Pastoral Ponderings For Holy Monday
Holy week has at long last come.This week is properly known in Orthodoxy as Passion Week, as we take part in the Saving Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord. We are blessed as Orthodox Christians to have such a participatory faith. We have the opportunity to re-live the final days of our Lord's life on this earth, not as students of history but as contemporaries through taking part in the Divine Services.
Today, Jesus, who had stayed in Bethany after his Triumphant Entrance into Jerusalem yesterday, once again travels to Jerusalem where he weeps over the city and its turning away from God. On his way into the city, he curses the fig tree for it's barrenness - its lack of bearing fruit. He went into the Temple and cleansed it for the second time in his ministry, late in the day he looks into the Temple, then leaves the city, spending the night once again in Bethany.
Today's services, Bridegroom Matins last night in anticipation of Holy Monday, and this evening's Presanctified Liturgy, draw our attention, to our own inevitable death, and the Second Coming of Our Lord and the Final Judgement. Christ's cursing of the Fig Tree today is emphasized in today's Divine services, to remind us that we all have been given many gifts and talents, and we are expected by our Lord to bear fruit, that is to take these gifts and develop them and use them for His Glory and to serve our fellow human beings.
I encourage you to come to Presanctified Liturgy tonight and partake of the Holy Eucharist to strengthen you on this Journey. If you have not come to Confession yet, please consider doing so tonight before the Service at 5:30 pm or immediately afterwards. Good strength to you .
Be assured of my love and prayers always,