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Journey through the Sundays of Lent
Journey through the Sundays of Lent
Journey through the Sundays of Lent
Journey through the Sundays of Lent
Journey through the Sundays of Lent
Journey through the Sundays of Lent
Journey through the Sundays of Lent
Journey through the Sundays of Lent
Journey through the Sundays of Lent
Journey through the Sundays of Lent
Journey through the Sundays of Lent
Journey through the Sundays of Lent
Journey through the Sundays of Lent
Journey through the Sundays of Lent
Journey through the Sundays of Lent
Journey through the Sundays of Lent
Journey through the Sundays of Lent
Journey through the Sundays of Lent
Journey through the Sundays of Lent
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Journey through the Sundays of Lent

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Journey through the Sundays of Lent

Journey through the Sundays of Lent

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  • 1. Journey through theJourney through the Sundays of LentSundays of Lent University Meeting 2009: Ehab RoufailUniversity Meeting 2009: Ehab Roufail Based on “Based on “Journey to the Bosom of the Father”Journey to the Bosom of the Father” By Hegomen Pishoy Kamel   By Hegomen Pishoy Kamel   
  • 2. OutlineOutline  The Journey BeginsThe Journey Begins  Preparation Sunday (Matt. 6:1-8)Preparation Sunday (Matt. 6:1-8)  Treasuring Sunday (Matt. 6:24-34)Treasuring Sunday (Matt. 6:24-34)  Temptation Sunday (Matt. 4: 1-10)Temptation Sunday (Matt. 4: 1-10)  Sunday of the ProdigalSunday of the Prodigal (Luke 15:11-32)(Luke 15:11-32)  Sunday of the Samaritan (Matt 21:28–32)Sunday of the Samaritan (Matt 21:28–32)  Sunday of the Paralysed Man (John 4:1-42)Sunday of the Paralysed Man (John 4:1-42)  Sunday of the Marn Born Blind (Sunday of the Marn Born Blind ( John 5: 1–John 5: 1– 18)18)
  • 3. The JourneyThe Journey BeginsBegins The Journey BeginsThe Journey Begins  The essence of the fall was prideThe essence of the fall was pride  This is the essence of the fast, that we crucify this inherentThis is the essence of the fast, that we crucify this inherent selfishness so that we may love others. For Christ’s love inselfishness so that we may love others. For Christ’s love in this world is a crucified love.this world is a crucified love.  It is warfare against the passions.It is warfare against the passions.  Fasting is to realize that I am limitedFasting is to realize that I am limited  Fasting is a sign that God is the Source of life and not breadFasting is a sign that God is the Source of life and not bread  During the fast, there exists a a dual path: one to Christ andDuring the fast, there exists a a dual path: one to Christ and the other to our fellow brothers and sisters.the other to our fellow brothers and sisters.
  • 4. The Journey Begins:The Journey Begins: FastingFasting Fasting:Fasting:  The practice of fasting looks to theThe practice of fasting looks to the pastpast,, presentpresent andand futurefuture::  ToTo the pastthe past,, as a recognition of offencesas a recognition of offences committed against God and others;committed against God and others;  ToTo the presentthe present,, in order that we may learn to openin order that we may learn to open our eyes to others and to the world around us;our eyes to others and to the world around us;  ToTo the futurethe future,, in order that we may open ourin order that we may open our hearts to the realities of God and, by the gift ofhearts to the realities of God and, by the gift of divine mercy, renew the bond of communion with alldivine mercy, renew the bond of communion with all people and with the whole of creation, accepting thepeople and with the whole of creation, accepting the responsibility which each of us has in historyresponsibility which each of us has in history
  • 5. Preparation Sunday:Preparation Sunday: Shut your DoorShut your Door The Point of Departure of the JourneyThe Point of Departure of the Journey ““When you pray enter into your closet,...shut your door, pray to your FatherWhen you pray enter into your closet,...shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret....” Also if you give alms or fast that also should be towhich is in secret....” Also if you give alms or fast that also should be to the Father in secret....the Father in secret....  The Church declares to us that the closet is the point of departure of theThe Church declares to us that the closet is the point of departure of the journey of Lent.  If it does not start at the closet then the journey of ourjourney of Lent.  If it does not start at the closet then the journey of our fast has deviated from its true course. The fact that the Church starts thefast has deviated from its true course. The fact that the Church starts the fast by directing us to the closet means that the fast is not only related tofast by directing us to the closet means that the fast is not only related to the flesh but it is related more to the spirit and to Kingdom of God.the flesh but it is related more to the spirit and to Kingdom of God. Close Your DoorClose Your Door  The journey starts after closing the door-the door that looks at the world.The journey starts after closing the door-the door that looks at the world. Then there opens before us another door that faces heaven, “Our fatherThen there opens before us another door that faces heaven, “Our father who art in heaven”, “I looked, and, behold a door was opened inwho art in heaven”, “I looked, and, behold a door was opened in heaven.” (Rev 4:1) “Fasting is not a fetter or a prison to the senses but aheaven.” (Rev 4:1) “Fasting is not a fetter or a prison to the senses but a soaring without hindrance towards contemplation of God.”soaring without hindrance towards contemplation of God.”
