The first Sunday of the month of Tout 2020

The first Sunday of the Coptic Year talks to us about the personality of St John the Baptist, why St John the Baptist?

He is a prophet who lived between the two periods of the Old Testament and the New Testament, and now we are in the beginning of a New Year.

The Feast of Nowruz is the feast of martyrs, and St John the Baptist is the last martyr of the Old Testament.

Saint John the Baptist testified that the LORD JESUS CHRIST was greater than a prophet and the greatest of women born. Why? Because no one called for repentance, as St John the Baptist called for until all Jerusalem went out to him.

Repentance in GOD’s eyes is the greatest work that a person can do. So this is our topic on the First Sunday of the New Year; Repentance.


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The forgotten month


We are now in the last week of the of this year according to the Coptic calendar and GOD willing we will be celebrating the New Year on Friday 11th of September for the year 1737 Martyrs calendar.  We in the Coptic Church have our own calendar and it is called the Martyrs calendar and this started on the year 284 AD This was the year in which Emperor Diocletian took over the rule of the Roman Emperor and the most severe persecution began against the Coptic Church to the point that the Church took that year as a beginning to its calendar and called it the Martyrs Calendar.


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End of the year and the Second coming

 

At the end of each Martyrs (Coptic) year the Church reminds us about what will happen at the end of days, so that we prepared at the time for the Second Coming, for this the Gospel of this Sunday and the following Sunday talks to us about the Second Coming of the LORD JESUS. Today’s Gospel is from the Gospel according to St Mark chapter 13. The second coming of the LORD JESUS CHRIST was mentioned in the 3 Gospels of St Matthew, Mark and Luke, as for Saint John, he was unique alone in the Book of Revelation with the events of the Second Coming. The Second Coming needs us to listen to the advice said by the LOTD JESUS (Mar 13:37) “ And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” Staying awake and watching is important because the time when the LORD JESUS will come is unknown. HE shall be coming suddenly, suddenly, as a thief. And the word “watch,” which the LORD JESUS CHRIST demands of us, meaning to be prepared, means that you should be ready for the Second Coming. “And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”


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How do we read the icon of the blessed Virgin Mary?

  1. The Virgin Mary is painted in the icon, sitting on the right-hand side of our Lord. ( The Queen is seated at the right-hand side of the king).
  2. The Virgin Mary is the mother of God ( The Theotokos). This is why the icon is often drawn with Virgin Mary holding our Lord Jesus.

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People Questioned Jesus About Fasting

Today is the second Sunday of the fast of the Virgin lady St. Mary and the Gospel from Saint Luke, chapter 5 when some people Questioned Jesus About Fasting saying,
“John’s disciples often fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours go on eating and drinking.” Jesus answered, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; in those days they will fast.” As you know this commanded was fulfilled when the bridegroom Jesus Christ ascended to heaven his disciples and all the churches started to fast.

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The vineyard and the vine dressers

In the first Sunday of the month of Mesry, which always comes in the fast of our Lady the Virgin Mary, the Gospel is that of the parable of the vine and the vinedressers. What is the relation between the Virgin Mary and the Vine that makes the Church chooses the parable of the Vine and the Vinedressers to be the Gospel of the first Sunday of the fast of Saint Mary the Virgin Lady
The Vine symbolises three things:
The first is the LORD JESUS, the second is the Church and the third is our Lady the Virgin Mary.
The first is the LORD JESUS: ( John 15:1-6) “I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. “I am the Vine, you are the branches. “

