Yesterday our journey began as we too entered the temple, beholding the acts of the Publican and Pharisee. The Church has prescribed a series of readings and hymns in that great work of penitence, the Triodion. The period of time of preparation before Great Lent has also taken on the name of this great work so that now it is often customary to use it in greetings brothers and sisters-in-Christ.
Beloved, behold, the time of repentance draws nigh. The Church has asked us to partake of the spiritual treasure contained in the Triodion. The general tone and character of the Lenten Triodion is prayerful repentance. All the hymns and readings kept in the Lenten Triodion lead us to sincere prayer, causing feelings of repentance for sins, a thirst for fasting and repentance.
The readings direct us to recognize our weakness and that we have saddened our Father. Further, the readings call the sinner, each of us, to enter into himself and to understand his unworthiness; all to teach him to reject the highly praised pride of the Pharisee, to pray with humility like the Publican, to repent like the Prodigal Son, to tremble before the Dread Judgment of God, and to lament similarly to the fallen
Forefathers. Wherefore, having taken up the saving works of the fast during the Holy Forty Day Lent we imitate the Savior, who fasted for forty days in the Jordan desert.
Let us add lamentation upon lamentation, pouring forth tears as we look to the great acts of our Lord, fulfilled by him in the last days of His earthly life, so that our sins and passions are crucified with the Deliverer.