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Forgiveness Sunday (Cheese Fare Sunday)

The Reading is from Matthew 6:14-21

The Lord said, "If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

"And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

Beloved, this Gospel excerpt tells us that if we are faithful and quick to forgive our brothers and sisters of their sins against us, that our Heavenly Father will also forgive us of our sins. Since, none of us has lived and sinned not, we need to forgive others every time they sin against us, no matter the severity; because, we desire our Heavenly Father to forgive us. Moreover, we need to put away our pride even if the multitude of our sins are, in our perception, less than others around us...Do we not realize how much we need mercy? Shall we not, then, properly say: Lord, hear us, and have mercy.

So when we fast, it is not good to display our lack of eating, or our hunger, or our sadness that we cannot eat as we normally do. Beloved, do we not realize that God commands us to fast for the purposes of purging our bodies of poisons? It is a purification of the body that we undergo when we fast; and, not only that, but our spiritual sensitivities increase. Is that not wonderful? Therefore, beloved, let us be of good cheer, because cheer is the best medicine for us. Let us fast in secret, so that our Heavenly Father, Who sees in secret, will reward us openly. The best things in life are invisible to us. What may appear to be wealth on earth is temporal. Where we are going, we will not need anything but Faith in Christ Jesus, and our spiritual well-being.

Genuine "Easter", properly termed, Holy Pascha of the Lord Jesus Christ is on Sunday, April 27, 2008. The R.C. Date for Holy Pascha (March 23, 2008) is incorrect because it comes before the Jewish Passover (Evening, Saturday April 19, 2008), and does not follow the formula set forth by the Ecclesiastical Councils.

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