Comparatively, the Eastern Churches have also begun their preparation for Lent. The Byzantine Church will have Meat Fare Sunday this weekend; it introduces the beginning of faithful’s abstinence of meat.
We observed Septuagesima Sunday last week, and next week we observe Quinquagesima Sunday. The “Gesimas” are the preparatory weeks before for the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday in the Latin Church. The sacred Liturgy is characterized by the absence of the organ unless to support the signing, the suppression of the Gloria in excelsis and the Alleluia, and the priest dons violet vestments.
Dom Prosper Guéranger gives us a terrific sense of today’s Liturgy.
Moreover, you may want to read Lauren Priests’ 2010 insightful article, “Parachuted into Lent: The Suppression of Septuagesima.”
The overarching theological theme is the covenant God made with Noah due the Flood. The Gospel of Luke gives us the narrative of the sower of the seed. We know the Sower is the Lord; the seed is His Word.
The Word has gone out to the ends of the earth by the Divine Sower ushering in for us what is known as the biblical Hundredfold. There is no place where He has not cast seed. Hence, we believe that God is extravagant in sharing His Word, His Love, His Justice, His generosity, and ultimately, Himself. Some may say, God is unreasonable in His generosity but that line of thinking is incoherent with Divine Revelation.
Our following the Word of God is live the Gospel making sure the the seed sown lands on good ground. kind of ground are you?
Saint Gregory the Great taught, “Man casts seed to the ground, when he places a good intention in his heart; and he sleeps, when he already rests in the hope which attends on a good work. But he rises night and day because he advances amidst prosperity and adversity, though he knows it not for he is as yet unable to measure his increase, and yet virtue, once conceived, goes on increasing.”