April 21, 2014

Repentence and Renewal

From the encyclical of Greek Orthodox Archbishop Demetrios on the beginning of Great and Holy Lent, which begins March 2.

Like the children of Israel, we too are called to have faith as we set out on a journey that we know is not easy. The days and sacred services of this holy season lead us to the Holy Week, to the Cross of our Lord whereupon we venerate His crucifixion, the supreme act of sacrifice and love by God for us. At the same time, we enter this Lenten journey today with hearts filled with faith, hope, and love; because we know that the destination of this journey, after the spiritual intensity of the Holy Week, culminates with the glorious Resurrection of Christ and His complete triumph over sin, evil, and death.

Today, as we embark upon this great Lenten journey, these forty days of the Great Fast, let us be mindful of all of those before us who also wandered in the wilderness. Let us not squander this beautiful opportunity for repentance and renewal; but rather, let us remain faithful to our calling to holiness and continue on our journey ahead. May our good and gracious Lord grant us all strength for this journey, and may this season of Great and Holy Lent be a blessed time for all our Greek Orthodox communities as we direct our steps towards an encounter with our Lord, Who is waiting for us with His open arms on the Cross, ready to embrace us with the brilliant light of His Resurrection.

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