Floral wedding confetti on church entrance floor mosaic – St. Sophia, Canada
Today is Forgiveness Sunday. Tomorrow Great Lent begins.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. ~ St. Matthew 5:7
A pebble tossed into a pond radiates countless ripples.
Forgiveness does this too. It releases waves of empathy and compassion, affecting everyone it touches, including ourselves.
Mercy is a powerful gift, restoring peace of mind, and helping us to move forward, sloughing off anger or resentment. Giving or receiving forgiveness bestows healing to our spiritual and physical health.
Great Lent begins tomorrow. Today, on Forgiveness Sunday, we greet each other by asking mutual forgiveness. (Whether in person if possible, or by a phone call or email) What a delightfully liberating way to start the Fast… with clean slates; in the spirit of mercy and Christian love.
Forgive me. God Forgives!
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. ~St. Matthew 6:14 – 15
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. ~ Ephesians 4:32
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. ~ Colossians 3:13
Sincere repentance is a gift of God such that, although we may not have committed any severe fall into sin or evil deed, we still see ourselves in our true light, see how weak we are, how much we sin in the mind, in our feelings, and especially in our imagination. Looking honestly at ourselves, we have nothing left to say except “Lord God have mercy on me, help me, and forgive, forgive, forgive me!” Then forgiveness will come into our souls like Pascha, and we are as it were born anew. And if the Lord should forgive, who will condemn us? ~ Metropolitan Vitaly, Paschal Encyclical, 2001
Sometimes we do not see any outlet, any escape from our sins, and they torment us: on account of them, the heart is oppressed with sorrow and weary. But Jesus looks upon us, and streams of tears flow from our eyes, and with the tears all the tissue of evil in our soul vanishes. We weep with joy that such mercy has suddenly and unexpectedly been sent to us. ~ St. John of Kronstadt