by Fr. Dmitri, New Zealand
Saturday 20 March 2010 (11 Paramhat; 11Baramhat)
St. Enodoc of Cornwall
And every man that striveth for the mastery
is temperate in all things.
(1 Cor. 9:25a)
Prayer is the key to heaven, and with its power,
the human being can do everything.
(Heg. Pishoy Kamel)
Son of David, have mercy on me! So Jesus answered and
said to him, "What do you want Me to do for you?" The Blind
man said to Him, "Rabboni, that I may receive my sight."
(Mark 10:48b & 51)
Preserve your tongue from all manner of evil, and may your lips
that were created for praise, not pronounce words of blasphemy.
(Ephraim the Syrian)
Repentance is a fervor, which runs through the person, it inflames
him with the desire to change for the better.
(HH Pope Shenouda III)
Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her
voice was not heard.
(1 Sam. 1:13)
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that
proceeds from the mouth of God.
If I have any goodness in me, You are its source.
For the right in me is Yours O good one, and I
got it from You.
Do no evil to anyone, and do not judge anyone.
Observe this and you will be saved.
All Christians are called to mortify our natural
inclinations. If we do so, we draw down upon ourselves
Merciful Father, help us to keep a tight reign over
our evil inclinations. Grant that we may thus receive
Your graces and live in accord with Your will.
(Francis de Sales)
Open to me the gates of righteousness. I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord. This gate of the Lord into which the righteous shall enter. (Psa. 118:19-20)
The Targum and Talmud say that this Psalm was used for antiphonal singing in the liturgy and connect it with the Feast of Tabernacles. In line with this, recent exposition associates the psalm with the Autumn festival of enthronement in which the Davidic king, is symbolically put in jeopardy by his foes, is delivered by the Lord and restored to kingship. It was sung in triumphal procession, culminating in sacrifice.
There was a symbolic humiliation of the king, showing that the throne did not depend on force of arms and that militarily speaking, worldly forces were even stronger. Prayer of the faithful prevailed. David's throne rested on divine promises. David is calling for the gates of the righteous to be opened as they approach the House of the Lord.
When we look at Psalm 43 we see a similar parallel in verses 3 & 4 " O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me into thy holy hill, and to thy Tabernacles. I will go unto the Altar of God, unto the the God of my joy and gladness, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God."
Possibly the guardians of the Temple meeting the procession lays down the rules for entry, that none but the righteous can enter through the gate. But who are they to judge who is righteous or not. Righteous means basically 'in right with God.' which the king insists that he is in this state through prayer and the testimony of God.
So as we approach the Altar of God, we do so in fear and trembling remembering the Blood of the Sacrificial Lamb and that Lamb that was slain for the sins of the whole world in the person of Christ Jesus. In the Time of Trial to come we could be led as lambs to the slaughter, were it not for the steadfastness of God and His Christ who avail us with their protection. To Thee be glory and Praise, now and ever, unto Ages of Ages.
Morning: Psalm 79:8-9; Gospel Matt. 9:1-8.
Liturgy: Ephes. 4:1-7; 1 Peter 1:13-21;
Acts 27:9-26; Gospel: Mark 10:46-52.
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