Most travelers will tell you upon returning from a long trip that they have been changed forever by their journey. It was not long ago that the idea of pilgrimage was still a vibrant and common experience for most Christians. Unfortunately today we may live our spiritual lives within the same spiritual four walls for years on end. This is why the experience of the Lenten journey is so important. It challenges us to go beyond what we already know and beyond what we usually experience. In a sense this spiritual odyssey invites us to stretch the fabric of our spiritual being and as a result we are changed for the better.
I pray that your experiences from our Lenten journey have had this positive effect on the disposition of your soul. Hopefully you have noticed that you are not the same person today that began the march towards Pascha on Clean Monday. Instead you have realized that each endeavor during the Lenten season, whether confession, increased prayer, the reading of Holy Scripture, care for the poor, is like a snapshot of a new destination, a place never visited before. I hope you have filed these pictures away in a spiritual scrapbook and that like any seasoned traveler you plan to add more destinations and pictures to your album as you continue the journey.
Now in reviewing where we’ve been we realize that a little more of the old man has died and in its place the new man spoken of by St. Paul emerges. We are not the same, but there is something else as travelers along the Way we have joined with other luminary figures within the Holy Bible who also labeled themselves sojourners, such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. They saw themselves as travelers who for a time lived here on earth on this side of eternity. We too understand that this is the proper disposition of a Christian, he or she understands that this life is temporary and so they begin their preparations for the next life now. This Lenten season we joined is timeless but essential. It helps us develop this proper frame of mind, that of the well-worn traveler, who is on their way towards their heavenly rest. During their journey they have endeavored to establish themselves in a new way of living and with new patterns that bring about the light and life of Christ in each of us.
We hope and pray for God’s continued grace upon each traveler that we may continue on our Way in the days and years to come toward our final destination, the Kingdom of God!
With love and prayer in the Risen Lord, Christ is Risen!