  • 6. Preparation Sunday:Preparation Sunday: He sees in secretHe sees in secret Your Father Who Sees in SecretYour Father Who Sees in Secret  Since the journey is with the soul, it should be done inSince the journey is with the soul, it should be done in secret. The relationship between the human soul and Christ,secret. The relationship between the human soul and Christ, is an invisible relationship that begins in the chamber.is an invisible relationship that begins in the chamber.  So fasting is accompanied by a reduction in talking and visitsSo fasting is accompanied by a reduction in talking and visits and by concentrating on spiritual readings and attending theand by concentrating on spiritual readings and attending the Divine Liturgy.Divine Liturgy.  Our Heavenly Father is calling us to a holy participation withOur Heavenly Father is calling us to a holy participation with Him in secret, through which we may start our fast, ourHim in secret, through which we may start our fast, our prayers, and our almsgivings. prayers, and our almsgivings.   So we need to beware of negligence.So we need to beware of negligence. Practice: The practice in the week of preparation is thePractice: The practice in the week of preparation is the prayer of the chamber and the worship in secret which willprayer of the chamber and the worship in secret which will continue with us all through after the period of fasting.continue with us all through after the period of fasting.
  • 7. Treasuring Sunday:Treasuring Sunday: SurrenderSurrender SurrenderSurrender of Life to the Heavenly Father: (Matt.of Life to the Heavenly Father: (Matt. 6:24-34)6:24-34) The gospel of the first Sunday of Lent calls for theThe gospel of the first Sunday of Lent calls for the surrender of life to the Father.surrender of life to the Father. ““Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat...norTake no thought for your life, what you shall eat...nor yet for the body, what you shall wear....do not worryyet for the body, what you shall wear....do not worry about tomorrow.” The reason for not worrying is thatabout tomorrow.” The reason for not worrying is that “your heavenly Father knows that you have of all“your heavenly Father knows that you have of all these things.” (Matt. 6:32).these things.” (Matt. 6:32).  The practice of this week is a call to a secure life inThe practice of this week is a call to a secure life in the care of the Father and the carrying out of whatthe care of the Father and the carrying out of what comes in the verse, “Do not worry about tomorrow,”comes in the verse, “Do not worry about tomorrow,” physically, mentally and spiritually.physically, mentally and spiritually.
  • 8. Treasuring Sunday:Treasuring Sunday: AssuranceAssurance The Christian commandment is full of risks but itsThe Christian commandment is full of risks but its assuranceassurance is the care of the Father. is the care of the Father.   The woman who gave the two mites was risking herThe woman who gave the two mites was risking her meal. During the fast, Satan wages his war bymeal. During the fast, Satan wages his war by convincing us that we are risking the necessities ofconvincing us that we are risking the necessities of the body and causes us to worry about our health.the body and causes us to worry about our health. Likewise, in charity, there is a risk of wealth.Likewise, in charity, there is a risk of wealth.  In this week, we experience the complete surrenderIn this week, we experience the complete surrender to the care of the Father and to His commandment.to the care of the Father and to His commandment.
