February 9, 2018

Holy Martyr Nicephorus
According to liturgical prescriptions, the Divine Liturgy is not celebrated today.

Zechariah 8:7-14; Zechariah 8:19-23

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

And so it begins. Monday is the first day of the Great Fast; a time of preparation, a time to focus on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. A time where we focus more on our own sinfulness and our need for repentance and conversion to Christ.

Today, we read two readings from the Prophecy of Zechariah and the second reading speaks of one Lenten discipline: fasting. Fasting is not a diet; it is a Christian discipline that helps us tame the sin of gluttony. Fasting helps us focus more on God during this season of preparation and not on the food we prepare and eat. Fasting is challenging and life-giving.

Zechariah reminds us why we fast. We fast because “Christ is Risen!” We fast for the “joy and gladness” which awaits us at the end of the fast. We fast so that we can feast and rejoice. Pascha may feel like it is far away right now but as we begin our fasting and Lenten journey, may we remember why we fast: so that we can feast. And there is no better feast to fast for than the Resurrection of Our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ!

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