compassion, encouragement, new understanding, Philippians, preparation, St. Paul, The Sophia Center for Spirituality, waiting
We were just talking in our kitchen about by-gone days at the convent where, on the vigil of Easter (that’s today), there was major cleaning going on in every corner of the house. The weather spirits seem to know that we should renew that practice – although some of us have been working at it for weeks now. The sun is out and is tricking us into believing that it’s warm outside. The truth is that at present the temperature is just above 25F degrees. That makes it difficult to even consider flinging open the windows to start the cleaning. But it seems that cleaning will, in fact, be the order of the day.
While we wait for the great feast of Easter, hoping for a present day resurrection, it will be fitting to do so in quiet, in reverence for this opportunity of grace. How have we thus far become accustomed to inaction or to differently active days? Has our quotient of generosity, even in our thinking, been stretched toward our neighbors? Are we yet aware of the magnitude of the global — one might say “cosmic”– shift that we are experiencing?
As we wipe away cobwebs in high corners or climb to reach dust on ceiling fans will we go at the same time deep inside ourselves so as not to waste the opportunities that are hidden there? As we polish furniture or (even better) mirrors, will we look at our image to see if we have changed at all over the last month? As we recall Paul’s words to the Philippians who said that Jesus “did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at, but rather emptied himself…,” we might back up a few verses to see the advice that Paul gave just before that comment about how Jesus considered his fate. Perhaps it’s just the thing for a day of clearing and readying ourselves for a different kind of Easter celebration. Paul said:
In the name of the encouragement you owe me in Christ, in the name of the solace that love can give, of fellowship in spirit, compassion, and pity, I beg you: make my joy complete by your unanimity, possessing the one love, united in spirit and ideals. Never act out of rivalry or conceit: rather let all parties think humbly of others as superior to themselves, each of you looking to others’ interests rather than your own. (PHIL 2:1-4)
As the sun rises to new heights, may we do the same so that we may shine at the end of this day in new understanding of our place and role in this unique and precious moment of time.