Merit by the grace bestowed upon them, Prophets in the Old Testament foretold the coming of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Salvation of mankind with His coming, His birth from the Virgin and baptized in the Hands of Saint John, suffer and be crucified upon the cross. They yearned for the His revelation and awaited for the fulfillment of the prophecy, fasting and praying…
Epoch the Israel entered in military maneuverings of Holoferenes, the Army General of King Nebuchadnezzar, the Assyrians arise to dominate the world. By the time the Israelis endured the King’s inducement and carnage, Judith, a wealthy widow who was living under God’s command spending most of her days in solitude, prayer and fasting saved them from the Holoferenes and the Babylonian empire.
One of the seven canonized fasts of the Ethiopian church, The Fast of the Assumption of Saint Mary is observed as a remembrance of the fast the apostles held in passion of witnessing the falling asleep and assumption of Saint Mary. It takes place from August 7-22. Filseta literally meaning the movement in the Ge’ez language refers to Saint Mary’s assumption.
Amid Apostasy era, LORD Jesus Christ fasted for forty days and nights in the desert to his promise of Adam’s salvation. Holy bible stated the fast as “The Great Lent”. Later than his baptism, LORD Jesus Christ were challenged by enemy Satan, where he was consequently encountering obstacles during his fasting. He faced all the evil and tribulations for our atonement of human race; and hence all Christians in the name of Christianity fast “The Great Lent” for their emancipation of sins and Salvation.
The Meskel Holiday is celebrated on Meskerem 17 (27th of September) and Megabit 10 (19th of March). The word Meskel means, Cross and the feast commemorates the finding of the True Cross by St. Helena.
On the 17th of Meskerem (27th of September) of every year, we celebrate the Feast of the Cross. This is when we remember the appearance of the glorious Cross of Jesus Christ, our Lord. After Jesus was crucified, many miracles were done near Jesus’ grave.
By Hiwot Salelew
Apostles’ fast, traditionally known as the fast of June by laities, due to its seasonality at the month of June, is amongst the seventh fasting. Apostles fasted after accepting the Holy Spirit and before setting out to preach gospel.
It is a fast transpiring after the holiday of Pentecost. On the fortieth day our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ rising from the dead, he went to the house where the diligence of holy apostles arise by praying with disciples. He led them upfront to the longest mountain covered with tall trees, Debrezeit. Alerting them about it, he ascended up higher and higher. A bright white cloud hailed GOD. He rose up far disappearing from their sight not with distancing with but profundity. Out of the very profound love for their LORD Jesus Christ and grieving about his ascending, apostles gazed at the sky for a long time.
Suddenly, they saw two Holy Angels with white clothes standing beside them. The angels told the apostles, “People of Galilee, why are you standing staring at the sky? Jesus shall return back just as you saw Him ascend to the sky.”(Apostles 1÷ 8-11). After apostles heard the angel’s calming words, they went to the temple in Jerusalem to pray and fast with unity, with Holy Mother Saint Virgin Mary beside them, where they remained till the prophecy that LORD Jesus Christ spoke about is fulfilled.
Apostles’ Fast takes places on the first Monday, after the holiday of Pentecost. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in his era on earth acquainted with the disciples to fast. On those days, Jonathon’s disciples come near him and asked, “The Pharisees and along with us will massively fast. Why don’t the disciples fast? (Matthew 9÷14). And LORD Christ replied saying, “Made of Honors won’t grief while the bride is with them; However, there shall come seasons when the bride is taken from them. Then they will fast.” (Matthew 9÷15).
His words meant, while He is here without His death, ascending and embracing Holy Spirit; devoid of renewal of their corporal with the Holy Spirit, they can’t fast and trounce. Just as the apostles fasted and prayed creating heavenly world, we fast the Apostles’ Fast to plead GOD gives us power to defeat our enemy. Though each laities ought to fast, these days most of them refer it as “fast of Priests” and recoil. This is not based on the church’s liturgy and must be altered. Epitomizing Apostles, we merit to fast and be blessed.
May GOD’s mercy,
The intersession of Holy Mother Saint Virgin Mary,
Blessing of Holy Apostles,
The intercession and prayer of the Righteous and Martyrs be with us.
Source: Amharic text by Teklehawariyat at/ www.mahberekidusan.com/amharic website/
Translated by Minwagaw Temesegen
As written in Exodus, 12:21-28, this day is called Pascha, the meaning of which is crossing over. The day is commemorated for the Israelites who were freed from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land in Canaan. In the New Testament the day is called Easter, a holiday celebrated in the memory of our LORD Jesus Christ who conquered and defeated death by His own death and freed the human race, transforming them from death to life and sleaze to glory. That is why we call it the Resurrection of Jesus. In this text, we will read about Easter from St. Luke’s word of GOD at 24:5.
“Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Luke. 24:5). This question was posed by the Angel of God to the Holy Women, who went to his grave early in the morning. The Holy Mothers, who spent days and nights with Jesus Christ, listening to the words of His mouth and looking at the miracles of His hands, went early in the morning to the sepulcher, avoiding the fear of the guards and of the darkness. While, the Angel of God asked them this question and then the Holy Women remembered what Jesus said three days ago about His resurrection. Then after, they went to the Holy Apostles and told them what they saw and heard. They spread the good news about Jesus’ resurrection. The Holy Apostles, then, clearly understood that He is the God of the living, not of the dead. Afterwards, they taught to the whole world about Jesus’ being the Son of God, about His passion and resurrection, and about His sitting in the divine throne equal to the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Easter is one of the main feasts celebrated in the name of Jesus. It is known as the head of all feats by the church fathers, for it was on this occasion that the hope of the holy fathers and the prophecy of the holy prophets were fulfilled. The passion and death of Jesus Christ; the Savior is not a simple piteous occurrence; it is a living truth. The teaching of the Holy Apostles on the resurrection of Christ is the foundation for our church. Thus, in our Liturgy, we clearly declare that as we die with Christ and also rise with Him. We always preach His passion, His death, His resurrection, His ascension and His second coming. At the Easter is changed the cry of pity with the melody of happiness. On this day, the church wears in white and chants hymn of delight.
It is known that Prophet Elijah and his disciple Elisha made the dead arose. The daughter of the head of a temple, whose story is written in Matthew 8:14, the son of the poor woman in Nain, whose story is recorded in Luke 7:12, and Lazarus, whose story is read in John 11, all were arisen from grave. Furthermore, on the Good Friday, when Jesus separated His holy soul from His holy flesh by his power and authority, many (between five hundred and six hundred) were arisen from the dead. However, all of them died again. Jesus’ resurrection is very special from all these. His resurrection did not need any agent; He did the resurrection by His power and authority. He resurrected from the dead with never-dying, never-changing flesh that he would not have any second death and second resurrection. As St. Paul, the light of the world, said it in the 1 Cor. 15:23, Jesus is known to be the beginner of our resurrection because, He arose from the dead, conquering death and corruption (with undying and unchanging flesh), defeating death with His own, winning the spears of death and looting all the possessions of Hell. Moreover, St. Paul in Colossians 1:18 called Jesus the beginning, the first born from the dead.
The Word of God Jesus Christ, our benevolent of salvation, with His passion and death has given us the power to defeat death and Satan. In order to perish the power of the Devil and to save the world He created, the Son of God Jesus Christ came to this world in the will of His Father, of His Own, and of the Holy Spirit. The owner of glory Jesus Christ crucified Himself on the Cross and died in flesh but living in divinity. The Son of the Living God died in flesh to destroy the power of the Devil; He died to destroy death and to save the dead from the ever-lasting death. The One who sits on the back of the angel spent three days and three nights in grave. Going to Hell Himself in spirit, He freed the souls of Adam and his children who were under the yoke of the Original Sin. Just like He told the holy disciples and the holy apostles, He arose from the dead in His power and authority. With this, He conquered, dismiss death and corruption in the sepulcher; He also became the beginner of our resurrection like He resurrected from the dead (Col. 1:18). He revealed our resurrection with His resurrection. He turned us from death to life. The Sun of Righteousness Jesus Christ gave us resurrection to our flesh and life to our soul. Alike as He taught us in John 11:25, He is the resurrection and the life; He is the source of our life.
When celebrating Easter, then, we should bear in mind that Jesus is the God of the living, not of the dead. The angel told the women near the sepulcher, Jesus Christ has been present among the living; He is not present among the dead. Adam, our father, because he wished Godhood and ate the forbidden tree, which he did not deserve, died for a reason, flesh and spirit. In addition, he was sentenced to go to grave in his body and to hell in his soul. Death of the reason is living in sin. As St. Paul, the chosen instrument, said in Ephesus 2:1, “And you have he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins,” to live in sin is to die; moreover, as the apostle taught us the wage of sin is death. The death of the flesh is the departure of flesh from soul. The death of spirit instead is the departure of soul from God. In the contrary, resurrection can be seen in three aspects: resurrection of the reason, of the flesh, and of the spirit. As resurrection of the flesh is returning to God through repentance, resurrection of the flesh is like the daughter of Jaures and like Lazarus who arose from the dead, died again and will rise in the general resurrection. Resurrection of the spirit, on the other hand, is standing on the right side of Jesus in His second coming.
