Tuesday of the Second Week of Great Lent
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 7, 1 - 12
‘Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.
For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.
Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?
Or how can you say to your neighbour, ' Let me take the speck out of your eye ' , while the log is in your own eye?
You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye.
‘Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you.
‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.
For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone?
Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake?
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
‘In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.
Tuesday of the First week of Lent
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 6, 7 - 15
Jesus said to his disciples:
' In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread;
and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors;
and do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one.
If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions. '
Tuesday of the Second Week of Great Lent
Letter to the Galatians 2, 11 - 17
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood self-condemned;
for until certain people came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But after they came, he drew back and kept himself separate for fear of the circumcision faction.
And the other Jews joined him in this hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.
But when I saw that they were not acting consistently with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, ‘If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?’
We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners;
yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law.
But if, in our effort to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have been found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not!
Tuesday of the First week of Lent
Book of Isaiah 55, 10 - 11
Thus says the LORD: Just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats,
So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.
Season of the Great Lent - The healing of the hemorrhaging woman
Last Sunday's Gospel ended with the sounding of the bell of the man who was leper, which the Lord Jesus turned it from a warning bell to escape from his face, to a church bell inviting people to meet the face of the Saviour. It is the Season of the great Lent or the Season of the glorious return. If the dream of the first human being was to return to a lost paradise, and the goal of the people of the Old Testament was to return to a promised inheritance land, then the calling of the new person is to return to an existing warm embrace. It is a welcoming community that receives returnees after isolation, which is what happened with the leper last week. This Sunday, the bleeding woman and the dying young girl, also return to a life of dignity. To the heart of the Father, who next week will rejoice at the return of the prodigal son to the parental home.
It is the faith in Christ' ability to give life who brought Jairus to Jesus, falling at his feet for the sake of his only daughter, a twelve-year-old girl who is dying. It is the same faith that prompted the bleeding woman since twelve years to enter among the crowd, approach Jesus, touch the fringe of his clothes, and stole the blessing of life. That woman is a symbol for the people of the twelve tribes of Israel, who have no salvation except through faith in the saving touch of Christ. Likewise, the young girl is an image of the Church of the Twelve Apostles, which will not triumph over death and persecution without hearing the voice of the Lord Jesus.
Therefore, the true Faith, which is healing and the giver of life, is not only the recognition of the existence of one God in heaven, or the announcement with the multitudes of the incarnation of the Son of God in the sacrament of the Eucharist, but rather, it is a plunge at the feet of Jesus the Savior, to acknowledge our weakness and helplessness, and to touch his healing forgiveness. It is accepting His words as a lamp for our steps and a light for our path, and receiving the body and blood of the Lord to sanctify our bodies and stop the bleeding of our lives.
It is a call to all those who desire a better life… behold, the bells of return are ringing. Amen.
(Father Maroun Moussa M.L.)
من زمان وع ضهر سفينه كان في رجّالين راجعين ع بلدن، من بلد كتير بعيد وكان بلدن جزيره زغيره وكتير بعيده. واحد منهن بيلاحظ حبّه زغيره ع الأرض، بيلمّها وبيتفحّصها. حبّة دره، واحده ما بتفيد، لو كان كيس مليان كان بينفعني. وزتّ الحبّه. التاني لمّ الحبّه وحطّها بجيبتو، ولما وصل ع الجزيره زرعها، كبرت وعطيت نبتة دره، محصول زغير. لكن الرجال رجع زرع المحصول وقطف محصول جديد، عطى منو أصحابو وزرع الباقي، ولمّا زرعو الكلّ كان المحصول كتير كبير. حبّه زغيره خلّت كل أهل الجزيره يعرفو الدره ويزرعوه. كل شي بيبلش زغير حتى الإنسان. وبالعنايه بيكبر. وبالإيمان فيه بيثمر. لكن إذا منتطلّع بحالنا منلاقي إنّو ما عنّا نفس طويل وما عم نعطي حدا فرصه تانيه حتى يثبت ذاتو، وأوقات ما منعطي حالنا فرصه تانيه.
