Friday March 1, 2024 a.d.Meshir 22, 1740 a.m.

Repentance in the book of Jonah

Jonah the Prophet

A Beautiful Story of Repentance

The book of Jonah the prophet is full of wonderful spiritual contemplation. How beautiful is the Church’s choice! She chose this book to be the prelude of the forty days of Lent.

A beautiful story of repentance and fasting precedes the Great Lent by two weeks that we may approach the holy forty days with a clean heart attached to the Lord.

The Chosen Weak Put to Shame the Mighty

In the book of Jonah, God wants us to know an important fact: that the prophets were not of a different nature, but were ordinary people “with nature like ours” (James 5:17), having weaknesses, shortcomings and faults, and it was possible for them to fall like us. It was not their power, but the power of the Holy Spirit working to aid them in their weaknesses, that the power may be of God not of us, according to the Apostle’s word (2 Cor.4: 7).

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The Wedding at Cana of Galilee

The Wedding at Cana - Coptic Icon

St. John is the only one who recorded the events of the wedding at Cana in his gospel (John 2:1-11), since he was one of the witnesses of the event. He was the only one who knew the details of the conversation between Christ and St. Mary, as St. Mary stayed with him in his house for a long period after the crucifixion and told him about all these things.

The events happened in “Cana” of Galilee, which is about 6 miles northeast of Nazareth. It is about a 2 hour walk. This feast is one of the minor feasts of our Lord. It happened on the third day of Epiphany. That's why the church celebrates it on Toubah 13th as Epiphany is on Toubah 11th.

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Beginning of a New Year

H.H. Pope Shenouda III

Dear beloved,

If there is a contest to choose from all the years of your lives, which one of them will be the best? Do not make yourself tired to search the past, but I wish that the New Year will be the best, and to be the ideal year.

May this coming New Year be the most acceptable before God and men. Let us remind ourselves with these words before the beginning of every New Year. Some people train themselves to have an ideal day to spend in the best spiritual and social manner. So, let us have an ideal year in which every day and every hour is ideal.

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The Christ of the Samaritan Woman

Christ with the Saamaritan Woman

The relationship between Jews and Samaritans was characterized by hatred and enmity, even until the point of death. The reason for this is rooted in the Jews' pride and arrogance towards the Samaritans, because the latter married from the Gentile pagans in the post exilic period. This led the Jews to sever all ties and contact with them. This enmity started at the time of Nehemiah and Ezra the priest who refused to let them help in rebuilding the temple or even in worshiping with them. This led the Samaritans to building another temple on Mount Gerizim in 409 BC.

During the time of Christ, the Samaritans refused to receive Christ in their city. (Luke 9:52-56) However, Christ planned to meet with them by way of His meeting with the Samaritan woman. Thus, He spent some days with them eating and drinking, talking with them and showing them His gentleness and compassion, which ultimately led them to believing in Him and bearing testimony that He is the Savior of the world.

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He Was Lost And Now Is Found

The Prodigal Son

It is very better for a man not to sin, and if he sinned, he should repent quickly for his sins to be forgiven as God gave us his promise, as the Prophet said “For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his ordinances were before me and his statutes I did not put away from me.” (Psalms 18:21-22)

But if one insists on committing the sin and does not repent, he can not escape from perishing as the Lord said, “I tell you, No; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish“ (Luke 13:5)

"It is good that you do not commit a sin, and if you sin, do not delay to repent, and if you repent, do not go back to sin, and if you do not go back to sin, know that it was God’s help that supported you and know that you should thank God for his blessing, and keep asking God for his support.” Saint Basil.

God loves you and he wants you to live, not to perish.

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