Tuesday, April 9, 2013

We Are an Easter People

. . .  and Hallelujah is our song!

This was the caption on a poster in our hallway at home when I was growing up.  A quick google search for an image found this was within a quote from Pope John Paul II, but I am sure it pre-dated him.  That poster was bought at Zondervan's, I think, while Pope Paul VI was still alive.

It always made me smile, but more so in a silly way.  People don't go around talking that way, you know?

Well, maybe they do.  In my Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church during Easter season we say to each other, and many times during the Divine Liturgy, "Christ is Risen!"  "Indeed He is Risen!"

This is also coming across on the emails where we learned that one of our parishioners had a serious car accident and then subsequently passing to eternal life two weeks later on the Feast of Divine Mercy.  I loved this gentleman, an older Irish man that married a Ukrainian woman.  He coordinated the practice of daily Adoration and rosary in the presence of the Lord for an end to abortion, and for the intentions of our parish.  He would stand at the back of church and get signatures for people to take one or more days as their responsibility to pray.  He also arranged for the first parish trip to pray outside an abortion clinic.  That was the first of many trips I have participated in.  Was more than a little sad that he was gone so quickly and that due to him being in ICU, could not be visited for us to say goodbye and how much we loved him and how grateful we were for his leadership, prayers, and example in our parish.

Yesterday I did my parents' tax return.  It was ridiculously tricky at times for a return with a $0 balance - $0 to pay and $0 to refund.  It took a little Algebra to clear the error checks and ensure everything balanced in Turbo Tax.

When I was done with this little job of love for my parents, I looked up the Byzantine prayer for "After Work":

PRAYER AFTER WORK O Most sweet Jesus, You are the
fulfillment of all blessings. Fill my soul with joy and
gladness and save me. Grant that your Name be
glorified: for not to us, but to your Name are forever
due honor, glory, and adoration. Amen

As soon as I finished the part "Fill my soul with joy" I did feel some joy creep into my soul.  It wasn't just relief that the return had been filed and within the hour accepted by the IRS.  Instead it reminded me how odd it is that I could be so firm in my belief in the risen Lord, and in his constant presence, and his loving plan and hand in my life, and the lives of all his beloved children who love him, and not be filled with joy as more frequent condition.

Hope you have similar experience when you pray this prayer.

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