The time of the Fast is here! The long night of winter is also breaking with the dawn of springtime. For many, this time of year is synonymous with spring cleaning, when we exert much greater effort in cleaning our homes, digging into the deep and hard-to-reach cracks and crevices, nooks and crannies.

Today is the day we should exert even greater effort to cleanse our soul from all the filth that has gathered since our last deep-cleansing confession. How appropriate it is that today has been so aptly titled Clean Monday.

A deep-cleaning of our homes makes the ordinary item to sparkle! The rooms are brighter and our spirit is lifted! And all this from mere Windex and Spic-and-span. Imagine how much more sparkling and how much more radiant our souls with the deep-cleansing of Great Lent!

The words of the divine services share this common theme of a joyful sorrow – the restful labor, and the radiance emanating from Tomb of Christ:

Let us begin the all-holy season of fasting with joy; Let us shine with the bright radiance of the holy Commandments of Christ our God. With the brightness of love and the splendor of prayer, the strength of good courage and the purity of holiness! So clothed in garments of light, let us hasten to the Holy Resurrection on the third day, that shines on the world with the glory of eternal life! Sessional Hymn from Matins on Clean Monday

Indeed the fast requires effort, the greater the effort-the greater the reward. This is a special time and we must labor to keep it special in our heart and home! Today is the first step on our Lenten journey, leading us to Golgotha and then on to the tomb of Christ, so that walking with the Myrrh-bearers at early dawn, we may behold the Resurrection of Christ!