How many of us ever stand up and tell other people what we believe about Jesus Christ? How many of us are really convinced that our faith is so completely a part of what we are that is worth proclaiming happily to those who question us? Being one of Jesus' disciples can not be easy, for as Jesus once said:
"Beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils... You will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, and bear testimony before them and the Gentiles... Do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you will say... It will be given to you in that hour... You will be hated by all for my name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved." (Matthew 10:16ff)
Toward the end of the third century, there lived a Christian man named Marcos. He was the ruler of the Borolos and Zahfaran districts in Egypt. Marcos had only one daughter called Demiana. Her beauty and good character were legendary. Her father loved her dearly, and he did his best to raise her up in a true Christian way.
Demiana loved to pray and
Abanoub was only twelve years old when he was martyred by the Roman ruler. On July 31 our Church celebrates his death, as the day of his birth into eternal life.
Abanoub's relics, as well as the relics of many Christians who died with him, are still preserved in St. Virgin Mary and St. Abanoub church in Samanoud. It is also said that the Holy Family visited that place during their Flight into Egypt. The church still contains the well from which The Lord Jesus, St. Mary, and St. Joseph drank. Numerous apparitions and miracles do occur in that church until this very day. Abanoub was born in a town called
In the Gospel of St. Matthew 4: 1-11, the evangelist tells a beautiful story of how our Lord Jesus can help us fight the devil and his temptations, especially during Great Lent. Our Lord had just been baptized and the revelation of the Trinity had occurred. He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Here the wilderness can represent the world which is full of various evils and under the devil’s sway. Our Lord shows us 3 main ways to fight the devil. The first is that he fasted for forty days and forty nights. This helps strengthen our spirit when the body is broken and allows us to fight against temptations, and we remember our Lord’s sufferings. The second way is by thoroughly knowing the Bible, which is the word of our Lord God Jesus Christ. The devil has lived a very long time and knows the Bible very well and tries to use verses to trick us.
Imagine you are in a big garden, one with flowers of all beautiful bright colors imaginable, with bright blue skies and clear blue waters flowing smoothly like silk; the sun is shining a gentle warmth you’ve never felt before, and the grass is the perfect shade of green. Imagine being carefree, no responsibilities of the world to worry about, just as you were as a child. Imagine having all this and remember God’s promise to us: that He will give us “what no eye has seen nor ear heard”: a true Paradise indeed, one so good that we cannot even imagine it. Such is the promise that we are hoping and waiting for.