This is the Day that the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it! (Psalm 118:24)

My dear brothers and  sisters in Christ:

You may note that this Psalm is read many times during the Paschal season. I now remember fondly (not so, at the time…) when I was a kid and wouldn’t want to get up for school. My mother would sing this Psalm to me to get me motivated. At the time, it was used as a way to just annoy me out of bed, I think, but now looking back there is a profound understanding that I have gained from it.  We know in the Church that this refers directly to Holy Pascha, that “day” the Lord made in which our salvation is born from the empty tomb. But it can also apply to every day… and that’s a little harder to accept! This is the day that the Lord has made…even if it is absolutely miserable outside. This is the day which the Lord has made…even if the car won’t start. This is the day which the Lord has made…even if someone close to us, who we love, is sick or suffering. In all these events we are called to rejoice and be glad in them. This is where “the rubber has to meet the road” in terms of our faith. It is easy to be zealous and excited exclaiming “Christ is Risen!” in the early morning hours of Pascha, but what about the other days where it might take some effort to do so? This is the challenge that we, as the people of God, must face and must overcome!

So, as we go through our lives, remember that every day is given to us as a gift from God to do His work and to accomplish His will in it. The question is: Do we acknowledge that this day is the Lord’s (and not just Sunday, but EVERY day!), and are we rejoicing in it? If you are a guest at today’s Liturgy, please join me and our parish as we strive to do this in our own small way in Perth Amboy, NJ, and work to achieve that salvation in which the day is eternal and the joy will never cease!

With love and the blessing of our Risen Saviour,

Fr. Ivan Turyk