Father Rodney Torbic

March 12 / 25, 2018

The Fifth Sunday of Great Lent

Mk. 10:32-45

And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him,Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again. And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory. But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared. And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John. But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (KJV)

St. Mary of Egypt

Luke 7:36-50

And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. (KJV)

The arrival of the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent signals the imminent conclusion of Great Lent. Holy Week comes very soon. Believers will know at this point if they have been faithful to the spirit of Great Lent.

Believers will benefit by being true to Christ in the days ahead. The disciples were afraid as they traveled to Jerusalem with Jesus. Believers need to be concerned about the condition of their souls.

Believers need to be attentive towards their efforts to combat sin. Remaining faithful to Christ every day takes a resolute mind. Remaining faithful to Christ every day requires saying “no” to everything that keeps a person from Christ.

The battle against sin needs to be fought every minute of every day. When a person relaxes in the effort against sin, the soul is in peril. The joy of Christ is experienced when individuals are faithful to Christ.

Christ’s disciples were blessed to be in His physical presence. They were blessed to see His physical appearance. They were blessed to hear His voice and mannerisms that added to the meaning of His words.

Believers today can hear Christ by reading and listening to the Holy Gospel. Believers today can hear Christ by listening carefully in periods of silence. The Divine services communicate the teachings of Christ.

Prayer enables a person to come to Christ and seek answers as well as communicate concerns. Jesus told the disciples of what lay ahead for Him in Jerusalem. He would be betrayed and condemned.

Betrayal communicates an ominous occurrence. The betrayal of Christ is the most severe betrayal that can occur. Believers betray Christ when they fail to live in ways pleasing to Him and when believers choose consciously to sin.

Believers tarnish and betray the presence of Christ in their hearts and souls when consciously committing sins. The presence of Christ is replaced with evil when believers choose to sin.

The believer needs a pure heart and mind to preserve the image of Christ in him or herself. Vigilance is necessary to guard against the trappings of evil which increase as a person becomes more serious about pleasing God.

Jesus would be taken into custody prior to His being hung on the cross. Believers yield custody of themselves to sin when they fail to repel sin and actually choose to sin voluntarily.

Jesus’ death on the Cross would not be a neat and clean death. He would be subjected to humiliating actions. He would be subject to efforts to denigrate Him. Christ cannot be humiliated. He cannot be denigrated.

Christ chose to humble Himself. He cannot be reduced from being Divine. Jesus is bigger than any attempts to humiliate and denigrate. Death was not capable of overcoming Christ. Christ overcame death.

March 12 / 25, 2018
The Fifth Sunday of Great Lent.
St. Mary of Egypt.

Fr. Rodney Torbic
Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania

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