One Minute Reflection – 1 March – Ember Wednesday – 3 Kings. 19:3-8, Matthew 12:38-50 –The Memorial of St David (c 542-c 601) Bishop, Confessor – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“The sign of Jonah” – Matthew 12:39
REFLECTION – “You were conducted by the hand to the holy pool of Sacred Baptism, just as Christ was conveyed from the Cross to the sepulchre close at hand [in this Church of the Holy Sepulchre]. Each person was asked if he believed in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. You made the confession that brings salvation and submerged yourselves three times in the water and emerged, by this symbolic gesture, you were secretly re-enacting the burial of Christ, three days in the tomb. For just as our Saviour spent three days and nights in the bosom of the earth, so you, upon first emerging, were representing Christ… You saw nothing when immersed – as if it were night but you emerged – as if to the light of day. In one and the same action, you died and were born, the water of salvation became both tomb and mother for you…
What a strange and astonishing situation! We did not really die, we were not really buried, we did not really hang from a cross and rise again. Our imitation was symbolic but our salvation a reality! Christ truly hung from a Cross, was truly buried and truly rose again. All this He did gratuitously for us, so that we might share His sufferings by imitating them and gain salvation in actuality. What transcendent kindness! Christ endured nails in His innocent Hands and Feet and suffered pain and by letting me participate in the pain, without anguish or sweat, He freely bestows salvation on me! …
We know well that not merely does Baptism cleanse sins and bestow on us the gift of the Holy Spirit – it is also the sign of Christ’s suffering. This is why, as we heard just now, Paul cried out: “Are you unaware that we, who were Baptised into Christ Jesus, were Baptised into His Death? We were indeed buried with Him through Baptism into death”… So, in order that we may realise that Christ endured all His sufferings for us and our salvation IN actuality and not in symbolism and that, we share in His pains, Paul cried out the literal truth: “If we have grown into union with Him through a death like His, we shall also be united with Him in the resurrection,” (Rom 6,3-5). – St Cyril of Jerusalem (313-350) Bishop of Jerusalem, Father and Doctor of the Church (Catechesis no.20/2nd Mystagogy) .
PRAYER – We beseech Thee, O Lord, look graciously upon the fervour of Thy people, who mortify themselves in the flesh through abstinence that they may be refreshed in spirit, by the fruit of these good works and the intercession of Thy blessed Confessor, David. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).
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