Christians, to the Paschal victim
offer your thankful praises!
A lamb the sheep redeemeth:
Christ, who only is sinless,
reconcileth sinners to the Father.
Death and life have contended
in that combat stupendous:
the Prince of life, who died,
I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.
The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends with the death of Jesus in passion Week. The struggle between our Lord and Satan ends with the victory of the savior at Eastertide.
During the time after Ash Wednesday, the liturgy peaks no more of our greatness but contemplates the misery of fallen humanity, the fatal consequences of original sin, and actual sin. and the sacrifice that God asked from the faithful Melchisedech, symbol of the sacrifice that Jesus brings for the whole of humanity.
“Who by this bodily fast dost curb our vices, lift our minds, and bestow strength and rewards”
Our souls are slaves of the devil, the flesh, and the world. Jesus came into the world, not to be crowned king of the Jews, but to deliver us from this threefold bondage and to restore to us the divine life which we had lost.
The Struggle between Satan and our Lord ends with the apparent success of Satan on Good Friday. The priests are robed in the black vestments of mourning, the whole Church wears an aspect of Sadness, but by the Sacrifice of himself, God the Son triumphs and gloriously comes forth from the sepulcher on Easter morning.
Another aspect of lent is penance.
Ultimately, we must take responsibility for our own sins. Satan may tempt us. But when we sin, we do so freely. In truth “from within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within” (Mk 7:22-23). Nonetheless, the Christian who honestly faces his or her own sins never despairs.
When we come to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we come to Christ. He is waiting to release us from the slavery of sin. By confessing all our sins honestly and humbly, the Lord, present through the gift of his priesthood, forgives all of them, great and small alike. By the power of the Holy Spirit, the Risen Lord draws us from the evils of this world into the peace of God’s own life.
AND it came to pass, that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled.
Gospel according to Saint Luke 2:1
The Dormition of the Theotokos is a Great Feast of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches which commemorates the “falling asleep” or death of the Theotokos, and her bodily resurrection before being taken up into heaven. It is celebrated on August 15 as the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God.