A Sermon on the Third Sunday of Pre-Lent
St. Benedict Orthodox Church
Celebrating in the Western Rite
of the Antiochian Jurisdiction
“Dust thou art O Man, and to dust thou shalt return.” This is the last Sunday of Pre-Lent. In
three days we will hear those words and be marked with the ashes of our dust to begin in
earnest this Lenten journey. The ashes and these words connect us back to Adam,
banished from paradise, and remind us of our work to “come to ourselves” as the prodigal
and return to paradise and to our God and Father.

Looking at tools for this Lenten journey and weapons for the battle of becoming truly human,
the Adam we were created to be, none is more potent for the task or repugnant to the fallen
nature of pride than confession and repentance.

Just bringing up this subject causes an almost unconscious reaction within us. Largely, this
type of reaction is due to a misunderstanding or misconception on one hand, or a
misaligned focus on the other.

It carries baggage for many that relate it to a juridical process of condemnation, rather than
the process of healing and re-creation which it is for those who come to the hospital of the
Holy Church. The one tends only to excuse our sin, the other to heal our wounds and make
us whole.

As long as we remain in this world, repentance will be an integral part of any true Christian
life.

In the words of Fr. Stanley Harakas, “repentance constitutes the beginning, middle and end
of the transfigured and transformed life.”
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The Orthodox Church is evangelical, but not Protestant.
It is orthodox, but not Jewish. It is catholic, but not Roman.
It is not non-denominational, it is pre-denominational.
It has believed, taught, preserved, defended, and died for the Faith of the Apostles
since the Day of Pentecost nearly 2000 years ago in 33 A.D.
St. Benedict of Nursia Orthodox Church
St. Benedict of Nursia
St. Benedict of Nursia Orthodox Church