St DymphnaIn the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Christ is ascended! Let us remember St Pachomius the great, one of the great elders of monasticism, and Holy Martyr St Dymphna, today. May St Pachomius and St Dymphna pray for us.

What do we see around us in our daily journeys in life?

Do we see a plush vibrant forest of the multitude of exciting and beautiful material things around us, that calls out to us to indulge in these many things? Or do we see a barren and scorching desert where the millions of grains of our passions are beneath our feet, as we brave on towards our God and only Him?

One of the great elders of monasticism, St Pachomius the Great, was wandering through the wilderness and the desert, for 10 years. When the monk stopped at an abandoned village, he heard a Voice, that he was to found a monastery there. St Pachomius obeyed the command of God, when he received the rule of monastic life from an angel of our Lord who appeared to him as a schemamonk, and eventually built a monastery there.

In our life, it is the same. What appears before us can be an edifying lesson of faith, or the rock that sinks our ship as we traverse the journey of faith.

Christ our Lord reminded us in St John 16:23-33, where He assured us that God will fulfill what we ask in Christ’s Name, and yet, Christ our Lord said we have asked NOTHING in His Name. Why is it “nothing”?

Perhaps we can reflect upon this assurance and command of Christ our Lord, that we are to ask God in Christ’s Name, what would bring us reconciliation and healing with God, and never to ask God anything that does not bring us closer to God. Too often, some people imagine that our God is a wishing well or a lottery machine, to fulfill our debased passions and selfish desires, when our Lord wants us simply to return to Him as children of repentance and prayers, and be reconciled with Him.

Just as the Holy Martyr St Dymphna defended her chastity and faith unto God, when her own father had undue desires of her and ultimately murdered her when she was merely in her teens, the Lord gave her salvation and that was what she defended unto death. Her purity as a young person was an example for us to remember that our Lord hope of us to be as children, with pure hearts and simple prayers, that we would be healed and reconciled with Him.

And yet more in St John 16:23-33, Christ reminded us that He would not be alone, because the Father is with Him. He assured us too that if we abide in Him our Christ who overcame the world, we would have peace. Christ also assured us that we would never be alone if we abide in God, for all human company is transient, and only God is permanent, ever-present, and always illuminating with love.

As we remember the Ascension of our Lord and Christ, even as we reflect upon Isaiah 52:13-15 and Psalm 68:17-18, we know that our Lord is with our Father, and that the world knows of our Lord in its entirety, and that the time of reckoning will bring us upon the reflection that we are to seek salvation in Christ our Lord, for the mystery of Judgment is a grim event to not just discuss as an intellectual exercise, but to repent and pray relentlessly everyday, until our last breath.

As we look around the world we live in, let us marvel at the creation of God, every facet of it, and let us pray for our eyes to see the innate and true beauty of His Creation, and never lose sight of Him as the worldly temptations and distractions attempt to detract us from Him. Let us always pray,

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

Let us close by praying the thanksgiving prayer:

It is truly meet to call thee blest, the Theotokos, ever blessed and most pure, and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious than the Seraphim, without corruption thou gavest birth to God the Word: True Theotokos, we magnify thee.

O virgin Theotokos, rejoice; O Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Savior of our souls, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Fr Raphael+

Readings
Isaiah 52:13-15
Psalm 68:17-18
St John 16:23-33
Acts 25:13-19