You know it’s coming… yet, in seeming stealth mode, Meatfare Sunday still swoops in catching some of us off-guard (This year, March 7th). Not only is this the second Sunday before the start of Great Lent, but it’s also the very last day meat is eaten until Pascha (Easter).

More importantly, Meatfare Sunday is also called the Sunday of the Last Judgement, reminding us of the inevitable day when everyone will stand before God to give account of their life. This is hard to think about.

At Christ’s Second Coming, He appears in all His Glory as the righteous Judge, “Who will render to every man according to his deeds” (Romans 2:6). Today’s intense Gospel reading from St. Matthew 25:31-46 recalls how we shall be gathered before Him, and how He will separate one from another, like a shepherd dividing a flock of sheep from the goats. The sheep will be kept by His right hand, but the goats will be set on His left.

As we draw closer to great Great Lent, we must pass next through Cheesefare Week. It begins the day after Meatfare Sunday, and during Cheesefare we can still eat fish, dairy, and eggs (hence traditional pancakes), continuing a gradual preparation for the more strict fasting of Great Lent (This year, March 15th). Cheesefare Week ends on Cheesefare Sunday (March 14th), which is also called Forgiveness Sunday.

Forgiveness Sunday, more significantly, recalls the Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise, and the theme is forgiveness. We can’t begin a spiritual spring cleaning before the Great Lenten journey without first forgiving our offenders, and also asking forgiveness of those whom we have hurt or insulted. We forgive each other, for offenses known or unknown.

Person #1: “Forgive me.”

Person #2: “God forgives. Forgive me.”

Person #1: “God forgives.”

Then we move along to the next person, and so on. Beautiful. Simple. Cleansing. Renewing. Joyful.

Our family has a prized aphorism for the Meatfare Sunday Meal. This stems from a country drive years ago, passing a little hole-in-the-wall eatery called the Last Chance Cafe. Its name reminded us of our mad-dash-meat-menu scrambles on a Meatfare Sunday evening… the night before Cheesefare Week began.

Since then, on Meatfare Sunday, the remaining, yet dwindling familial carnivores… amongst the growing crowd of second and third generation pescatarian/vegans; try to gather for a Last Chance Cafe Meal of some sort, before galloping off into the gooey gouda glow of Cheesefare Week.

However, Meatfare Sunday is more than just grabbing that last beef burger with quivering anticipation. Much more. There are other kinds of “meaty” fare.

In John 4:32 -34, Christ said to his disciples: But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

The general reason for fasting and praying is to awaken a yearning to return to Eden, to a more spiritual way of life. Our Lenten Voyage helps enlighten our minds by showing us our own shortcomings. Lent inspires the desire to cleanse our souls through repentance, which prepares us to reach the joyful destination… The Feast of Feasts, and to greet the Risen Lord, at Pascha!

Our Meat, our Fare, is to do His will.

In a small way, this is what we’re trying to do… and in His Light, shall we see Light!

error: Content is protected !!