By: GEORGE YOUSSEF
“The Holy Week of Pascha is central in the church life. It is a celebration of God the Heavenly Father’s love. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). It is also a living remembrance of our Lord Jesus Christ, “who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God” (Hebrews 9:14).
-Holy Pascha: Order of Holy Week Services in the Coptic Orthodox Church
The word “Pascha” translates to “Passover” which refers to the angel of death that passed over the houses of the Hebrews. These houses were sprinkled with the blood of the Passover lamb, symbolizing the sacrifice of the Cross. Pascha is the name given to the period between Palm Sunday and Good Friday. The entire Holy
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
On the last Sunday before Palm Sunday, we talk about the man who was born blind. This story is quite important and is found in John 9. This story teaches us not to judge people because of their appearances and disabilities. The blind man was not paid attention to, as people thought he was blind because one of his parents committed a sin. This is unfair as he was treated badly and was not helped. He was healed when Jesus spat on the ground, and with this he told the blind man to put the mud on his eyes and wash it in the pool of Siloam. This must mean that the blind man had faith in Jesus, as this pool was far away, and the man had never seen Jesus before. The fact that the man saw again emphasizes the point that Jesus is the `light of the world`. The blind man had great faith in Jesus, as he had never seen him, and therefore he could have easily thought he was being tricked. We should
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II announced the inclusion of the 21 Coptic New Martyrs of Libya in the Synaxarium of the Coptic Orthodox Church today. Every year, they will be commemorated on 8 Amshir in the Coptic calendar, which corresponds to 15 February in the Gregorian calendar, the same day as the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple.
Axios, Axios, Axios!
This beautiful icon, which is also featured on the front page, was drawn by Tony Rezk. May the Lord reward his talents.
[Article link: http://lacopts.org/story/the-new-martyrs-of-libya-added-to-the-coptic-synaxarium/]
On the 15th of Mesra (21 August), the church celebrates the commemoration of the departure of the nun St. Marina, known as St. Marina the Monk, who was the daughter of a very rich Christian man called Euganius. Her name was Mariam, and her mother Sarah died when she was a little girl. Her father raised her and brought her up well in the Christian faith. When he wanted to give her in marriage and to go himself and become a monk in one of the monasteries, she told him, "O my Father, why would you save your own soul, and destroy mine?" He answered saying, "What shall I do with you? You are a woman." She told him, "I will take off my woman's dress and will put on the garb of a man." She rose up straightway, shaved off the hair on her head and put on the garb of a