Heavenly KingFr. Barnabas Powell
Today, just a reminder that Sunday is the Feast of Pentecost. This threshold from one Church Season to another offers us a spiritual treasure house of insight and wisdom and instruction on how to take seriously and actually practice our faith in such a way that our life is changed!
For 50 days we have not knelt at the consecration of the gifts in the Divine Liturgy in honor of the universe changing event of the Resurrection of Christ. This complete and irreversible defeat of death is now working its way through the universe and through the inner universe of my own heart. Death is defeated for all Humanity. Our final enemy, death, is impotent and no longer the slavemaster that once held me in fear and the selfish pursuit of my own interests to the exclusion of love for others. Christ has made me free!
But I suffer a temptation towards three great giants that seek to capture me and drag me back into slavery: Ignorance, Forgetfulness, and Sloth (or thoughtlessness and laziness). These giants seek ways to keep me a slave to my fear and self centeredness.
So, the Holy Spirit preserves in His Church wisdom to keep me awake to my freedom and to constantly remake my life into the Likeness of Christ so I will feel at home in the Presence of my Creator. This wisdom preserved in the wise rhythm of the church year and the formative disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving (generosity) are the antidotes and the weapons that defeat these giants at every turn. We will use all the spiritual tools of our whole humanity: words, gestures, posture, sight, sound, taste, touch, and intellect to create a formidable spiritual fortress of spiritual maturity and focus to drive out of our daily lives every hint of the stench of death. We will abandon the failed poverty of selfish blindness and embrace the universe filled with the joy of our eternal victory in Jesus.
This Sunday we will reintroduce kneeling at the consecration of the Gifts with the kneeling prayers of Pentecost. This Sunday we will once again say the Prayer to the Holy Spirit:
Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of Truth
Who is everywhere Present and filling all things
Treasury of Good Gifts and Giver of Life
Come and Abide in us
Cleanse us from all sin
And save our souls, O Good One
Today, we stand before the Icon of the God Man made flesh for our sake and wait patiently until He sends us the Holy Spirit to empower us to forever live in the complete and life-changing victory He has won for us in His life-giving death and Resurrection.
We will not go back to that old prison! We are free!
For more information about the Christian celebration of Pentecost, go to: http://www.goarch.org/special/listen_learn_share/pentecost/index_html