The Sunday before the Great lent is called the PETHRATHA Sunday. The Syriac word, ‘Peturta’ means “looking back” or “reconciliation”.
The Liturgical Season of Great Lent is one of the kinds of introspection- looking back to one’s own life, and of real reconciliation.
As a reminder one of the hymns in the Shubquono (Liturgy of Reconciliation) liturgy says, “Brethren, let us love one another, for it is the completion of the commandments.”
The reading is from St. John 2: 1-11; which depicts the Marriage at Cana, where we can see the first sign of the Son of Human.
Jesus and his friends were invited to a wedding feast in the city of Cana. The mother of Jesus was also there and she came to know that there was a problem with the supply of vine- they ran out of the vine.
When she knew this, she said to Jesus “they have no vine”;
Jesus replied: O women, what have you to do with me; what does this mean?
Does it mean that he was so harsh and saying; crap, who are you?
No. But it means “What you and I have to do with this;
It further means, never mind, don’t be worried!
He further says, “My hour has not yet come”; which means “I must wait for the right opportunity”.
Though Jesus tried to find excuses, his mother was so confident in him; she asked the servants to “do whatever he tells you”. Mary was so confident; “do not worry, he will find some way”.
The servants filled six stone jars with water, and Jesus said “Now draw some out…start serving”
Water was turned into vine; transformed into vine! And this became the first sign of Jesus and his disciples believed in him.
The take home is, reconciliation need to end-up with the transformation!
“If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9
According to the liturgical calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church the Service of Reconciliation (Shubhkono), is celebrated on the first Monday of Great Lent, after the canonical office of the 6th Hour.
This service is a preparation for Great Lent, and forgiveness is
marked by 40 prostrations and the kiss of peace at the end of the service. The Church begins Great Lent with the ‘Day of Forgiveness,’ and sets her journey into penitence.
With kneeling and prostration, her people look ahead to Kymtho (resurrection), the great feast of the Light. Let us all ask forgiveness from everyone we may have wronged willingly or unwillingly, knowingly or unknowingly so that our fast and prayers may be
pleasing to God.
O God help us that our reconciliation with you and with our fellow beings help us to transform from what we are to what we are supposed to be, to be more like you!
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