Last Friday of the Great Lent is the last day of the biggest fast in the Coptic Orthodox church. Prayers of this day concentrates on the visit of God for humans in Jesus Christ promising the salvation of mankind; judging the righteous and the evil according to the deeds of every one.
In the readings of the last Friday, Christ addresses Jerusalem saying: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!” He tenderly calls it twice like he did with Martha, Saul and Simon. He calls each one with his name showing the divine love, asking him/her to receive free salvation and never waste their chance in the eternal life. He calls Jerusalem to repent and stop sinning. And like Jerusalem, He calls each of us, knocks on our doors hoping that we may hear his voice and open. He came to restore the lost and save the whole world, to call the whole world to reconcile with Him “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
In the Holy Week, church has arranged in its prayers and readings to transform us smoothly from this end (the last Friday) to a new beginning with God who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. So, He searches for us everywhere to save us and carry us. Shall we listen to his voice?
Our Lord suffered during the Holy Week to save us, so our will should go with His Will. Jerusalem has chosen to refuse him, and to perish. Today, He cries for Jerusalem, and for everyone who refuses him. How come we sin again and deny Him after we had known the secrets of the kingdom of God and his gospel? He seeks fruits in each of us. He who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. He supports all the tempted people, and accepts us like a son who went astray and like the Samaritan woman who was a sinner. He heals our weaknesses and sicknesses. But if we refuse Him, we will lose Him and the membership of His kingdom.
During fasting, we discover the beauty of liturgy, when we meditate and understand the hymns in the church. It gives us beauty to receive the Christ our savior. Jesus in this day is likening Himself to a hen that gathers her brood under her wings. How tender are you O Lord!
He died for us and was crucified to save our souls; the souls of His children. Those who refuse Him are supporting those who had crucified Him as if they are crucifying him again. We should take heed at the beginning of the Holy Week and get prepared to the kingdom of heaven.
He invites us today to be unified and to be holy, to receive the free blessings of His salvation. He who comes late or apologizes makes Jesus suffer even more by his sins, and crucify him again! He calls us again during this Holy Week saying: “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation”. His tender arms are stretching to whoever repents and returns. His wounds are bleeding to heal our sicknesses and to forgive our sins, offering an eternal life to those who partake of Him.
The Suffering Christ calls out to every ignorant and resisting soul, to be saved and avoid perishing. How many times did he tried and we did refuse! But no, Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. Lets return to him to enjoy His salvation. Let’s not waste this chance to take the lord as our precious share, to hear the joyful sound saying: “Enter into the joy of your lord”