Coptic Orthodox

Apostles’ fast

By: GEORGE YOUSSEF

May 28th of this year marks the first day of the Apostles’ fast which concludes on July 11th. This fast precedes the Apostles’ feast on the fifth day of Epip, the day St. Peter and St. Paul were martyred.  Through the Apostles’ fast, we thank God for the gifts of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, we acknowledge the struggles and tribulations

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A Journey Through The Great Lent

By: GEORGE YOUSSEF

            The Great Lent is undoubtedly the holiest fast observed by the Coptic Orthodox Church. During the Great Lent, we fast for a total of fifty five days; seven days from the preparation week, forty days to fast as Our Lord fasted in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights (Matthew 4:2), one day for Lazarus Saturday, and the seven last days for Holy Week [1]. It is important to constantly

Matthew 4:1-11 

In the Gospel of St. Matthew 4: 1-11, the evangelist tells a beautiful story of how our Lord Jesus can help us fight the devil and his temptations, especially during Great Lent. Our Lord had just been baptized and the revelation of the Trinity had occurred. He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Here the wilderness can represent the world which is full of various evils and under the devil’s sway. Our Lord shows us 3 main ways to fight the devil. The first is that he fasted for forty days and forty nights. This helps strengthen our spirit when the body is broken and allows us to fight against temptations, and we remember our Lord’s sufferings. The second way is by thoroughly knowing the Bible, which is the word of our Lord God Jesus Christ. The devil has lived a very long time and knows the Bible very well and tries to use verses to trick us.

First, the devil tries to make our Lord fall by the hunger.  He calls into question if Lord Jesus is indeed the Son of God by saying “If You are the Son of

First Sunday

Matthew 6:19-33

Since birth, we were all taught to “seek first the Kingdom of God.” But in seeking the Kingdom of God we must challenge ourselves and give up our own desires. We often think that by striving for holiness, we will no longer be happy or by striving for righteousness, everything else in our lives will falter. Sadly, we put so much faith in our own abilities and forget the power of God. We forget how much He has given us, we forget how much He suffered for us, we forget that even our trusted abilities were given to us by Him, and the most unfortunate of all, we forget that ALL things are possible to Him.

When we put so much focus on our academic, career, social, or physical goals yet forget our spiritual goals, our hearts and minds begin to accumulate many impurities because of their lack of nourishment. However, we must be careful what we place into our hearts and where we place our hearts, “For where [our] treasure is, there [our] heart will be also.”(Matthew 6: 21). If our focus is on the Kingdom of God, only things leading to the Kingdom of God will be in our hearts and therefore leaving our lips; because, let us not forget that “out of the treasure of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34).

During Preparation week of Great Lent, we should set our eyes on heaven. We must prepare ourselves to place God first in our hearts and lives for He put us first before the creation of the world and set everything under our feet. He promises never to leave us in need of anything as we are more of value to Him than the birds of the air, which He also provides for, according to Matthew 6: 26-27. He promised to love us forever and fulfilled His promise by sending His Son to purchase us by His blood. He promised to always fill us; however, we have to open our hearts and allow Him entrance. So let us all open our hearts before God and allow Him to lead us to Him in purity and righteousness as King David in the Psalms said, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139: 23-24)

Author: Marina Abdelsayed

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