We set off upon this third week of the Great Fast and realize that we have reached the mid-point of Lent.  This is a perfect time to look both back to the beginning of the Fast, and forward to the endpoint, Holy Pascha.  Have we struggled to correct our everyday sins and our destructive passions?  Have we fasted according to the time-honored tradition of the Church?  Have we done anything at all?  If so, then the Cross, placed before us today, will strengthen our resolve to go further by staying the course.  If not, there is still half the Fast left.  We can begin now...like the laborers in the gospel who came in the middle of the day to work (see the 20th chapter of the gospel of St. Matthew).  God will accept us and bless our efforts.  Let us deny the body its usual pleasures of food and sensuality and let us cleanse the soul in holy confession. The Fast is half over!  Let us not waste time! 

Saints, Feasts, and Readings for 12/15/2017

Eleutherios the Hieromartyr, Bishop of Illyricum, and his mother Anthia
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