Friday, March 13, 2015

When it comes to your spiritual journey, the struggle is EVERYTHING

We have arrived at the “half-way point” of our Great Lenten Journey, and the Church brings our attention solidly upon the Holy Precious and Life-Giving Cross of our Lord. In the Gospel for the Third Sunday of Great Lent we hear Jesus Christ challenge us to join Him on the Cross. “For whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Mark 8:34) The life of every Christian is found in the Cross, both the Cross of Christ and OUR cross which we carry through our daily struggles.

We know that anything of value is worth the hard work it takes to achieve. A good crop, a well built house, a successful business – these each are possible only with hard work and dedication. The same is true with our spiritual life in Christ. If we desire a good outcome, it will require hard work and dedication. That is why, half-way through Great Lent we hear the words of Christ, “For whoever desires to save his life will lost it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8.35-36)

It isn’t too late to dedicate the rest of your Great Lenten Journey to the hard work it will take to prepare your soul to encounter Jesus Christ in His glorious resurrection on Pascha when we will receive the eternal Light and sing, “Christ is risen from the dead!” Embrace the struggle that is Great Lent by fasting, increasing your prayer life, attending extra Church services, and serving the poor. As Christ says, “What will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8.37)

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