The Sunday of the Last Judgment gives the 3rd piece of important information to us in our preparation for Great Lent. We have learned that to be saved one must not judge others, and feel the weight of personal sins and ask God for mercy. We have seen the process of repentance, from the onset of sin, its destructive affects, self-realization of sin, and the importance process to "arise and go" to our Father, and the critical detail, without which we would never complete our repentance and be saved – our Father will go to us, as we are trying to change, and comfort us and empower us to complete the good work we have started. Today’s Gospel about the last judgment shows the end result of true repentance, and also the "flip side" – the outcome for those who do not repent. It is a frightening spectacle, and not a pleasant one to meditate upon, but absolute necessary for us to remember. Lets us talk about how Jesus Christ came the first time, how His second coming will be, and what we must do to hear the blessed words: " Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world".
Perhaps one of the best remembered scriptures among those who do not fast and do not read the scripture much is the well known phrase of Saint Paul: “But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.” We look at the context of this true statement, and its application to our day. The entire passage is about sensitivity to our brother’s weakness, and how the phrase “when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ” is quite similar to the one in today’ Gospel: ” ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” We also discuss why we fast – it is a natural requirement of our human nature, and is an easy and readily available way to train ourselves in self-control. Without self-control, we cannot make any progress in the spiritual life.
The Epistle and Gospel for today provide excellent instructions for the beginning of Great Lent, as a thorough exegesis of these readings shows. Let us understand what the purpose of Great Lent is and understand how we can “make no provision for the flesh” in order to learn to forgive completely.
An exposition of two hymns from the Triodion for Forgiveness Sunday, after Vespers. It is important to know how to think about ourselves and God, and how to approach God in prayer. More than any other season, the Triodion teaches this in almost every hymn. We look in detail at the hymns:
“Adam was cast out of Paradise through eating from the tree. / Seated before the gates he wept, / lamenting with a pitiful voice and saying: / ‘Woe is me, what have I suffered in my misery! / I transgressed one commandment of the Master, / and now I am deprived of every blessing. / O most holy Paradise, / planted for my sake and shut because of Eve, / pray to Him that made thee and fashioned me, / that once more I may take pleasure in thy flowers.’ / Then the Savior said to him: ” and
“O Master, Guide to wisdom, / Giver of prudent counsel, / Instructor of the foolish and Champion of the poor, / make firm my heart and grant it understanding. / O Word of the Father, give me words, / for see, I shall not stop my lips from crying out to Thee: / I am fallen, // in Thy compassion have mercy on me.”
Today is the Sunday of Forgiveness, and it is also the day we enter Great Lent. After we pray the Vespers service of Forgiveness early this afternoon, we will then be in the Holy Fast. Why is it that we fast? We have a blueprint for our life, and why we fast, in the Gospel today. …
A short homily given after Vespers and before matins on the Eve of the Sunday of the Last Judgment. The services contain much dogmatic content, but also teach us *how* to pray – what our attitude should be. The Sunday of the Last Judgment has many prayers (in the first person!) which mention the terrifying judgments and our terrible sinfulness, and they always end with hope in God’s mercy. We must learn to pray in this way – to consider ourselves the worst of sinners and in the same breath, the same thought, having great confidence in God’s mercy. Several examples for the services for tonight are discussed.
he account of the last judgment in the Gospel of Matthew has a lot of repetition in it. In scripture, when things are repeated, they are important. Both the righteous and the unrighteous heard the same list of good works (fed the hungry, visited the sick and those in prison, etc), and their reactions were externally similar – they wondered when the events the Lord describes occurred. The righteous “forgot” about their good works because their works were because of their consuming love for God and neighbor. Let us look carefully at the list of works the Lord describes and understand their exact meaning, and the meaning of the responses of the righteous and unrighteous. The main criterion for the judgment will be whether we have fulfilled the two greatest commandments.
LISTEN NOW Synopsis: "By the waters of Babylon", Psalm 136 is sung only three times in the year, on the three Sundays before Great Lent, at matins. The Psalm is historical, being a lament of the exiled Jews in Babylon for their beloved Jerusalem, but like everyting in the Scriptures, there is also a deep… Continue reading By The Waters Of Babylon. Dashing The Infants Against The Rock.
Imagine now that we are patients in this hospital of the world. The sickness that every one of us is suffering from has the same name – unrighteousness. The word includes all the passions, all lust, all sins – all the weakness and enervation of our souls, our heats and our minds.
The sick are one thing at the beginning of their illness, another at its peak and yet another in its healing. […]
Synopsis: The major thrust of Great Lent is given many times in the services for the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee, such as “Vainglory brings to nothing the riches of righteousness, but humility scatters a multitude of passions. Grant then that we may seek humilty, O Savior, and do Thou bestow upon us the portion of the publican; (Matins canon, Ode 3). This time is for the pursuit of humility, because without humilty we will not be saved. What can we glean from the publican and pharisee? The worst sin of the pharisee was his judgment of the publican. Above all things, we must not judge others. Since this sin is so pervasive, how can we learn to not judge others? END:SUB:Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee