Friday, March 29, 2024

Met Ephrem (Kyriakos): The Fast is Forgiveness and Reconiliation

 Arabic original here.

The Fast is Forgiveness and Reconciliation

The Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee points to humility. Without humility, and spiritual work loses its value.

The purpose of the fast is to make one humble, to "deny oneself" (Mark 8:34).

The Sunday of the Prodigal Son points to repentance and to God the merciful Father.

The Sunday of the Last Judgment points to reckoning and salvation.

The Forgiveness Sunday is tied to mercy, love and reconciliation.

The word of reconciliation is the word of life (cf. Philippians 2:16 and 1 John 1:1).

Mercy and forgiveness lead to reconciliation with God and with others, push away resentment and hatred, and bring reconciliation.

"God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:19).

"God has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:18).

This reconciliation is reciprocal, but God's mercy is first of all His initiative, by means of the mystery of redemption, which causes us sinners to take the initiative to reconcile in Christ Jesus.

All of this is through the mystery of repentance, humility and forgiveness and it is also through love, mercy and redemption.

The fast is springtime for souls, when man is renewed and nature is renewed.

It is when joy, a springtime joy, must spread.

After all this, we hope and advise that mercy and forgiveness, and not resentment and hatred, prevail in every affair, for the sake of reconciliation in the mystery of Christ's redemption and great love. Amen.


Metropolitan of Tripoli, al-Koura and their Dependencies

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