St Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
161 N. Murphy Ave. Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Forgiveness Sunday

Forgiveness Sunday

And so, my dear brothers and sisters, we have now come to the threshold of Great Lent... Our weeks of preparation have passed and now the time is at hand for us to cast off the shackles that bind us to the world and embrace this holy season of repentance. In today’s Epistle we hear a ‘call to arms’ from our holy father Apostle Paul, ‘now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand.’

Apostle Paul likens our worldly preoccupations with being asleep and calls us to wake up from this spiritual drowsiness and insensibility. He calls out to us, ‘cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.’

In today’s Gospel we are instructed: ‘do not lay up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’

We are given in today’s readings the admonition to awaken from our spiritual drowsiness and the Gospel focuses us to be mindful of where our treasure is.

If we can think of one thing during these 40 days of the Great Fast, we would do well to reflect on this as often as possible. Ask yourself continuously: ‘Where is my treasure? Where is my heart right now? Is it with God?’

Getting up in the morning, let us ask ‘Where is my heart? Is it with God?’ Let us thank Him for the new day and ask that He blesses us as we go forward into it.

As we go to work or to school or whatever tasks lie before us, let us ask ‘Where is my heart? Is it with God?’ Let us ask Him to be with us, to help us, and to deliver us from temptations and evil.

All throughout the day, we would do well to keep checking on ourselves as frequently as possible with this question: ‘Where is my heart? Is it with God?’

This simple question can do wonders to realign ourselves as we go through our day. In addition to our fasting, let us do our best to keep our heart fixed upon the Great Treasure of our Lord Jesus Christ. Maintaining a vigilant and deliberate awareness of the presence of God will set us aright to spend the season of the Holy Fast in the right spirit.

As we move forward now into the blessings of Lent, may God grant us this simplicity and peace to remind ourselves often of our true Treasure – and having done so, may we strive to keep His commandments of love.

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