July 25, 2011

Feast of the Cross

In early Christianity, the Holy Cross was very revered. It signified protection, holiness, worship, and blessing to believers everywhere (even before Empress Helen discovered it). In this feast, the churchfocuses on the Holy Cross and how through the Cross, the Lord, descended to Hades to save the righteous. Though the Holy Cross, the Lord opened the doors of the Paradise of Joy again. The Holy Cross is the true power of Christians.  The church celebrates the – …

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June 13, 2011

The Apostles' Fast

The Pentecost, descent of the Holy Spirit, is immediately followed by the Apostle’s fast which lasts from the Monday after Pentecost to July 12th (Abib 5th). The apostles started preaching after the reception of the Holy Spirit. The book of Acts does not end with the word “Amen,” unlike most other books in the bible. This is significant because the preaching of the apostle did not stop at the end of the book. It is – …

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June 2, 2011

The Glorious Feast of our Lord's Ascension

On the Feast of Ascension, we commemorate the last day of the physical presence of the risen Christ amongst His disciples and His ascension to the heaven. It may seem like a parting, a separation, and that after it, our Lord is not with us in quite the same way any longer. However, Christ ascending to heaven opens the gates to us, His people, He prepares a way for us, and He carries us and – …

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April 23, 2011

Glorious Feast of the Resurrection and the Holy Fifty Days

The Coptic Orthodox Church brings to mind the present reality of the power of Christ’s resurrection from the dead on the third day. By His death, Christ has trampled death and has bestowed eternal life to those in the tombs. The Lord of Glory raised Himself from the dead on the Sunday of Resurrection. He rose for us to clothe us with the new man and grant us eternal life. Quote: Before the divine sojourn – …

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April 11, 2011

Sixth Sunday of the Great Lent

The last Sunday in Lent is the Sunday of Baptism, during which we read the gospel reading of the man born blind. “I was blind and now I see.” This is our everlasting experience as children of the Heavenly Father. We were blind and He opened our sight so we beheld miracles of His laws and we saw what the prophets longed to see, and He gave us understanding of the Scriptures. “Go wash in – …

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April 4, 2011

Fifth Sunday of the Great Lent

The gospel of the fifth Sunday talks about Bethsaida which symbolizes Baptism. We, the crowds of Christians, were beside it sick, lame, blind and paralyzed, suffering every spiritual sickness. The Angel that moves the water symbolizes the Holy Spirit Who comes down on the water of baptism. This is our share in Christ: those who are baptized have ever in the Father even if they have been sick for 38 years. The practice of this – …

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March 21, 2011

The Third Sunday of the Great Lent

Repentance in Christianity is different from any other repentance. It is the return of the son to his Father and the Father falling on the neck of His son to embrace him and kiss him (Lk. 15:20). This is the gospel reading of the third Sunday of the Great Lent. The Father’s paternity to us is not because of our righteousness, but because of His paternity to His children, especially the sinners. The Father’s paternity – …

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March 14, 2011

Second Sunday of the Great Lent

The gospel of the Second Sunday deals with the temptation of doubting God’s paternity toward us, “If you are the son of God, why does He leave you hungry? Why does God allow the presence of disease, failure and the death of His beloved?” Practice: It is our duty this week to examine our faith in the love of the Father Who gave His Son for us. Our faith should surpass all temptations and emotions. – …

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March 7, 2011

The First Sunday of the Great Lent

The gospel of the first Sunday of Lent calls for the surrender of life to the Father. “Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat…nor yet for the body, what you shall wear…do not worry about tomorrow.” The reason for not worrying is that, “your heavenly Father knows that you have of all these things” (Mt. 6:32). The practice of this week is a call to a secure life in the care of – …

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February 24, 2011

Preparatory Week of the Great Lent

The Great Lent is considered the holiest fast because our Lord Jesus Christ fasted it Himself. Therefore, during the Great Lent we follow the example set by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who fasted on our behalf forty days and forty nights (Mt. 4:2). Also, during the Holy Pascha, which comes after the forty days, we live the Passion of Christ day by day and hour by hour. The Church declares to us that the closet – …

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February 18, 2011

The Departure of Saint Severus the Patriarch of Antioch

On this day of the year 538 A.D., the holy father St. Severus, Patriarch of Antioch, departed. He was from Asia Minor. His grandfather, whose name was also Severus, saw in a vision someone telling him, “The child who is for your son will strengthen Orthodoxy, and his name will be after your name.” When his son had this saint, he called him Severus. He was taught the Greek wisdom and church subjects. Once, the – …

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February 10, 2011

The Fast of Jonah

On Monday, February 14, 2011, the Coptic Orthodox Church begins the Fast of Jonah, a three-day fast that commemorates the fast of Jonah the Prophet while he was in the belly of the great fish. In the Christian tradition, these three days are type (a symbol or parallel) of the three days our Lord Jesus Christ spent in the tomb. St. John Chrysostom contrasts our Lord Jesus Christ with the figure of Jonah the Prophet – …

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