April 2, 2023
Fifth Sunday of Great Lent
Commemoration of St. Mary of Egypt
The facts of the life of St. Mary of Egypt are vague and clouded by time and separation, but the spirit of her story is a clear call to repentance and devotion. According to tradition, Mary was from Alexandria, where she was an actress and courtesan, living a life of sin and infamy. When spiritual intervention forbade her entry to Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, she spent the night in penitent prayer. The following morning she was able to enter, whereupon she venerated the cross and immediately removed herself to the life of a penitent and solitary in the Palestinian desert. She remained in isolation for forty-seven years, aided only by monks of the region and God’s grace. Only at her death was she found and given communion by the priest Zosimus. On this last Sunday of Lent, as we prepare for Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and the Great Feast of the eighth and eternal day, we call to mind this holy woman, her fear of the all-powerful God, her recognition of her sin, her repentance, her humility, her faith, and her unwavering intent to seek righteousness and the courts of her King.
Hebrews 9:11-14: Brethren, Christ having appeared a High Priest of the good things to come, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; neither through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having found eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of bulls and goats and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Mark 10:32-45: At that time, Jesus took His twelve Disciples, and began to tell them what was to happen to Him, saying, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles. And they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit upon Him, and kill Him; and after three days He will rise.” And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to Him, and said to Him, “Teacher, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire” And Jesus said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And they said to Him, “Grant us to sit, one at Thy right hand and one at Thy left, in Thy glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to Him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized. But to sit at My right hand or at My left is not Mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called them to Him and said to them, “You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be servant of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Troparion of the Resurrection: The stone being sealed by the Jews, and thy pure body being guarded by the soldiers, thou didst arise on the third day, O Saviour, granting life to the world. Wherefore, the heavenly powers acclaimed thee, O Giver of life, crying, Glory to thy Resurrection, O Christ! Glory to thy kingdom! Glory to thy gracious providence, O only Lover of mankind.
Troparion of St. Mary of Egypt: Through thee the divine likeness was securely preserved, O Mother Mary; for thou didst carry the cross and followed Christ. By example and precept thou didst teach us to ignore the body because it is perishable, and to attend to the concerns of the undying soul. Therefore, doth thy soul rejoice with the angels.
Troparion of the Chains of St. Peter: O Holy Apostle, Peter, thou dost preside over the Apostles by the precious chains which thou didst bear. We venerate them with faith and beseech thee that by thine intercessions we be granted the great mercy.
Kontakion of the Theotokos: O undisputed intercessor of Christians, O mediatrix, who is unrejected by the Creator, turn not away from the voice of our petitions though we be sinners; come to us in time, who cry to thee in faith, for thou art good. Hasten to us with intercessions, O Theotokos, who didst ever intercede for those who honor thee.
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE: All services listed on the calendar will be available through streaming and webcast. (Instructions can be found on the parish website.)
Sunday, April 2 (Commemoration of the St. Mary of Egypt)
8:50 a.m. — Orthros (webcast)
9:00 a.m. — Christian Education