And He said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (Luke 16, 15)
Metropolitan Vladimir of Chisinau and all Moldova celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Metropolitan Cathedral on the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, the first preparatory Sunday before Great Lent.
This Sunday opens the period of the Triodion, a liturgical book that contains Church services specific to the period of Great Lent.
“The entire Triodion would is commemorated in a concise form all God’s benefits to us from the beginning, using it as a reminder for all of us that we were created by Him, and were exiled from Paradise through the tasting of the fruit, rejecting the commandment that was given to us for our knowledge, and we were cast out through the envy of the arch villain serpent and enemy, who was made to crawl for his arrogance. That we remained cut off from the benefits of Paradise and were led by the devil. That the Son and Word of God, having suffered in His mercy, bowing the heavens, descended and made His abode in the Virgin and became man for our sake, showing us through His life the ascent into the heavens, through humility first of all then fasting and the rejection of evil and through His other deeds. That He suffered and rose from the dead and ascended once more into heaven, and He sent down the Holy Spirit upon His holy disciples and Apostles, who all proclaimed Him to be the Son of God and the most perfect God. And that once more the divine Apostles acted through the grace of the most Holy Spirit and gathered all the saints from the ends of the earth through their preaching, filling the world on high, which was the intention of the Creator from the beginning.
Now the purpose of the Triodion intended by the Holy Fathers on these three present feasts of the Publican and the Pharisee, the Prodigal Son, and the Second Coming is a kind of preparatory lesson and stimulation to prepare ourselves for the spiritual labors of the Fast, having put aside our usual corrupt habits. First of all they present to us the parable of the Publican and the Pharisee, and they call the week following precursory. For those who desire to go off to do military battle, first ascertain the time of the battle from the leaders, so that having cleaned and polished their weapons, and preparing well all their other matters, and having removed all obstacles from their path, they earnestly go forth to their labors, taking the necessary supplies. Often before battle they tell anecdotes and tales and parables to incite their hearts to zeal, driving off idleness, fear, despair and other inadequate feelings. So the divine Fathers herald the coming fast against the armies of demons as a passion which holds fast our souls to cleanse ourselves of the poison accumulated over a long period of time. Not yet possessing those benefits, let us strive to obtain them, and arming ourselves properly, so let us set off to the labors of the Fast.” – is mentioned in the description at the beginning of the Triodion (translation by Robert Parent).
Synodal Sector of Institutional Communication and Mass-Media Relations