April 20, 2017

Bright Thursday; Venerable Father Theodore Trichinas (that is, “the one who wears a hair shirt”); Holy Anastasius of Mt. Sinai

Acts 2:38-43; John 3:1-15

Christ is risen! Truly, He is risen!

The Wind Blows where it wishes…

In the early Church, the newly baptized Christians received a series of teachings during the week following Pascha (Bright Week) and for some weeks following. The teachings further explained the Holy Mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation, and the Eucharist. Bright Week today, for those of us who were baptized as infants, is a time to further reflect on these three Holy Mysteries in light of the celebration of the Death and Resurrection of our Lord.

If you have ever lived on the prairies, you’ll note that there is hardly a day without some sort of wind or breeze blowing. Can you see the wind? Of course not. But you can sense it, you can feel it. The Lord used this example in today’s Gospel for Nicodemus to understand the movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives as baptized Christians, born of water and the Spirit. If we wish to continue to grow in holiness, if we want to grow in a particular virtue, or root out a sinful behavior (vice), then we have to let the Holy Spirit “blow where it wishes.” We must willingly let ourselves be led the Divine Grace. It’s like a flower or tree bending and swaying to wind.

Fr. Bob Bedard, a Canadian priest who founded a community of priests that serve throughout North America, proposed this giving permission for the Lord to act in our lives within a small prayer. He called it the “dangerous prayer:”

Lord, whatever you want me to do, I will do.

It’s simple and it’s direct. Perhaps you’ll make this your prayer today. If you do, the Spirit, Who is already at home within you, will move in ways you didn’t expect. You won’t see Him. But you’ll sense Him, you’ll feel Him.