LIVING, NOT DYING, IN THE NOW
(Thursday, April 27)
“Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.” (Jn 5:25)
I was sitting in my room here in Rome, looking at today’s Gospel-reading, and the above-quoted part stopped me in my tracks. “…The hour is coming, and now is…” We always have that moment “coming,” when we, often behaving like the walking dead, can (potentially) hear the voice of the Son of God. And that hour can always become our now, when we really hear it, and live. Because He never stops speaking to us, calling to us, to wake up, to come out, like Lazarus from his tomb in Bethany. It’s understandable, it’s human, really, every now and then to be down, perhaps exhausted from whatever trials we are experiencing. Or perhaps we have scrolled down into the rabbit-hole someone else is experiencing, and feel discouraged by our world as it is. But this morning our Lord says to us, “most assuredly,” that “the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.” What does it mean, to “hear” His voice, and what is it saying? To hear His voice means: (A) to stop conversing with the darkness, as in “Hello darkness my old friend…”, and instead (B) to pick up some healthy reading, like today’s Gospel passage. I like to call this my “light reading,” whereas scrolling through certain Orthodox social media is often rather “dark reading.” Not always, but often it’s rather dark. My “light reading” this morning exposes me to the light of One who reminds me to “pass from death to life,” and that this is possible for me, when I am willing to listen.
Christ is risen, my friends, and is alive and well in our midst. His voice is always speaking, in all the life-creating words He has offered us. And He is also listening. He also listens to my voice, as I’m saying my First Hour prayer: “In the morning hear my voice, my King and my God!” Let me keep saying that this Thursday morning, from my heart, keeping it open to life and life abundantly. (For more on praying The First Hour, see my new little book, Praying in Time.)