Repentance overcomes pride! Repentance is the moment when the human soul is ready to take the next step. Repentance is the thought that sin can no longer have place in man and must be eradicated. This is repentance and the Prodigal Son teaches us it.
We are already on the threshold of the Lent. Again, the words of repentance, confession and forgiveness stand before us. Fathers of the church have determined before the beginning of this journey to the Passover, to the Feast of Feasts, to experience a period of cleansing. Going through the spiritual desert and refreshed through the tears of repentance, to enter into the new Day – Eighth. On which day everything is new and nothing is left of what has already been.
This spiritual journey to what we are going to do is preceded by another period – preparatory. The Sundays we are going through with you now prepare us for the Lent. First was the Sunday of Mitar and Pharisee, where we heard the evangelical passage about the humility of one and the pride of the other. This Sunday, the Church directs our gaze on repentance, and not just asking for forgiveness for a transgression, but for repentance that touches the human heart deeply and in it, the transformation of the spirit.
Last Sunday, Church Fathers told us that it is better to consider ourselves as unworthy men and to consider ourselves to be worse than the worst. Only in this way will we receive the grace. And in today’s Sunday they tell us again to take our spiritual feat with a clean but humble face. To trample our pride and begin our journey with a look inward into our hearts. The prodigal son did that. He went to a distant country, wiped his mound, made dozens of sins, and fell into disgrace. He decided to go to his father to return, but not as a son, but as a servant.
Are we ready to do the same? The days of the Lent will be the days of our spiritual renewal and return to our Father’s home. What do we want to go there? Like sons or servants? Are we worthy to be called sons of God? And would it be bold to say that we are not servants? Such questions are posed to us from today’s Sunday. And only we, through our conscience, can answer them. But to call ourselves sons, we will have to break our egocentrism and pride. We will have to realize that, like the Prostitute, we are nothing but the lost, wasting ours wealth and falling into disgrace. To such an extent we must attain humility and repentance that we are willing to pray and eat from the food of the swine.
Humility will crush our pride. The prodigal son beat himself, humbled himself, realized, repented, and received not the food of the swine, but a fat calf. For him a feast was being held. We have such a feast and such an important and solemn table prepared for us, and in order to participate in it we will have to go through the Lent. Then, with shining faces, trembling hearts, and animated by the message of victory over death, we will enter into this heavenly earthly feast and join in Christ. And we will be in Him. And He will be in us. Forever.
We are only required to realize ourselves as Mitharius and to begin the path of repentance as the Prodigal Son.
Author: Angel Karadakov