We sang at the stikhera at Presanctified Wednesday morning, “The Fast that brings us blessings has now reached its midmost point; /it has helped us to receive God’s grace in the days that are past, /and will bring us further benefit in the days still to come. /For by continuing in what is right we attain yet greater gifts…..” As we approach the fourth Sunday of the Fast, dedicated to St. John of the Ladder, (whose actual feast day is today), we ponder on the words of our Lord who encourages us with the admonition that with God all things are possible (Matt. 19:26). Just as the third Sunday of Lent placed before us the Cross the fourth Sunday gives us a ladder.
There are two ways to go on a ladder: up or down. If we wish to go down that ladder than no effort needs to be taken on our part. But to ascend, constant efforts are needed. Change is required. We’re not always comfortable with change. Thus, our church and religious life becomes some sort of a “tradition” (“that’s the way we’ve always done things,” is something I hear a lot of). It is during the days of Lent that these words of Christ, this promise that “all things are possible with God”, come to life.
We are called to push ourselves, to go the extra mile, not only to get on the ladder, but climb it.
All the way to the top!