March 14, 2021

Forgiveness Sunday
First Step to The Resurrection

- Fr. Pablo Lopez -

Today is Forgiveness or Cheesefare Sunday in the Orthodox Church. We are Blessed to have Fr. Pablo Lopez visiting the Cathedral and giving the homily. He is a newly ordained priest serving in the Spanish Ministry Initiative under His Eminence Elpidophoros. Fr. Pablo begins his homily reflecting on and then answering these questions once posed to him, why does the Church connect Forgiveness Sunday with the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise and when did the necessity of forgiveness begin to exist? He shares with us that the Bible is the history of forgiveness to mankind and forgiveness is the passage from the Old testament to the New Testament. Fr. Pablo encourages us that as Orthodox Christians we should acquire a New Testament mindset forgiving everything and everyone. He explores three different sides of forgiveness; to our neighbor, ourselves and people we offend. If we want to purify our hearts we must pray, repent, fast and give thanks. Forgiveness is given to us in the Cross of Christ where the vertical dimension is God’s forgiveness to us and the horizontal dimension is our forgiveness to others. We are reminded today that forgiveness is the first step to the Resurrection and a new freedom that allows us to return to Paradise again.

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Photography Credits: Beth Hontzas - Music: Presbytera Katerina Makiej