6 February OS 2018: Monday of the First Week of Lent (Clean Monday); S. Bucolos of Smyrna; S. Photios the Great
Each weekday during Great Lent, I plan to re-post the little commentaries I wrote last year on the daily readings from Genesis.
Today’s first reading at Vespers is Genesis 1:1-13.
As we begin Great Lent, we begin also to read the Book of Genesis at Vespers. The first words remind us of the foundation of all spiritual life, the firm conviction that God is our Creator and that we are His creatures:
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
The infinitely good and wise God, the omnipotent One, brought all things from nothing into being. This includes you and me.
My existence is contingent, not necessary. The blink of an eye separates me in time from the abyss of nothingness from which I came, and the blink of an eye separates me in time from the hour of my death. Compared to God, I am nothing.
All of our problems arise from forgetting this fundamental reality, in one way or another. If only we were actively mindful of this at every day and hour, we would always be happy. Our sorrows come from trying to be God. This is true of each of us personally as well as the entire human race. When we remember that we are finite, sinful, and doomed to die, all of life comes into perspective, and we can attain peace of heart.
May the grace of this Great Lent, which may be our last, bring us to constant remembrance that we are creatures and therefore our Creator should be everything to us.