5TH SUNDAY OF GREAT LENT
St. Mary was a runaway child who went to Alexandria and became a prostitute.
Once she joined a group of pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem for the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14) and did not cease to sin.
When she tried to enter the Church of the Holy Resurrection in Jerusalem with the other pilgrims an unseen power prevented her from entering. This happened three times.
She took this as a personal sign from God and was converted on the spot. She embraced the monastic life and lived in the desert for over four decades.
She went from harlot to saint by the grace of God.
Tropar (Tone 5)
Let us the faithful acclaim and worship the Word,*
co-eternal with the Father and the Spirit,*
and born of the Virgin for our salvation.*
For He willed to be lifted up on the cross in the flesh*
to suffer death and to raise the dead*
by His glorious resurrection.
Kondak (Tone 3)
Formerly laden with every kind of immorality,*
today because of your repentance,
you were made a bride of Christ,*
longing for citizenship with angels*
crushing demons by the Cross as your weapon.*
And so, glorious Mary, you became a bride of heaven.
THEMES OF THE SUNDAY
1. The focus is on Jesusí own journey towards Jerusalem where His final victory over sin and death will be won.
2. Mary of Egypt is presented as an example of repentance after experiencing a change of heart.
1. Learn to sing the Tropar and Kondak of the Sunday.
2. Put the icon of Mary of Egypt in the icon corner and pray to her.
3. Chant a little section from the Canon of St. Andrew of Crete.
The EPISTLE reading: Hebrews 9:11-14
= How did Christ achieve eternal redemption for us?
= What were the results of Christís perfect sacrifice (vs. 14)?
The GOSPEL reading: Mark 10:32-45
= What was Jesus speaking about to the disciples on the road going up to Jerusalem?
= What did James and John request from Jesus?
= What did Jesus teach the disciples about true greatness?
= What can we learn from this?
St. Andrew was from Damascus, Syria. He led a monastic life in Jerusalem for many years.
He was later chosen as Archbishop of Crete.
He is one of the great poets of the Church.
The Great Canon is his most famous work.
The Great Canon is made up of about 200 hymns.
These hymns review the history of the Old and New Testament.
It is a prayer of repentance.
It is read toward the end of Lent (usually on Thursday, the 5th week of Lent, that is on Wednesday evening.)
The Lord is my Helper and Protector.
He is my God and I glorify Him.
Where shall I begin to weep for the actions of my life?
What fruits shall I offer to You, O Christ?
Come, my soul, offer to God tears of repentance.
Make your confession to Him and abstain henceforth from your sins.
I am like the man one who fell among robbers.
They have covered my body with wounds, and I lie beaten and bruised.
I confess to You, my Lord, all my sins,
Voluntary and involuntary, known and unknown:
Come, my Saviour, and free me from the yoke of sin.
In Your compassion and mercy, grant me forgiveness and heal me. Amen.