It is impossible to meet Jesus and live with Him without repentance and without participating in the Eucharist. The conqueror of death and the owner of life Jesus Christ will be with us, and we be with Him, only when we take the Holy Communion that was given in the Calvary Square. We should celebrate Easter participating in the Holy Communion, not with the meat and blood of animals. What should worry us, therefore, is not the absence of the earthly food we buy with money, but what should worry us more is our not taking of the Eucharist from the Lamb of God. Easter is the feast on which we receive Jesus and invite Him to be with us by the resurrection of our reason. Therefore, we should participate in the Holy Communion while celebrating Easter.
Christians who believe in the resurrection should get closer to God, to the One with stretched hands for love, and approach Him in confession. Let’s take the Holy Communion being God-fearing and loving, as a result of which we get the resurrection of the reason. Then we stand in glory on His right hand during the general resurrection. We inherit the Kingdom of God that was not seen by eyes of the flesh, not heard by ears of the flesh and thought by heart of the flesh. The Son of the Living God, whose Kingdom is eternal, with His life-giving death, changed our death to life and revealed His resurrection and showed us the light of the resurrection. St. Epiphanius of Cyprus in the book he called Anchor said, “In His resurrection, we narrate the mystery of our own resurrection.” As the holy fathers who met in Nicaea wrote, “We believe in the resurrection of the dead and in the life to come.” The Living God Jesus Christ took us closer to His heavenly Father so that we live in Him. He ruined the Wall of Quarrel made between Him and us. He opened the door of repentance with His Holy resurrection. Our Savior Jesus Christ, with His redeeming death, opened the gate of Heaven, and He gave us Hs fruit, i.e. the Holy Communion. Therefore, in order for us to be living, let’s take this Holy Communion. In order to forbid death from governing our life and so as to get the resurrection of reason of the soul, let’s celebrate Easter performing good deeds to the needy.
As we celebrate Easter, we should avoid absolute fall of the spirit and shame through not eating and drinking too much, not dancing and committing a variety of sins. Let’s be aware, therefore, not to be caught with the snares of sin. Not to lose the hope of resurrection as a result of sin, let’s wash our body with confession. Let’s be faster to get the resurrection of reason. Let’s help the poor, share from what we have, and ask the sick so that we could be given back two fold in the general resurrection.
May the mercy and kindness of our Savior Jesus Christ be with us. May the absolute faith of our fathers and their winning good deeds grant us to inherit the Kingdom of GOD, Amen!
Source: Amharic text by Priest Solomon Wondimu at www.mahiberekidusan.com/amharicwebsite/
By Hiwot Salelew
Our LORD Jesus Christ formed Holy church for our salvation and existence. With his message at 2 Cor.11:2, apostle Saint Paul informs, “By the merit of envying GOD, as I shall thy; for I have engaged you to one virgin bride Jesus Christ, whom I might present you to him”.
History inscribed about our Church tormented by her enemy. We read of Christians who were tortured to death, scrutinized without their sin and scarifying for their faith. For instance, “The years of Martyrs saw many miseries. Whenever we think of Church, we are reminiscent of Good Friday. Our savior LORD Jesus Christ spilled his blood to form it; a holy place where Priests and Church Ministers serve,” explains Megabe Hadis Priest Mengest Mariam, Head of Addis Ababa’s diocese, Bole Bulbula Medhanealem Church sermon.
The prestige of Ethiopian Orthodox Church ought to be safeguarded. Churches are burnt down these days of which are widely spoken off. After the Jimma incidence, our Church has been repeatedly encountering disasters. In addressing this national matter; Holy Fathers, Church Ministers and we all are responsible. Whereas people who committed Arson eventually dies, Holy Church lives thru all the years of Martyrs till the future, serving the sermon and endowing the flesh and blood of the Son of Man.
Megabe Hadis Priest Mengest Mariam further elaborated, “Laities’s duty at the holy church is preserving it. To seize its grievance, we are obliged to fast and pray. If not, we deem not fire as martyrdom, but as grievance. Foremost, devoid of GOD’s willed, neither corporeal nor spiritual deed undertakes”.