الزوّاده بتقلنا: نِعَم اللّه كتيره إخوتي إنّما أوقات بتوصل لعنّا من خلال أحداث زغيره وناس زغار، يمكن ما بقا يملّولنا عيننا. الزوّاده بتحط بين إيديك كلمات مار يعقوب إنّو الإيمان إذا ما ترافق بالأعمال بيموت.
St Polycarp of Smyrna:
Saint Polycarp was disciple of Saint John the Evangelist, and Saint John ordained him bishop of Smyrna. And there were at Rome then two heretics, that one was called Marcian and that other Valentine, the which had deceived much people by their false doctrine. Then Saint Polycarp went to Rome on Easter-day, and there by his predication he brought again to the faith them that they had deceived. He wrote to the Philippians a much fair epistle, and much profitable, the which is yet read in Asia unto this day. It happened that in the time that Marcus Antoninus and Marcus Aurelius reigned, which was the year of grace one hundred and sixty-two, was made the fourth persecution on christian people, after the Emperor Nero, through all Asia. Saint Polycarp heard how the people cried and was moved, he therefore was never moved, but abode without dread. And he was gracious and courteous in manners and pleasant in regard, and tarried always in the city as an hardy champion of God. He was so much required of the people that he departed from the city with their familiar friends, that he went to the field nigh unto the city, and there he prayed all the night for the peace of all holy church. And thereof had he a custom all the days of his life. It happed that three days before that he was taken, as he prayed in a night he had a vision, that seemed that his hair was burnt, and when he awoke he told to them that were with him the vision, and expounded it to them, saying that: For certain he should be burnt for love of God. When he saw that they approached him that would have taken him, he went to meet them and right gladly received them, whereof they were much abashed that they were commanded to take so good a man. And anon he laid the table to his enemies, and made to them as good cheer as they had been his friends, and gave to them largely wine and meat, and get of them leave to pray an hour, and all that hour he prayed much devoutly for all the state of holy church. When the hour was passed he mounted upon an ass, and was brought into the city, and as they led him, Herod came, which wwas provost of the country, and his father with him, and they took him into a chariot with them, and said to him much sweetly: Wherefore do ye not sacrifice as the others do? What harm is it to call Cæsar his lord, and to do sacrifice to the gods for to live surely? And when they saw that it availed not, and that always he was firm and constant in the law of God, they were much wroth with him and did to him much harm in the chariot, and as he approached the city a great multitude of people began to murmur against him. Anon a voice descended from heaven saying unto him: Polycarp be strong and constant. That voice was heard of many but none saw it. Then anon it was told to the provost all openly, that Polycarp had three times confessed to be christian. When these tidings were heard all the people of the city of Smyrna, paynims and Jews, began to cry in great ire: This is the master and doctor of all the christian people that be in Asia, and hath destroyed all our gods, we require that he be burnt all quick. Then the people assembled much wood and brought him to a stake. And when they brought him to the stake they would have bound him thereto, and nailed the bonds with great nails. Then he said to them: Let me alone, for he that hath ordained me to suffer this torment of fire shall give to me virtue of patience, without moving me from this place, for to endure and suffer the flame of the fire. Then the tyrants left the nails, and bound him with cords to the stake, and his hands bound behind him. And as in his passion he praised and blessed our Lord, and the fire was burning and a great flame shining, a much notable miracle was showed right there to much people, which God showed to the end that it should be showed unto all other. And the miracle was this, that the flame departed all about him in manner of a chamber by virtue of a sweet wind that came from heaven, and the body of the martyr was not as flesh burnt in the flame, but as fair as it had been purified in a furnace, and they that were about him felt an odour so sweet as it had been incense or precious ointment. When the tyrants saw that the fire might not consume the body of the glorious martyr, they made the ministers to approach and did them to smite him through the body with a spear, and then issued out of his glorious body so great abundance of blood that it quenched the fire. And when the people saw the miracle they departed, having much marvel that they did so much cruelty to the friends of God. And with this glorious martyr were twelve other martyrs martyred, for to get the joy of heaven. The which grant us the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.