious and receives the last, even as the first; he gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour, just as to him who has labored from the first. He has mercy upon the last and cares for the first; to the one he gives, and to the other he is gracious. He both honors the work and praises the intention.
Enter all of you, therefore, into the joy of our Lord, and, whether first or last, receive your reward. O rich and poor, one with another, dance for joy! O you ascetics and you negligent, celebrate the day! You that have fasted and you that have disregarded the fast, rejoice today! The table is rich-laden; feast royally, all of you! The calf is fatted; let no one go forth hungry!
Let all partake of the feast of faith. Let all receive the riches of goodness. Let no one lament his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one mourn his transgressions, for pardon has dawned from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Saviour's death has set us free.
He that was taken by death has annihilated it! He descended into hades and took hades captive! He embittered it when it tasted his flesh! And anticipating this Isaiah exclaimed, "Hades was embittered when it encountered thee in the lower regions." It was embittered, for it was abolished! It was embittered, for it was mocked! It was embittered, for it was purged! It was embittered, for it was despoiled! It was embittered, for it was bound in chains!
It took a body and, face to face, met God! It took earth and encountered heaven! It took what it saw but crumbled before what it had not seen!
"O death, where is thy sting? O hades, where is thy victory?"
Christ is risen, and you are overthrown!
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen!
Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is risen, and life reigns!
Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in a tomb!
For Christ, being raised from the dead, has become the First-fruits of them that slept.
To him be glory and might unto ages of ages. Amen.
Friday, April 10, 2009
This executioner's fee
These bloodied pieces of silver
This Iscariot, never free.
This Garden of Olives
This scene of desolation
These branches bent to hear
This cry of supplication.
This Simon renamed Rock
This bold strength crumbled
These tears of sorrow
This rashness humbled.
This place of the Skull
This tree good for food
These words of salvation
This Garden now renewed.
This Christ, Son of God
This man pierced by a spear
These waters to cleanse us
This love casting out fear.
This Friday we call Good
This time of heaven on earth
These hours of dark
This day of man's rebirth.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
"...Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly."
Now none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him.
Some thought that since Judas kept the money bag, Jesus had told him,
"Buy what we need for the feast," or to give something to the poor.
--- the hospice doorbell rang. So Peggy put her sandals on and left at once. When she had left,
"Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified..."
Friday, April 3, 2009
I could start a car, operation of machinery and all, and go somewhere - but, no car. Sopping up water as it leaches up through one's own basement floor doesn't count for work: no way out of that one. Same goes for feeding the cats (cats; livestock - doesn't make a difference unless you try shearing them). My lunch of codfish cakes might or might not be kosher, but it's meatless. No dessert. Etc. Chocolate! Now! In round donut form!
Still, it's not irredeemable. The weather has a wild feel to it that Chesterton would love, and I just so happen to be curled up on the couch with a novel of his. The coffee is fresh, my housemates are out, it is a Day Without Work. I haven't had one of those in over a month, and since tomorrow I'm at the sisters' before heading straight to my job...
The sisters. The ones on the other end of the phone. Since I'm "resting" (Oops. Just oops.), I can come early - please - to make breakfast for the residents! Yes?
Yes. 'No' has never been a word in the Missionary of Charity vocabulary. They don't call expecting to hear it. It is 'yes'; it is obedience; it is always being ready to go - or come - in haste. It is getting up before dawn. Again. For now, though, I'm still enjoying my semi-Sabbath.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Edward Aull, Feb. 26 1947 - March 30 2009.
A resource on all the goings-on around the home, even during his hospital stays. A companion for other, sicker residents needing to get to appointments. An errand-runner who would go clear to the outskirts of Baltimore just to get new fish for the lounge tank. A lector at the church around the corner. A military history buff and Scripture student. A shadow in the kitchen doorway every Monday and Tuesday.
A man given only six months to live, who survived for over two years. A husband and father, now with the wife and son he lost years ago. A man released from our care, and into God's.
"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, even though he die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"