Friday, March 27, 2015

Repentance and Humility; the keys which unlock the Gates of Heaven

The final Sunday of Great Lent, the Church urges us on further toward repentance and humility on the Sunday of Mary of Egypt. On this day the Church directs our attention to the total and complete humility and repentance of a woman who had been consumed by sin. While at the “height” of a quite successful “career” of prostitution, she was called by God in a unique way. According to the Tradition of the Church, she was attempting to enter the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem with a group of men she had been seducing. An unknown force kept her from entering the Sacred Church, which she interpreted as a sign from God. She made a vow to the Theotokos that if she was allowed to enter the Church and venerate the Life-Giving Cross of Our Lord, she would renounce the world and live in total repentance. She spent the remaining forty-seven years of her life alone in the desert.

On this day we also hear the Lord challenge his disciples to life of humble service. After the disciples were found arguing about who would be greater in God’s Kingdom, Jesus said, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.” (Mark 10.42-44)

These are two great lessons of humility and repentance as we approach the final days of Great Lent. Don’t waste another day. Take full advantage of the days you have remaining for repentance and practice humility. These keys will unlock the gates of heaven and you will be welcomed into the banquet with honor.

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