Inspecting this enemy scam from its core is expected of us, given that it is swindled to devastate Church. “Holy Fathers must defend laities to have freedom in conserving their right and carry out the order of worship. Omitting our shielding words is immoral whilst they migrate, get slaughtered and victimized by various attacks. The services of the ministers which gradually lessened have affected Holy Church. Whether by their power or shudder, the demeanor of some people must be seized,” says Saint Paul New Testament Preacher Megabea Hadis Aemero Demessie.
Counterfeiting as Christians and forging preachers, ad infinitum attempt to deteriorate Orthodox Tewhado Church, contrive doubt within laities; raze the true religion and Christianity. Our savior LORD Jesus Christ originally informed us, “Be on the watch for the spurious prophets that come to you in sheep’s pelting, but inside they are ravenous wolves,” (Matt.7፡15).
Scoundrels who absconder from Orthodox Tewhado religion Church’s dogma, Liturgy and Marvel, are deluding others as well. Since ancient, our enemy satan’s deed abscond laities hopeless, sloughing their faith and religion; thus we oblige to have endurance, probable when we creed, get baptized; strengthen our good feat and live by GOD’s rule. Just as it’s in scripted in the book, these powers with fortitude are faith, hope and love. Apostles Saint Paul in his message to Corinthians says, “we won’t force you to creed, but aid your good will,” (2 Cor. 1:24).
We live in a world that is drifting on sin wave; despite of our lack of faith and heresy’s hegemony, being cautious of spurious prophets is crucial. Like our LORD said, “Be careful of those attempting to deceive you. Numerous will approach you stating to be LORD Christ and deceive countless. You will hear about war and its rumors; it is indispensable, so be careful. Don’t be scared, however, the ending is yet to come, (Mat.24:4-6).
Amid GOD’s righteousness on our side, we can escape from enemy scam. He will save us bracing our unity with Holy Fathers. We each have to go to Church, custom Christian Liturgy, prayer, repentance and fasting.
Source: Amharic text by Hiwot Salelew at/ www.mahiberekidusan.com/amharicwebsite/
Translated By Hiwot Salelew
His fasting in the Corinthians monastery for 40 days and night was:-
a) To Fulfill the law
Our creator God; Who is above all of the law, passed on His ‘fasting’ for the first mankind Adam, by the Pentateuch for him to inherit Eternal Life, fortifying his stability and safety by Holy Spirit as his cure. It is the formation of the Pentateuch as well.
Our father Mosses, in Deu. 9:9 says, “While I went to the mountain for me to take the promised arc that GOD vowed with you on the two stone Holy plate, I didn’t eat bread nor have I drank water for 40 days and 40 nights.”
With this, mosses received the Pentateuch law; and thus, it is vital to fast. Our savior Jesus Christ made ‘fasting’ as the commencement of the Gospel to fulfill the law. At the Mathew’s Gospel 4:1-11, he says “I didn’t come to condemn the law but to fulfill it.”
b) To pay our debt (for our remuneration)
As GOD order our Father Adam, “Do not eat this fig (the forbidden fruit); if so, you shall die,” Gen.2፡16-17, but he disobeyed his law eating the fig and committing a delinquency. Then after he was baptized and resided in Corinthians monastery for 40 days and 40 nights without any consumption and drinking for the revocation of Adam’s eating the poison that consort death upon him; so GOD spilled his blood.
c) To be an ideal
The initiation of spiritual life and good conduct is fasting. GOD started his salvation on Friday and made it the origination of the Gospel as well. Our savior LORD Jesus Christ was baptized in this world in Jordan, where afterwards his endeavor started with fasting; as the apostles’ have also understood, they commenced abstaining.
Our Fathers made fasting the beginning of the Gospel; via which we can live with GOD’s Kingdom forever and the door to the Eternal Life was unlocked making them exemplary. However, we haven’t order them to fast while they don’t; we ought to fast and pray while living on earth with him as our savior, saving us from the predicament and ceaseless smoldering.
d) To preach us
We should devote our life to LORD Jesus Christ to feat what is permitted, abscond what is forbidden, abiding the law, for salvation by the Gospel and to heal our sore soul. A soul with courage to fast and consequently experiencing spirituality and being diffident , denying the desire of eating and drinking needed for our corporeal can be permitted as the soul’s will.
If this soul attains what Christ sermons, we can bare every difficulty including imprisonment and whipping. Our abstaining to repentant our sin, not only to return back to GOD, but also to live Eternal Life and express our love by the Gospel of our savior LORD Jesus Christ.
e) To defeat Satan
LORD Jesus Christ in Matthew’s Gospel 4:1-11 stated, during His fast, satan tormented him by greed, haughty and materialism. He defeated greed by tolerance, haughty with courteous and materialism through generosity.
