In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One God. Amen.
May His grace and blessings be bestowed upon us, from now and forever, Amen.
May you remain healthy this year of 2017 and every year, and during the Glorious feast of the Nativity on January 7th, according to the eastern calendar, which is Kiahk 29th, according to the Coptic calendar.
In fact, as we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, we continue to remember our sons and daughters the martyrs who recently offered their lives in the events of St. Peter's Church. Our Lord Jesus Christ has granted them to celebrate this feast and this year with Him in heaven.We remember them with all goodness. We pray for our wounded and injured ones that Christ may complete their healing and restore their health so that they may join us soon.
In the feast of the Nativity, there are many contemplations. God created man and crowned him over the kingdom of the world, represented by Adam and Eve. Man lived on earth and the number of human beings multiplied, and man lived by the virtues which appeared and flourished. Virtues of cooperation, love and loyalty have appeared; but also some human weaknesses have surfaced. Throughout human existence on earth, and the extension of sin penetration in our life, and with the images of sin, weaknesses, conflicts and violence, man has forgotten one of the most important virtues in life which is the virtue of looking up to heaven. It is amazing that all people can see the sky everywhere and there is no human being that has not seen the sky, but what is more amazing are the differing reactions from one person to another. Some do not care for heaven, some find refuge in it, and others take shelter there. There are many people who ignore heaven and others that gaze up to heaven constantly.
Author: H. H. Pope Shenouda Ill.
Those who fast and receive no benefit from it must have fasted in a wrong way; in this case, what is to blame is not fasting itself, but the method followed. Fasting is a period of concentrated spiritual activity, a period of loving God and adhering to Him.
As a result of this love, one who fasts is lifted above the level of the body and its concerns. He soars above worldly matters, to get a taste of the heavenly. It is a period of sacred feelings towards God, and ultimately, it harbours the feeling that one is close to, and familiar with, Him.
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
By His Holiness Pope Shenouda III
God's children should be strong because they were created in His image and likeness (Gn 1: 26); and God is powerful. We say about Him "Holy is the Lord God Almighty"; therefore, they should be strong like Him.
In the book of Numbers, when God ordered Moses to take a census of the people, this was restricted to young men who can go to war (Nu 1: 3). When the Song of Solomon talks about the men around King Solomon's throne, it describes them as valiant men; "They all hold swords, Being expert in war. Every man has his sword on his thigh, Because of fear in the night." (Sgs 3: 8)