On this Holy Monday:
Let us pray to the Lord,
O you who observe all things with your eye that never sleeps, who afford us such saving lessons in your desire to grant mercy to all who seek it: We give you thanks for this evening that brings us before you once more. Now that we have completed the lenten season, enable us to enter into the week of the saviour’s passion with renewed earnestness and purpose. Drive far from us all sluggishness and dullness of mind and heart, and help us to break out of the prison of our mediocrity. As we ponder the story of Joseph, who, without knowing it, prefigured your Christ, enable us to imitate his wisdom and courage, that we, too, may be like your Son. And, lest we become sterile like the fig tree, bring our feeble efforts to fruition, that we may be worthy of the coming resurrection.
By the grace and mercy and love for us of your only Son, with whom you are blest, together with your all-holy, good, and life-giving Spirit: now and forever, and unto ages of ages. Amen. (A prayer of Fr. Laurence)
Today, as we embark on this journey to that “night that is brighter than the day,” let’s contemplate the connection between mediocrity and sterility. A mediocre devotion leads to a sterile faith, a faith that cannot (and should not) reproduce itself.
Holy Week gives us ample opportunity to fight mediocrity in faith by drawing us to a purposeful practice of our faith in Christ. This “week of weeks” offers us an embarrassment of riches in spiritual fruit all for the taking if only we will overcome our temptations to mediocrity in faith and devotion.
Today, fight the spirit of mediocrity in your heart, the temptation to “do as little as possible” and still call yourself Orthodox. Because this kind of Orthodoxy cannot reproduce itself in the lives of your children, your friends, family, and community. A sterile faith dies with you and there is nothing of a legacy to leave to succeeding generations except the stigma of unfaithfulness.
Let us put away the mediocrity of a simulated love and let us ask the Holy Spirit to fan that spark of devotion left in our hearts into a full fire that can light up not only our own lives, but the lives of all around us. This faith calls us to excellence and full devotion. On this Holy Monday, let us stretch ourselves out of our comfort zones into that place of devotion and purpose.
A blessed Holy Week. Let us finish well.