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


Christ is Risen!

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and to those in the tombs bestowing life! (Troparion)

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

Although You descended into the tomb, O Immortal One, * You destroyed the power of Hades; * You arose as the victor, O Christ God, * proclaiming to the myrrh-bearing women: “Rejoice!” * And granting peace to Your Apostles, * O, You, Who gives resurrection to the fallen. (Kontakion)

Teachings of Christ

“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 ESV)

Entry into Jerusalem

As we were buried with You through Baptism, O Christ our God, * we were made worthy of immortal life by Your Resurrection, * and we praise You in song, crying out: * “Hosanna in the highest! * Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord.” (Troparion, Tone 4)

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

As you were carried upon a throne in heaven and upon a colt on earth, * O Christ God, you accepted the praise of angels and the songs of children who cry out to You: * “Blessed are You Who has come to to call back Adam!” (Kontakion, Tone 6)

Random Proverb

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." (Proverbs 11:24 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

BROTHER: What is purity of soul?

OLD MAN: Remoteness from anger and from the error of the remembrance of evil things, and being weaned from the bitter nature, and reconciliation with our enemies, and peace which is beyond troubling, and simplicity of love which is above this world; with these things is the inner man cleansed, and he puts on Christ and is redeemed.


E. A. Wallis Budge, "The Paradise of the Holy Fathers"