Listen Now. We will now be together with the day by day studying of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team.

Besides this you recognize what hour it’s, how it’s full time now so that you can wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than after we first believed; the night time is way gone, the day is at hand. Let us then solid off the works of darkness and placed on the armor of sunshine; allow us to conduct ourselves becomingly as within the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy.  But placed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its needs. As for the person who’s weak in religion, welcome him, however not for disputes over opinions. One believes he could eat something, whereas the weak man eats solely greens. Let not him who eats despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains go judgment on him who eats; for God has welcomed him. Who are you to go judgment on the servant of one other? It is earlier than his personal grasp that he stands or falls. And he shall be upheld, for the Master is ready to make him stand.  Romans 13:11-14:four (Epistle of Forgiveness Sunday)


Good morning Prayer Team!

Great Lent really begins with the setting of the solar on Forgiveness Sunday.  There is a particular service referred to as “Forgiveness Vespers” that’s held in lots of parishes.  This service not solely contains the chance to ask forgiveness from fellow parishioners, however it accommodates the proclamation that Great Lent is now upon us.  This announcement, chanted in a hymn referred to as “The Great Prokeimenon” reads as follows:

Turn not Your face from Your little one, for I’m bothered; hear me speedily.  Give heed to my soul and redeem it. (Great Prokeimenon, Forgiveness Vespers, Trans. by Fr. Seraphim Dedes)

Thus, the Divine Liturgy on the morning of Forgiveness Sunday is the final liturgical gathering earlier than the start of Great Lent, the final directions earlier than the journey of Great Lent begins, and so there are some acceptable items of recommendation for the trustworthy as we’re about to set out on the journey. 

Saint Paul inform us that it’s “full time now for you to wake from sleep” (Romans 13:11).  These phrases are stated appropriately at present to get our consideration.  If now we have been spiritually sleeping this yr, it’s time to get up and begin a journey to non secular renewal.  “Salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed” (13:11).  Another yr has handed in our lives, we’re nearer to the Day of Judgement, which probably is the day of our salvation, or our condemnation.  Lent is a time to work on our salvation. 

“The day is at hand.” (13:12)  Lent is about to start.  “Let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” (13:12)  It is time to put aside sinful habits and renew our stroll with the Lord, our “gentle” and to placed on ourselves the “armor of sunshine”—love, forgiveness, endurance, charity.  “Let us conduct ourselves becomingly” to befit the season we’re getting into.  This shouldn’t be a time for reveling and drunkenness, debauchery and licentiousness, quarreling or jealousy.  (13:13) It is a time to “placed on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its needs.“ (13:14) This is without doubt one of the causes we’re fasting, to place away one thing that gratifies the flesh, meals, and to placed on the “self-discipline” of residing a Christian life.  This is the best.

Saint Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, even within the early years of the church, was astute sufficient to understand that every particular person approaches his or her journey to Christ with numerous ranges of maturity and sincerity.  This continues to be the identical to today.  There are some who’re going to make a really austere quick, a really engaged journey.  There are others whose lives gained’t be affected in any respect throughout Lent.  Some will come to each service, and a few will come solely on Good Friday and Pascha.  Saint Paul reminds us “let not him who eats despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains go judgment on him who eats. (14:three)  The journey of Great Lent isn’t a contest in opposition to different folks of who can quick the strictest or attend essentially the most providers, or deprive oneself essentially the most.  Rather the journey of Lent, whereas it takes place in a public discussion board, the church, is non-public and private to every particular person making it.  This shall be confirmed within the Gospel lesson that shall be mirrored on subsequent. 

“Who are you (we) to pass judgment on the servant of another?  It is before his own master that he stands or falls.” (14:four)  This may be very true.  As regards our fellow Christians, our function is to encourage, not decide.  I attempt to encourage folks to return to church extra throughout Lent, to quick, to go to confession, and so forth.  But it isn’t my place, or our place, to solid judgment on what others select to do or to not do throughout Lent.  At the tip, we’ll every stand alone earlier than our Master, Jesus Christ, and stand or fall on our personal deserves—our personal religion and works.  Therefore, my function in Lent is to focus alone journey to salvation, engaged on my faults, disciplining my physique and my thoughts, and recommitting myself to the Christian life.  It can be my function to encourage others to do the identical.  However that is carried out with encouragement, and never judgment. 

It’s to not late to make a plan for a way you’ll spend this Lent.  Use the day to plan out the way you’ll solid off your “works of darkness and placed on the armor of (Christ’s) gentle (13:12) in order that after we attain the feast of Pascha in seven weeks, and obtain once more the Light of Christ, your coronary heart is absolutely ready, emptied of darkness, and able to be illumined once more by the Light of the Resurrected Christ!

The time has come – the beginning of our non secular contests, the victory over demons, the complete armor of self-control, the angels’ dignity, the arrogance earlier than God. Thereby did Moses turn into conversant with the Creator, and heard the invisible voice. Lord, by way of fasting make us worthy to worship Your Passion and holy Resurrection, as You love humanity. (Doxastikon from Matins, Sunday of the Forgiveness, Trans. by Fr. Seraphim Dedes)

It’s “Go Time!”


+Fr. Stavros


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With Roger Hunt offering at present’s Daily Reading: Listen Now.

These readings are underneath copyright and is utilized by permission. All rights reserved. These works will not be additional reproduced, in print or on different web sites or in some other type, with out the prior written authorization of the copyright holder: Reading © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA, Apolytikion of Abbot Marcellus © Narthex Press, Kontakion of Abbot Marcellus © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, and 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the usA. and utilized by permission. From the Online Chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

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