Especially at a time when the whole of humanity is affected by a pandemic and religious circles are discussing whether it can be a punishment of God, which some affirmative others strictly reject, it is important to look directly at God.
In all adversity, as the Psalms – the great prayer book of the Old Testament – teach us, we praise God. It is a time when our trust in God is in demand. This is especially true when circumstances cannot be explained to us and we ask ourselves where the Lord is and why all this is happening.
All the more important it is never to let the praise of God be silenced. Praise leads us away from ourselves and sinks into the goodness, glory and providence of God. It communicates to our soul – which may want to despair – the certainty of the wise divine guidance that is always there, even if we do not recognize it, and we only rely on the light of faith.
This is a great purification for our human spirit, which so eagerly wants to understand and classify everything. In this understanding and classification we find our security. But this is not a security in God himself, but ultimately in our mind.
The purification, however, causes us to rely completely on God in the “darkness of faith” when all the usual earthly securities step back and prove to be unsustainable.
And so, precisely at the beginning of this Easter season, that glorious period of the Church year which, in the joy of Easter, prepares us for the coming of the Holy Spirit, I wish to share this Trinitarian hymn with you. Harpa Dei and I are not in Jerusalem at this time either, as we had planned.
I am very aware that this Easter is different than usual – and for this very reason the praise of God must not be silenced, even though our temples are currently depopulated.
Let us praise our Lord Jesus Christ, who came out of love for his Father and for us to redeem us.
Likewise with the Father, we praise You, Son: Sun of salvation, light of light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one being with the Father. For us and for our salvation You came down from heaven, took flesh through the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary and became a true man, equal to us in everything except sin.
For thirty years you have lived in secret and sanctified this earth, placing yourself under the authority of a human mother and father. When the time came for you to reveal yourself to the world as the Messiah, you went up to the Jordan and were baptized by John the Baptist to fulfill all righteousness. Then the Spirit led you into the desert. For forty days you prayed and fasted there and fought off the devil’s presumptuous attacks for us.
Then you called your disciples to be with you, to share all your toil with you, and one day to continue your work. Then you began to reveal yourself to the world as the Messiah. You went from village to village and from city to city and preached the gospel of the Kingdom of God. You have healed the sick, made the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, the dumb speak, freed the possessed, cleansed the lepers and raised the dead. More and more people came to You to hear Your word, to be with You and to receive Your goodness. This aroused the envy of those who kept their hearts closed to You and some decided to kill You. You, however, withdrew from them and continued your work as your father had instructed you
When you were to complete this work through suffering and death and resurrection, you went up to Jerusalem. In Gethsemane you received once again the immeasurable suffering from the hands of the Father. An angel came and strengthened you. So you endured the betrayal of Judas, the disloyality of the disciples, the mockery and derision of the soldiers.
Before Pilate, your human judge, you kept silent. The women who cried for you, you pointed out the fate of Jerusalem. Silent as a lamb led to slaughter, you went up to Golgotha. Then they stripped you of your clothes and crucified you. But you spread out your arms and prayed for your tormentors. And when the hour came when you returned your spirit into the arms of the Father, you cried out “It is accomplished”.
On the third day You rose from the dead, appeared to the women and the disciples and taught them the ways of the kingdom of God until You went up into heaven to return to the Father and prepare our homes not without promising us to come again at the end of times, to judge the living and the dead, and that there will be no end to Your reign
Come Lord Jesus Maranatha!
Come, Lord Jesus Maranatha!
Come, Lord Jesus Maranatha!
How can we ever thank You, beloved Lord, for Your love and Your infinite mercy. Thus we worship You with all the angels and saints and praise Your name with all those who seek You, who worship You, who listen to You, for our brothers and sisters who still need purification, for those who do not know You, who live in confusion and perplexity and especially for those who keep their hearts closed to You.
For You are holy. For You are holy. For You are holy.
Harpa Dei accompanies the daily scriptural interpretation or spiritual teaching of Br. Elija, their spiritual father. These meditations can be heard on the following website www.en.elijamission.net