Nowadays, we can identify these ordeals to defeat our enemy just as LORD Christ defeated satan and throw him to Hell! In Gospel of John 16-33, Christ said, “Therefore, conquer; for I have surmount the world,” because fasting heals Leprosy of soul’s. It wipes out the desire for physical craving; satisfy soul’s starvation and enslavement from satan uniting us with LORD Christ.
Why do we fast?
Alike our LORD Jesus Christ fast for our salvation; we need to follow his foot step and defeat our enemy satan for becoming heir to what our Fathers have inherited. In the spiritual life of maturity and the physical longing, fast is a sacrifice to GOD. Fast is the foundation of every good deed of the Gospel, His first order to Adam and charismatic gifts, the beginning and the end; Alpha and Omega; GOD.
In Genesis 2:17, what He orders Adam was, “However, do not eat from the tree that distinguishes good and bad; the day you eat from that, you die.”
When we say fasting:-
- It is way for our trepidation of GOD and to ask for His mercy
In Ezra 8:23, it is stated, “We fast pleading GOD; and He hears our prayer,” for us to understand that fasting is our way to commune with GOD and for prayer; we recognize that those people have comprehended it.
- We appeal to GOD with our poignant and problems
The prophet Joel, during Israel was in their sorrow and starvation in Joel 1:14, informed us that we should “Bless fasting, announce the synod, gather elderly people and all living on earth to GOD pleading Him.”
The prophet Joel 2:12 told us, “GOD said, return back to Me with your entire heart with sorrow, fast and yelping; blow the trumpet in Zion; bless fasting, and announce the synod.” Thus, we shouldn’t ask GOD about our physical desire, what we eat, drink, for our peace and harmony. Foremost, Jesus Christ thought us through the prophets to fast and pray; for our enslavement of our problems and sorrow.
- It is a gear that heals our grievance and strain good generation
The prophet Isaiah in 58፡12 informs, “The houses torn down at ancient time, will be reconstructed, its formation will pass on to the next generation and you will be known as the emissary of what is broken and renewing the path of life”. Furthermore, in verse 5 “I didn’t choose this fast, at the day like this, we shouldn’t grief and while fast makes diffident, with that GOD is faithful; there will be blessing upon earth as well; GOD will nourish him with Jacob’s bequest as He Himself stated”.
- Way of worshiping
It is affirmed in the apostles 13:1-2 that Barnabas and Saul were called for spiritual life by fasting and praying. On those days after their fast, prayer and their blessing with their holy hand, they escorted them out. When a person commences the path of worship, he ought to fast and pray; Like Lord Jesus Christ taught us, fast is the way of worship. To find the generation, the apostles fasted before taking apostolic pilgrimage.
- It is our weapon to exorcise satan and evil spirit; Mark 9:29
Subsequent to our LORD exorcising demons whom the disciples were unable too; they asked “Why couldn’t we exorcise,” and so he elucidated their lack of faith. “This generation can get salvation by praying and fasting; but none other.” Other than that, it is important to understand the improbability to exorcise. Opposing and resenting fasting, without its functionality and thinking we could expel demons; it could lead us into being despair and fools of satan.
Weeks of the Great fasting
Whilst our LORD and savior Jesus Christ abstained Himself for 40 days and night, Christians tribute the eight weeks termed in their holy scriptures. These are:-
- The first Sunday of the Great fast is known as ‘Zewerede’ meaning the one who descended from above.
- The second Sunday known as ‘Kidist’, the name signifying GOD’s holiness.
- The third Sunday is ‘Mikurab’; the word standing for the synagogue, reminding us that our LORD during His ministry taught in the synagogue.
- The fourth Sunday is ‘Metsague’; meaning the one who infirm. A hymn for the healing of the sick and giving sight to the blind by the LORD is sung on this day.
- The fifth Sunday is ‘Debrezeit’ a geez word standing for mount olives. A hymn of our lord’s second coming -dooms day which he taught on Mount of Olives is sung on this day.
- The sixth Sunday ‘Gebreher’/Good servant/, the story of the good servant who received two talents are told and sung on this day.
- The seventh is ‘Nikodimus’– a hymn commerating the coming to ‘Nikodimus’ to our LORD during the night is sung.
- The eight Sunday is ‘Hosanna’/Palm Sunday/. It is a commemorative day on which our LORD entered into the temple in triumph and during which the people sung Hosanna in the highest.
Source: Amharic text by Deacon Yosef Bekele at/www.mahiberekidusan.com/amharicwebsite/