Today on the Fifth Sunday of Lent we commemorate Saint Mary of Egypt. Father Micah shares with us that Saint Mary lived a profligate life before traveling to Jerusalem with a group of pilgrims, who were journeying to venerate the Holy Cross. Upon seeing the crowds entering the Church of the Resurrection Mary sought to follow them, but an invisible force prevented her from entering. She realized that her many sins impeded her entrance and looking up at an icon of the Theotokos she beseeched the Mother of Our Lord to ask her Son to show her mercy. Saint Mary then venerated the Holy Cross, received communion and was guided into the desert. There she spent forty-seven years in fasting, prayer and in great torments with the passions. It was in the desert that she encountered an Elder Zosimus who prayed with her and listened as she related her life story. She asked him if he would bring her Holy Communion the next year on the shores of the Jordan which he did. The following year he came back to commune her again, but found her lifeless body on that very spot. Saint Mary's life of struggle in the desert and years of preparation before receiving Communion should inspire us to repentance during these Lenten fasting days. Father Micah reminds us that as Orthodox Christians we are to prepare as much as possible to receive Holy Communion entering our own deserts with their struggles. All of life can be summed up in preparation and thanksgiving in receiving the Body and Blood of Our Lord.