Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt

"The Life of St Mary teaches us that the values of the Church are quite different from those of the world. She went out into the desert and had nothing, no friends, no home, no possessions, no clothes and hardly any food and drink. The world looked for pleasure, the satisfaction of the senses, money and power, but St Mary was moneyless and powerless in the world. Today's Gospel confirms the choice of St Mary, for it says that those who wish to be great must be servants. This is upside down from all the ways of this world. But our Lord preached this and like Him St Mary lived this.

"Indeed, as we have already said, the Church calls St Mary 'the greatest of saints'. The use of this word 'great' may surprise. In everyday life, we use 'great' in other meanings. The world speaks of 'great politicians', 'great soldiers', great film-stars', 'great performances by sportsmen', 'a great holiday', 'a great car', 'a great amount of money'. But the Church calls St Mary 'great' and a thousand and a half years after she lived we ask for her prayers, but not for those of any politician or soldier or film-star or sportsman. Let us think more carefully before next we utter this word 'great'.

"And as this last week of Great Lent begins, let us also ponder on the words of the Mother of God, which led Mary to her salvation through repentance and her greatness: 'If you cross the Jordan, you will find true peace'. These mysterious words are today also addressed to each of us; the interpretation of their mystery is open to the souls of each of us, but only if we ask the Mother of God and St Mary to guide us. And then we shall find our own 'entry into Jerusalem'".

-Archpriest Andrew Phillips 

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