  • 9. Temptation Sunday:Temptation Sunday: Don’t doubt hisDon’t doubt his FatherhoodFatherhood Why does God forget us if He is our Father? (Matt. 4: 1-10)Why does God forget us if He is our Father? (Matt. 4: 1-10) The gospel of the Second Sunday deals with the temptation ofThe gospel of the Second Sunday deals with the temptation of doubting God’s paternity to us,doubting God’s paternity to us, ““If you are the son of God-why does He leave you hungry?If you are the son of God-why does He leave you hungry? Why does God allow the presence of disease, failure and theWhy does God allow the presence of disease, failure and the death of our beloved?”death of our beloved?”  Practice: It is our duty this week to examine our faith in thePractice: It is our duty this week to examine our faith in the love of the Father who gave His Son for us. love of the Father who gave His Son for us.   Our faith should surpass all temptations and emotions.  FaithOur faith should surpass all temptations and emotions.  Faith in the Father should be a faith that fortifies us against thein the Father should be a faith that fortifies us against the temptation of the Adversary, the hardships of this world andtemptation of the Adversary, the hardships of this world and the sufferings and desires of the body.the sufferings and desires of the body.
  • 10. Sunday of theSunday of the Prodigal: RepentanceProdigal: Repentance Repentance in the Father’s bosom (Luke 15:11-32)Repentance in the Father’s bosom (Luke 15:11-32)  Repentance in Christianity is different from anyRepentance in Christianity is different from any other repentance; it is the return of the son to hisother repentance; it is the return of the son to his Father and the Father running to fall on the neck ofFather and the Father running to fall on the neck of His son to embrace him and kiss him (Luke 15:20).His son to embrace him and kiss him (Luke 15:20). This is the gospel of the third Sunday.This is the gospel of the third Sunday.  The Father’s paternity to us is not because of ourThe Father’s paternity to us is not because of our righteousness, but because of His paternity to hisrighteousness, but because of His paternity to his children, especially the sinners.children, especially the sinners.  The Father’s paternity for us challenges all our sins,The Father’s paternity for us challenges all our sins, our failures, our betrayal of His love and ourour failures, our betrayal of His love and our mistreatment of His name.mistreatment of His name.
  • 11. Sunday of theSunday of the Prodigal: Repent withProdigal: Repent with HimHim  Practice: Let’s not permit this week to go byPractice: Let’s not permit this week to go by without true repentance and resorting to thewithout true repentance and resorting to the Father’s embrace....Examine this in yourFather’s embrace....Examine this in your chamber and taste the Father’s embrace andchamber and taste the Father’s embrace and His kisses which are reserved only for thoseHis kisses which are reserved only for those who repent. This is the week of repentance inwho repent. This is the week of repentance in the Father’s bosom, the repentance of thethe Father’s bosom, the repentance of the whole Church...the communal repentance.whole Church...the communal repentance.
  • 12. Sunday of theSunday of the Samaritan: WorshipSamaritan: Worship Worship of the Father in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:1-Worship of the Father in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:1- 42)42)  The next step after repentance is worship of theThe next step after repentance is worship of the Father Who accepted and loved me and cleansedFather Who accepted and loved me and cleansed me from my sins and put me in His bosom. me from my sins and put me in His bosom.  Contrition of the spirit and submission to the FatherContrition of the spirit and submission to the Father and the love of frequent prostrations in worship areand the love of frequent prostrations in worship are the expressions of our love for Him who opened Histhe expressions of our love for Him who opened His arms for us sinners and kissed us. This is the end ofarms for us sinners and kissed us. This is the end of the road of repentance in the Father’s bosom, andthe road of repentance in the Father’s bosom, and this is the sweetest fruit of the chamber and whichthis is the sweetest fruit of the chamber and which the Father gives us in secret.the Father gives us in secret.
  • 13. Sunday of theSunday of the Samaritan: WorshipSamaritan: Worship  The Church, inspired by the Spirit, stresses inThe Church, inspired by the Spirit, stresses in the period of Lent the use of prostrationsthe period of Lent the use of prostrations during private prayers and in the Divineduring private prayers and in the Divine Liturgy (At the Offering of Incense after theLiturgy (At the Offering of Incense after the readings of the prophets).readings of the prophets).  The practice of this week is to worship theThe practice of this week is to worship the Father in spirit and truth “for such the FatherFather in spirit and truth “for such the Father seeks to worship Him.” (John 4:23)seeks to worship Him.” (John 4:23)
  • 14. Sunday of theSunday of the Paralysed Man:Paralysed Man: RenewalRenewal  Bethesda and Baptism (John 5:1-18)Bethesda and Baptism (John 5:1-18)  The Gospel of the fifth Sunday talks aboutThe Gospel of the fifth Sunday talks about Bethesda which symbolizes Baptism. We, theBethesda which symbolizes Baptism. We, the crowds of Christians, were beside it sick,crowds of Christians, were beside it sick, lame, blind and paralyzed; suffering everylame, blind and paralyzed; suffering every spiritual sickness. The Angel that moves thespiritual sickness. The Angel that moves the water symbolizes the Holy Spirit whichwater symbolizes the Holy Spirit which comes down on the water of Baptism.comes down on the water of Baptism.
