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The Great Lent

         In the Apostasy era, the Lord Jesus Christ fasted for forty days and nights in the desert, fulfilling His promise of Adam's salvation. The Holy Bible refers to this fast as “The Great Lent.” After His baptism, the Lord Jesus Christ faced challenges from the enemy, Satan, and encountered various obstacles during His fasting. He endured all evil and tribulations for the atonement of the human race; hence, Christians observe “The Great Lent” in the name of Christianity for their emancipation from sins and salvation. The eight weeks of Lent are structured so that the laity are informed about the corresponding deeds and practices of abstinence.


Sundays of Great Lent:

         Each Sunday of Great Lent holds a special significance for us as we progress through the Lenten season towards Pascha, the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our understanding of these days, coupled with our participation in the liturgical services of the season, guides and inspires us to continue our journey with Christ to the Cross, and ultimately to triumph over sin and death.

The first Sunday, Zewerede: "He Who Comes Down" (John 3:16):

          The first Sunday commemorates the incarnation of God, who descended from Heaven and was born of the Holy Virgin Mary in Bethlehem through the Holy Spirit's work. God's descent to Earth was an act of atonement for our sins, driven by His love for all mankind. It is only through the love of Jesus Christ that we can find God, His love, and eternal life. For God so loved His creation that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

The second Sunday, Kedest: "Holy/Sanctify" (Matthew 5, 6, 7):

          Kedest, the second Sunday, signifies Holiness. It involves abstaining from sin, separating oneself from the devil and the world, just as the Lord Jesus Christ withdrew from all beings to fast and pray. Sanctification of sins involves not only abstaining from the inherent nature of Adam's sin but also accepting the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a practice of good deeds, aiming to become Holy through prayer, fasting, receiving penance, and partaking in the Holy Communion.


The third Sunday, Mekurab: "Temple" (John 2:19):

          Mekurab, a Ge'ez term for the temple, represents the Lord Jesus Christ's preaching in the Temple. It serves as a reminder of the Church Liturgy within the Temple as a place of worship, Divine Liturgy, and devotion. At the Temple, the Lord Jesus symbolized His resurrection by referring to the Temple as a metaphor for His body, which would be buried and rise after three days.

The fourth Sunday, Metsagu: "Infirmity, the Paralytic" (John 5:1-15):

          Metsagu, the fourth Sunday, features a bedridden man whom the Lord Jesus healed. This week symbolizes the mercy of the Lord Jesus for all who were physically and spiritually ill due to their sins. Forgiveness is linked with our faith and the Holy Spirit through the Holy Church and the sacrament of penance.

The fifth Sunday, Debre Zeit: "Mount of Olives" (John 3:18–20, Matthew 4:17):

          Debre Zeit, the Mount of Olives, is where the Lord Jesus taught the disciples about His first and second coming to Earth. He informed them of the signs of Armageddon, Judgment Day, and the resurrection of the living and the dead, believers and unbelievers, the righteous and sinners. The Lord's teachings clarified the second coming of Christ, urging all to repent in preparation for God's Kingdom to avoid condemnation.

The sixth Sunday, Gebrehere: "Faithful Servant" (Matthew 25:14–25):

          The sixth Sunday poses the question, "Who is the wise and faithful servant?" The answer lies in our actions while awaiting Christ's second coming. The faithful servant listens to and fulfills the word of God, remaining faithful and loyal to God, the Church, and family. This person embraces and steadfastly upholds the tradition and faith of Christ's Church, demonstrating faithfulness through fasting, prayer, humility, devotion, health, and the wise use of material wealth for God's work on Earth. The faithful and wise servant builds his house upon the rock, not the sand, in contrast to the unfaithful servant.

The seventh Sunday, Nicodemus: "A Ruler of the Jews" (John 3:1–13):

        Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews, sought knowledge from our Lord during the night. He was drawn to Christ, the light of salvation and life. Our Lord welcomed him, elucidating the path to salvation and the inheritance of God's Kingdom. He taught about faith, becoming God's Son, and the Mystery of the Trinity, emphasizing becoming children of God through rebirth and the Mystery of Baptism.

The eighth Sunday, Hosanna/Savior: "Palm Sunday" (John 12:12–19):

          The final Sunday of the Great Lent, known as Hosanna or Palm Sunday, commemorates our Lord Jesus' last journey to Jerusalem. He rode on a colt, the foal of an ass, while people hailed Him as the Son of David, the King, coming in the name of the Lord, and laid palms before Him. This day exemplifies the Lord Christ as the good shepherd who sacrifices His life for His sheep. He fulfilled all the laws and the Passover feast in Jerusalem, leading to His pure sacrifice; the Lamb of God was offered for us all, becoming the true eternal King of body, soul, and spirit.

Holy Week: Passion Week, Holy Wednesday/Judgment Day (John 18:28–40):

         Holy Week, also known as Judgment Day, commemorates our Lord's trial before Pontius Pilate in the hall of judgment. Holy Thursday/Prayer Thursday (Matthew 26:17–30; Mark 14:12–26; Luke 22:1–23). Holy Thursday in Passion Week is a day of prayer on Prayer Thursday. It venerates the celebration of the Passover of the Lord Christ with His disciples during the Last Supper. The ceremony of washing the disciples' feet and the mystery of the Holy Eucharist also occurred on this day.

May God guide us through the fast of The Great Lent, Amen.

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