February 7, 2018

Our Venerable Father Parthenius, Bishop of Lampsacus (312-37); Passing into Eternal Life (1957) of Blessed Petro Verhun, apostolic Visitator of Forced Labourers in Germany and Martyr of Siberia
According to liturgical prescriptions, the Divine Liturgy is not celebrated today

Joel 2:12-26; Joel 3:12-21

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

The Great Fast begins next Monday and today, which is an a-liturgical day we are given a prophetic reminder of the purpose and goal of this important upcoming season. The holy prophet Joel, speaking in the Spirit, reminds the Jewish people, and us who have been brought into the family of God, that the Lord desires a conversion of our heart. In fact, He desires a genuine conversion of my whole heart: “Return to me with all your heart…” Far too often we find ourselves holding back a portion of heart: ‘I can offer you this much of my life Lord, but the rest is not for You.’ Is it an issue of fear: Am I afraid of giving myself completely to the Lord? Is it an issue of faith: Do I lack faith that the Lord has my best interest in mind. Is it an issue of love: Do I love something or someone more than the Lord Jesus Christ?

If we are holding back and not able to offer the Lord our whole heart, whatever the reason may be, we are missing out. Our hearts were created to be filled with the Living God, so when we don’t live up to our designed potential we miss out the great joy and blessing that the Lord brings. The only response worthy of this tragedy—for the only true tragedy in life is not becoming a saint— is, ‘fasting, wailing and mourning…”. Let us hear the Joel’s call to ‘sanctify this fast’ for the conversion of our hearts to the Lord.