Tuesday, September 26, 2023
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Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Monday, September 11, 2023
I wrote this earlier today.
September 11: 22 years ago. A whole generation has grownup after what we know as 9/11.
My Husband was in New Jersey on this fateful day.
On the Julian calendar (the one our church uses) it is the somber Feast of the Beheading of St John the Baptist.
My Husband was in liturgy for this feast and did not know of the tragdy until later that day.
I was living in Fort Langley BC Canada and was in the middle of my undergraduate studies (for various reasons including moving schools it took me 8 years to finish my Hons BA in English Lit).
My roommate at the time told me the shocking news. I remember calling a dear friend who lived South of the Border (i.e. the US) and telling her to stay home as the border was closed. We were all in shock.
Now, 22 years later, I live very near to Manhattan (on the NJ side) and not far from, as the crow flies, from the former World Trade Centre Twin Towers. I can see the new building, the Freedom Tower, as it is sometimes called, if I go within 30 minutes of where I live.
When inexplicable (to us on this side of things) tragedy and horror happens we mourn.
But our mourning must also include repentance. We must cling to Christ over all and trust Him when our lives are falling apart.
Met Kallistos Ware in his book 'The Inner Kingdom' that what man desire most of all, but does not realize, is repentance.
St John the Baptist, along with Jesus' Mother, (who was chosen to bear the second Person of the Triune God), to be the GREATEST of Saints. St John the Baptist's humility (I must decrease so He can increase) is to be our guide in this life. His call to repentance to prepare people's hearts for the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, is still on going today.
We, myself included, must learn to see things with new eyes.
What can be seen, in St John the Baptist's beheading, after a young woman dances and the king promises her anything and her evil mother asks for St John the Baptist's head, is a horrible thing.
But that is not the end. I still remember my priest in Ottawa peaching on this, straight from the Church's understanding:
As St John the Baptist preached the coming of Christ on earth, so he was sent down to Hades, before Christ came to it and broke hell's gates on Pascha (Easter), to do what? to preach to all in Hades that Christ is coming there.
St John the Baptist foretold the GREATEST of victories, our Lord's Ressurection.
So do you see? What seems on this somber day to be a triumph of evil became the proclamation of the greatest news that the world would ever hear:
Christ is not here, He has Risen.
Christ is Risen! Indeed HE IS RISEN.