By: GEORGE YOUSSEF
May 28th of this year marks the first day of the Apostles’ fast which concludes on July 11th. This fast precedes the Apostles’ feast on the fifth day of Epip, the day St. Peter and St. Paul were martyred. Through the Apostles’ fast, we thank God for the gifts of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, we acknowledge the struggles and tribulations of the holy apostles as they preached and established the foundation of the Christian church, and we prepare ourselves to serve and preach. This fast reflects the fast the apostles took on after the descent of the Holy Spirit upon them on the day of
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.
As Fr. Pishoy sat beside the man he said to him, "I hope all your problems have been solved. You seem happy."
"No, " he responded, "everything is the same, but I realize that Jesus is dwelling in me when I go through some tribulation and struggle. I will tell you of a dream, or perhaps a vision, that filled me with joy."
"I went to sleep very broken hearted, so broken hearted that I was at the point of committing suicide. I decided that I was going to throw myself from a very high mountain. On my way to the mountain, I encountered many of my friends. They all gave me comforting words of consolation, but I didn't feel that I could share my agony with any of them.
As I continued on my way towards the mountain,
The word “Epiphany” comes from the Greek word ‘epiphaneia’, meaning ‘manifestation’ . This refers to the event in which the Holy Trinity as a whole had been revealed to Mankind. Another, more direct term often used in place of “Epiphany” is the word “Theophany” which means ‘the manifestation of God to humankind’ . Not to be mistaken for the Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany was a result of His baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. This is clearly explained in the Gospel of Luke: “When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:21-22). We see here that the baptism of Our Lord resulted in the appearance of the Holy Trinity (Epiphany) :
1. The Son (Our Lord Jesus Christ being baptized and praying)
2. The Holy Spirit (in the form of a dove descending upon Him)
3. The Father (the voice from