From commitment to Resurrection

“Father, into your hands I commit/commend my spirit” (Lk 23:46)

It is certainly risky to commit ourselves – individually or as community – to someone or something. It is even riskier to release ourselves into the hands of another. Experience of disappointments leads us to suspicion.

What cause is worthy of our commitment? What person is worthy of our self-sacrificial love? Whom can I trust?

After committing their lives to Jesus, the apostles must have been quite disturbed to hear Jesus’ words from the cross “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mk 15:34). If God the Father had forsaken him, what about them? Had they heard the words of Jesus’ final cry? Only Luke records them: “Father, into your hands I commend (commit) my spirit” (Lk 23:46).

Probably only after reflection did they look at the psalm from which Jesus took these (former) words. Psalm 22 starts with a complaint but ends with thanksgiving for victory. On the cross, Jesus was truly enthroned as the King of Glory, as the icon of the crucifixion is often captioned.

Jesus’ will was one with the will of the Father. The cross and the resurrection required Jesus’ cooperation; he didn’t just sit back and passively accept his fate.

Similarly, our lives will have meaning if we join our wills to that of the Father.

Since Jesus no longer walks our streets as he once did; we rely on our common relationship with the resurrected Christ.

In the new edition of the Divine Liturgy, the deacon calls us to “commit (rather than “commend”) ourselves and one another and our whole lives to Christ our God.” In the Divine Liturgy, we join Christ whose total commitment to the will of the Father included his entrusting himself to the Father’s care but also doing what was directed.

Similarly, we entrust ourselves to the power of God by committing ourselves to doing his will.

Let our lives proceed from the apparent lack of God’s help in doing what we believe is necessary (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) to commitment to do the Father’s will and trust in him (“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit”).

The Resurrection will become a reality, to a degree as we proceed through this earthly journey, but totally afterwards.

Let us proceed through Psalm 22 to the last verse: “Let the coming generation be told of the Lord that they may proclaim to a people yet to be born the justice he has shown.” Let all people know that

CHRIST IS RISEN!
INDEED HE IS RISEN!

Bishop John Kudrick is the bishop of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma Ohio.

www.parma.org


Teachings of Christ

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

"The wage of the righteous leads to life, the gain of the wicked to sin." (Proverbs 10:10 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When you are praying alone, and your spirit is dejected, and you are wearied and oppressed by your loneliness, remember then, as always, that God the Trinity looks upon you with eyes brighter than the sun; also all the angels, your own Guardian Angel, and all the Saints of God. Truly they do; for they are all one in God, and where God is, there are they also. Where the sun is, thither also are directed all its rays. Try to understand what this means.

St. John of Kronstadt