In my opinion this is one of the most wonderful Sundays of the year. The book known as the Triodion is used today for the first time as we approach Great and Holy Lent – the time when we begin to prepare ourselves for the annual season of fasting arid repentance. Hopefully we have grown spiritually during the past year and we have attained a deeper understanding of what a wondrous thing repentance truly is. Repentance is not a dark and gloomy pursuit – the process is joyous, exciting and awe-inspiring as we heal, transform and elevate our minds and souls.
The seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost is the last of consecutive Sunday Gospel readings after Pentecost from St. Matthew. The prescribed Gospel reading for this Sunday is from St. Matthew, chapter 15, verses 21 through 28, where-in we read and hear of an encounter between our Lord and a woman of Canaan. Within this brief Gospel passage, the faith of a Gentile and Jesus’ ultimate gracious response is revealed to us.