5th Sunday of the Fast – St Mary of Egypt

I was going to say that this Sunday is the last Sunday before Palm Sunday and Pascha which are both feasts. But I had forgotten that every Sunday is a feast. Every illness, every struggle, every sigh is a joy for the Christian. Every Sunday we had seen was preparing us for the Resurrection. We were learning that the Cross is our Salvation, that we can climb the ladder of sanctity through ascetical effort rooted in Christ, and that the highest way maintaining all other efforts is the Asceticism of Humility and Love that removes all that is prideful in us. Today, Saint Mary’s life reminds us that nobody is farther than the reaches of Hope and Mercy, and that for all of us who had thought we were, it takes one. moment. of. humble. repentance. If you go to Confession today, or call a priest “for a chat about things”, or start the Fast today, or wherever you are right now in the spiritual life begin an honest effort, then you too will prepare your soul to lay all its false garments hiding the shame of our Fall before Christ. You too will remove the old garment of disobedience and lay it before the New Adam who will be crucified by His perfect obedience naked on the Cross, recalling the First Image when we were free, unashamed of our nakedness, and walking with the Lord in Eden. You too will call to Him: “Hosanna!”

And as our father among the saints the Chrysostom declares to us, at any hour you had heard the call of the Spirit and honestly answered with repentance through the gifts and Sacraments offered through the Church, even as late as Saint Mary and the thief on the Cross, then on Pascha you will also hear those heart rendering words about your Bridegroom and your own soul: “Why do you look for the Living among the dead? He is not here, for He is risen!”

Meditation by “Melkite Musings”