  • 15. Sunday of theSunday of the Paralysed Man: Don’tParalysed Man: Don’t DespairDespair  This is our share in Christ: those who areThis is our share in Christ: those who are baptized are ever in the Father even if theybaptized are ever in the Father even if they have been sick for 38 years.have been sick for 38 years.  The practice of this week is to hope andThe practice of this week is to hope and never to despair—‎Baptism has given us thenever to despair—‎Baptism has given us the grace of adoption and children are nevergrace of adoption and children are never disappointed in their hopes in the love of thedisappointed in their hopes in the love of the Father.Father.
  • 16. Sunday of the ManSunday of the Man Born Blind:Born Blind: EnlightenmentEnlightenment  Sonship is a Spiritual Enlightenment (John 9:1-41)Sonship is a Spiritual Enlightenment (John 9:1-41)  The last Sunday in Lent is the Sunday of Baptism,The last Sunday in Lent is the Sunday of Baptism, during which we read the gospel of the man bornduring which we read the gospel of the man born blind.blind.   “ “I was blind and now I see.” This is our everlastingI was blind and now I see.” This is our everlasting experience as children of the Heavenly Father. Weexperience as children of the Heavenly Father. We were blind and He opened our sight so we beheldwere blind and He opened our sight so we beheld miracles of His laws and we saw what the prophetsmiracles of His laws and we saw what the prophets longed to see, and He gave us understanding of thelonged to see, and He gave us understanding of the Scriptures.Scriptures.
  • 17. Sunday of the ManSunday of the Man Born Blind:Born Blind: EnlightenmentEnlightenment  Baptism means washing (in the pool of Siloam), soBaptism means washing (in the pool of Siloam), so we become pure.we become pure.  Repentance is a continuous washing, so we mayRepentance is a continuous washing, so we may see clearly. Repentance is a continuation ofsee clearly. Repentance is a continuation of Baptism and it is the means through which we canBaptism and it is the means through which we can see Christ clearly all our life.see Christ clearly all our life.  Lasting repentance cleans our heart, renews theLasting repentance cleans our heart, renews the intellect, protects the contrite soul in the obedienceintellect, protects the contrite soul in the obedience of the Father, and through repentance, we canof the Father, and through repentance, we can discover all the graces and secrets of the Heavenlydiscover all the graces and secrets of the Heavenly Father.Father.
  • 18. Never to late to beginNever to late to begin the Journeythe Journey  If we that the Lord is not our treasure – it is not tooIf we that the Lord is not our treasure – it is not too late to start.late to start.  If we feel tempted and far from the Lord – it is not tooIf we feel tempted and far from the Lord – it is not too late to turn to Him in our need.late to turn to Him in our need.  If we feel lonely and lost in our sin, having separatedIf we feel lonely and lost in our sin, having separated ourselves from the Church as the Samaritan womanourselves from the Church as the Samaritan woman – let us come to the Lord to drink His living water.– let us come to the Lord to drink His living water.  If we have been long in sin as much as 38 years,If we have been long in sin as much as 38 years, focusing on our own power – it is not too late look tofocusing on our own power – it is not too late look to Him standing next to us and accept His healing.Him standing next to us and accept His healing.
  • 19. Never to late to beginNever to late to begin the Journeythe Journey  If we have been born blind, our eyes shut to theIf we have been born blind, our eyes shut to the Glory of God – it is not too late to let Him touch andGlory of God – it is not too late to let Him touch and create new eyescreate new eyes  If we are dead and our stench is obvious to allIf we are dead and our stench is obvious to all around – He calls us to arise and come fortharound – He calls us to arise and come forth  Let us ask and begin wherever we areLet us ask and begin wherever we are

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