The Significance of the Sundays of Great Lent
Rev, Fr. Dean Nastos, April 1, 2012
Great lent embodies the earthly life of our Lord Jesus Christ, or more precisely, the last three years of His messianic activity here on earth.
This Lenten period resembles a journey, or a spiritual pilgrimage, consisting of gentle ways, but also of a difficult climb. In view of a good preparation for making this spiritual pilgrimage and for reaching the goal of our spiritual ascension, the Holy Fathers and great teachers of the Church – inspired by the Holy Spirit – arranged that every Sunday of Great lent should have its own significance, for everybody’s benefit.
5. Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt
The 5th Sunday is dedicated to St. Mary of Egypt. After we learned how to fight against the evil that lies within us, in order to prevent us from falling into despair by remembering our past sins, we are presented with St. Mary of Egypt, the most perfect example of repentance, immovable faith and strong hope. She, who in her youth was an “instrument of sin” and the “cause of evil for many” through God’s love, becomes perfectly holy, living like the angels, disavowing the world and all the sins of the past. We are thus directed toward true repentance and honest confession, to ourselves first, before being judged by the Righteous Judge. Because, as the Holy Fathers say, we will not be judged for our sins, no matter how many and how heavy, but for our lack of repentance. We are presented with many examples, St. Mary of Egypt being one of them. Let us pray that through her prayers of intercession we receive the true repentance that cleans the soul and tears that wash away our sins.
Having taken this medicine, prescribed by the Holy Fathers during this Lenten period for the healing of soul and body, it is sure we will be cleansed and well prepared to participate in the last events in the life of our Savior on earth.