We tend to associate holiness with moral rectitude. A holy person is a virtuous person. While holiness and virtue are related, we often misunderstand the relationship between them.
It is our love for each other and for those outside the walls of the church this morning that leads others to faith in Jesus Christ. This mutual love also sustains and strengths our faith in the Risen Lord Jesus Christ!
Our ascetical efforts throughout the Great Fast have been at the service of removing from our own hearts anything the would limit our willingness to love sacrificially. This why, after Isaiah’s stern words on fasting, the Church puts before us the example of the Patriarch Joseph.
Sunday, February 25 (OS February 12): First Sunday of Great Lent: Triumph of Orthodoxy; Venerable Mary of Egypt; St. Theophanes the Confessor of Sigriane (818). Righteous Phineas, grandson of Aaron (1500 B.C.); St. Gregory the Dialogist, Pope of Rome (604); St. Symeon the New Theologian (1021). Epistle: Hebrews 11:24-26, 32-40 Gospel: John 1:43-51 Glory to … Continue reading Sunday of Orthodoxy: Witnesses to God’s Love
As we look forward to the beginning of the Great Fast, the Church asks us to reflect once again on St Paul’s words to the Corinthians: “food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.” This isn’t a rejection of fasting but a sober reminder of its limits. Indeed of the limits of all of our efforts.