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About St Mary Fasting

 
صوم السيدة العذراء صامه آبائنا الرسل أنفسهم لما رجع توما الرسول من التبشير في الهند، فقد سألهم عن السيدة العذراء، قالوا له إنها قد ماتت.  فقال لهم “أريد أن أرى أين دفنتموها!”  وعندما ذهبوا إلى القبر لم يجدوا الجسد المبارك. فإبتدأ يحكى لهم أنه رأى الجسد صاعدا…  فصاموا 15 يومًا وبين لهم الرب ان جسد العذراء قد أصعده الرب للسماء ويسمى عيد تاكيد  إصعاد جسد العذراء للسماء وليس عيد صعود الجسد للسماء .  
This fast was fasted by our forefathers the Apostles themselves when St Tomas came back from his preaching journey in India.   When he came back he asked his fellow Apostles about the Virgin Lady, when they told him that she has passed then he asked to see the burial site.  When they reached the grave, they did not find the holy body, here he started telling them how he saw the holy body been lifted to the heavens……..so they fasted for 15 days asking the LORD to show them what has happened, then the LORD GOD showed them that the holy body was lifted to the heavens, and thus this feast is called the feast of the lifting of the body of the Virgin Lady and not the assent ion of the body to the heavens. Good News


Feast of the Apostles

Today, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Apostles, and we also celebrate the Feast of the Martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul, the Apostles who were martyred during the reign of Emperor Nero in the year 67 AD.

Our forefathers the Apostles were chosen by the LORD JESUS himself as HE said “John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you”, most of them were very simple people and the Holy Bible says “1Co 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.”

After HE chose them, they spent a long period of discipleship with LORD JESUS, they were disciples at the hands of LORD JESUS himself and spent more than 3 years in discipleship and were with LORD JESUS full collateral throughout the week. And after the 3 years, HE commanded them not to leave Jerusalem until they wore a power from the highest, and this power the HOLY SPIRIT, HE said to them (Act 1:8) “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth


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Miracle of the Virgin dissolver of the iron

Today the Church celebrates two important feasts of St. Mary the Virgin Lady. The feast of consecration of the first church in her name and the second feast is the miracle of St. Mary the Virgin when she came on a cloud from Jerusalem where she lived in the house of St John the beloved ………… She stood at the gate of the prison, and the Virgin prayed to our LORD JESUS CHRIST to dissolve the iron to save Matthias the Apostle from prison, so the LORD responded to her intercession, and melted the iron, the chains, and the weapons of the soldiers, and all the iron present in the city. The governor and all the people of the city believed in Christianity and were baptized by Saint Matthias the Apostle and the Iron returned to its normal state again.

This miracle shows that the LORD GOD can deliver HIS people from every tribulation this makes us confident that we have confidence, trust and joy that our GOD is present among us, no matter what circumstances we pass by. We are sure million % that we shall not be harmed because our GOD is in our midst. Our LORD sometimes might allow HIS children to enter into distress or hardships, but HE says “Isa 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them”, and HE will be with us and HE will not leave us.


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The Paralytic Man 2020

The Gospel of today is about the paralytic whom his four friends brought to the LORD JESUS lowering him through the roof, when our LORD saw their faith HE said to the paralytic man (Mark 2: 5) “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (Mar 2: 11) “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” The man stood up and walked in front of all those who were there and they were all amazed to the extent that they said (Mar 2: 12 ) “ We have never seen anything like this!”

Today is the second Sunday of the month of Baounah, the Sundays of this month all goes around the work of the HOLY SPIRIT and that is because this month coincides with the Feast of the dissention of the HOLY SPIRIT and so the fathers of the Church arranged the readings of this month to be going around the work of the HOLY SPIRIT from the point of view of our salvation.

The coming of the Holy Spirit is the last end of the story of salvation. The LORD JESUS in HIS incarnation has blessed the human nature, and then at HIS crucifixion HE solved the problem of sin and in HIS resurrection solved the problem of death. So the human nature was blessed, sin was absolved, and the rule of death was lifted from human nature and thus man became ready for the dwelling of the HOLY SPIRIT. For the LORD to dwell in us, first the human nature must be blessed because it was cursed, then the sin must be absolved and the sentence of death which was put on the human nature must be lifted and thus the human nature becomes ready for the LORD GOD to dwell inside us, (2Co 6) “For we are the temple of the living God “ and this is the aim for the story of salvation.


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