Forgiveness is the cure for judgment, anger, and resentment
Our Lord Jesus Christ told us: “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you shall be forgiven (Luke 6:37).” In the Our Father, the very prayer given to His disciples after Christ was asked to teach them to pray, we say the words “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”. These strong words make it clear that we are to forgive others if we expect God to forgive us.
Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk, in his book, “Journey to Heaven”, says: “Do we forgive our neighbors their trespasses? God also forgives us in His mercy. Do we refuse to forgive? God, too, will refuse to forgive us. As we treat our neighbors, so also does God treat us. The forgiveness, then, of your sins or unforgiveness, and hence also your salvation or destruction, depend on you yourself, man. For without forgiveness of sins there is no salvation.”
Throughout Christ’s ministry He emphasized the need for us to be willing to forgive others, for if we expect to be forgiven, we must nurture a forgiving heart. If we hold grudges, and remember wrongs, we poison our souls, and love has no place in us.
“The drunkard, the fornicator, the proud – he will receive God’s mercy. But he who does not want to forgive, to excuse, to justify consciously, intentionally… …that person closes himself to eternal life before God, and even more so in the present life. He is turned away and not heard (Elder Sampson of Russia).”
As we are quick to forgive our neighbors, so God also forgives us in His great and loving mercy. If we refuse to forgive, God, too, will refuse to forgive us. Our salvation or destruction, depend on our willingness to forgive others, for without forgiveness of sins there is no salvation.
Love in Christ,
Photo: Our courtyard and church, finally bathed in sunshine!
Sunday March 10, 2019 / February 25, 2019
The Sunday of Forgiveness. Tone eight.
Cheesefare Sunday. Meat is excluded
St. Tarasius, archbishop of Constantinople (806).
New Hieromartyr Alexander, priest, Virgin-Martyr Mstislava (1938).
New Hieromartyr Priest Leo Korobczuk of Laskov (Chelm and Podlasie, Poland) (1944).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1945).
Hieromartyr Reginus, bishop of the isle of Skopelos (355).
Venerables Erasmus and Paphnutius of Kephala, monks, contemporaries of St. Anthony the Great (4th c.).
Martyrs Alexander at Marcionopolis (305) and Hypatius.
St. Ethelbert, king of Kent (616) (Celtic & British).
Venerable Walburga, abbess of Heidenheim (779) (Celtic & British).
St. Maecellus, bishop of Apamea in Syria (Greek).
St. Theodore, fool-for-Chist (Greek).
The Scripture Readings
Mary Magdalene Sees the Risen Lord
11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”
14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”
She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).
17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ”
18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.
Put on Christ
11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we firstbelieved. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
The Law of Liberty
14 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. 4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Fasting to Be Seen Only by God
16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
Lay Up Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.