“O Lord, You sent down Your All-Holy Spirit at the third hour to Your Apostles. Do not take Him away from us, O Good One, but renew us, who pray to You.” (Byzantine Troparion of the Third Hour)
It is almost nine o’clock (i.e. “the third hour”), and I am running late. I received some disturbing news earlier this morning from a dear friend, who has been diagnosed with a huge tumor, and must soon undergo very serious and unexpected surgery. She is my age, and stronger than I am in faith, I must say, because in this case, quite amazingly, I found her words to me, full of humble practicality, very strengthening and consoling, while I had nothing to offer but dumbfounded grief and pain for my beloved friend.
Today, at this Third Hour, let me be strengthened and renewed by the grace of the Holy Spirit, sent down so abundantly and continuously upon us, in dear friends, in our fellowship of the Spirit, in the one Body of Christ. May He be our continued Source of strength, humility, courage, and mutual love, in one another and through one another, on our cross-carrying journeys, toward the Light of His and our resurrection. “O Good One, renew us, who pray to You.”