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Saturday, February 16, 2019

    “Open to me the doors of repentance, o Lifegiver; / For my spirit rises early to pray towards Your holy temple, / bearing the temple of my body all defiled. / But as The Generous One, // purify me by Your abundant mercy.” (Byzantine Lenten Hymn, Sunday Matins)

     In these weeks leading up to Lent, I’m thinking how willingly our Lord exchanges “house-visits” with us. Last weekend, we heard the reading about Zacchaeus, a tax collector who scrambled up into a tree to catch a glimpse of Christ, from afar, – and the Lord rewarded his humble efforts by visiting his house. This weekend, as Lent draws nearer and we begin to chant the “Lenten Triodion,” we celebrate another tax-collector (or “publican”), somewhat bolder than Zacchaeus. This one “went up” not into a tree, to see...

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