Ep. 011 – Let’s Get Our Jew On

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Article on the Christian Perspective of Passover

Ninth Station: Jesus Falls the Third Time

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

Scripture:

Upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

-Isaiah 53:5-6

Reflection:

O Kind Doctor who was wounded in order to heal us, save us from our pride, in which we convince ourselves that we need no Healer. As you fell the third time, you showed us the depths of the weakness of the human race, and so remind us also to turn to you in our lowest moments for healing, after every one of our falls. For this, may we thank you forever.

Liturgical Hymn:

Our wretched race is weak, and oppressed by wounds and sicknesses; and if the medicine of your mercy does not heal our wounds, our life would immediately vanish and pass away from the earth. Be, O Lord, a Doctor for our wounds.

-From Shuhlapa 5 of Qala 20


Tenth Station: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

Scripture:

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus they took his garments and made four parts, one for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was without seam, woven from top to bottom; so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the scripture, “They parted my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”

-John 19:23-24

Reflection:

You were humiliated, O Lord, in order to make up for Adam who was ashamed before his Creator. Help us to be ashamed of our sins, but humble enough to stand before God with unveiled faces. For this, may we thank you forever.

Liturgical Hymn:

When you were hanging on the Cross, O Christ, creation saw you naked and trembled: heaven darkened the light of the glorious lamp of the sun, the temple showed its lamentation in the torn veil, and earth quaked as well, for it saw the insolence of the crucifiers. Even the sleeping, in a great marvel, were awakened and arose from their graves, lifting up praise to your great power, O Lord!

-From Evening Prayer of Holy Saturday


Eleventh Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.

People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

Scripture:

And they crucified him, and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take. And it was the third hour, when they crucified him.

-Mark 15:24-25 

Reflection:

Because Adam disobeyed, he was found unworthy to eat the fruit of the tree of life in Paradise. Through your sacrifice, O Lord, your Cross became the true Tree of Life, and you the Fruit which one eats and never dies. By the obedience of Faith, let us be made worthy to receive you into our hearts and lives, and live in you eternally. For this, may we thank you forever.

Liturgical Hymn:

The holy cross is like the Tree of Life in the Church, whose fruits are good for eating, and whose leaves are fit for healing.

Ep. 010 – Humiliation is Real

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Ninth Station: Jesus Falls the Third Time

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

Scripture:
Upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

-Isaiah 53:5-6

Reflection:
O Kind Doctor who was wounded in order to heal us, save us from our pride, in which we convince ourselves that we need no Healer. As you fell the third time, you showed us the depths of the weakness of the human race, and so remind us also to turn to you in our lowest moments for healing, after every one of our falls. For this, may we thank you forever.

Liturgical Hymn:
Our wretched race is weak, and oppressed by wounds and sicknesses; and if the medicine of your mercy does not heal our wounds, our life would immediately vanish and pass away from the earth. Be, O Lord, a Doctor for our wounds.

-From Shuhlapa 5 of Qala 20


Tenth Station: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

Scripture:
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus they took his garments and made four parts, one for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was without seam, woven from top to bottom; so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the scripture, “They parted my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”

-John 19:23-24

Reflection:
You were humiliated, O Lord, in order to make up for Adam who was ashamed before his Creator. Help us to be ashamed of our sins, but humble enough to stand before God with unveiled faces. For this, may we thank you forever.

Liturgical Hymn:
When you were hanging on the Cross, O Christ, creation saw you naked and trembled: heaven darkened the light of the glorious lamp of the sun, the temple showed its lamentation in the torn veil, and earth quaked as well, for it saw the insolence of the crucifiers. Even the sleeping, in a great marvel, were awakened and arose from their graves, lifting up praise to your great power, O Lord!

-From Evening Prayer of Holy Saturday


Eleventh Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

Scripture:
And they crucified him, and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take. And it was the third hour, when they crucified him.

-Mark 15:24-25 

Reflection:
Because Adam disobeyed, he was found unworthy to eat the fruit of the tree of life in Paradise. Through your sacrifice, O Lord, your Cross became the true Tree of Life, and you the Fruit which one eats and never dies. By the obedience of Faith, let us be made worthy to receive you into our hearts and lives, and live in you eternally. For this, may we thank you forever.

Liturgical Hymn:
The holy cross is like the Tree of Life in the Church, whose fruits are good for eating, and whose leaves are fit for healing.

Ep. 009 – Wake the Hell Up. Please.

https://vlalto.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/ep-009-wake-the-hell-up-please.mp3

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Sixth Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

Scripture:
He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;

-Isaiah 53:3-4

Reflection:
God created Adam in his image, to reflect his providential care throughout the whole world. But through sin, Adam’s brightness was darkened and his face, modeled after the Creator himself, was corrupted. Your Face, O Savior, which was wiped clean by Veronica, replaced and renewed the damaged face of Adam, when you became the new Head of the renewed human race. For this, may we thank you forever.

Liturgical Hymn:
O Christ the Son who came for our salvation, to renew the image of Adam that had been corrupted, who took on our body, and through it saved our race, giving resilience for the resurrection of the dead: forgive your servants in your grace on the day of your coming!

-From Sunday Evening Prayer


Seventh Station: Jesus Falls A Second Time

Scripture:
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed.

-Isaiah 53:4-5

Reflection:
How patient you are, O Lord, though you deserve nothing of what you endured, and how impatient are we, who deserve so much more than your mercy allows to touch us! Teach us to patiently endure our sufferings, the imperfections of others in our lives, and even ourselves. Let us never give up hope, though we fall a thousand times. For this, may we thank you forever.

Liturgical Hymn:
Who is patient enough to speak of your patience with our sins? If we sin, we become filled with wickedness, if we do good, we become filled with pride; and toward one another, we are cruel and merciless: we are jealous of one who succeeds, we rejoice over one who falls. And though our life is short, the list of our sins is long.

-From Monday of Ba’utha


Eighth Station: Jesus Speaks to the Women

Scripture:
And there followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.

-Luke 23:27-28

Reflection:
We are insulted when those who have hurt us are not sorry enough, O Lord, for we expect their repentance to be from the heart; and yet how easy it is for us to presume upon your kindness and feel so little sorrow for our sins! What a meager repentance after such a weighty offence! Teach us to weep tears of true repentance in your grace, that through their sincerity we may be washed and see the joy of heaven. For this, may we thank you forever.

Liturgical Hymn:
Who will give me a fountain of many tears and modest thoughts, that I may erase my sins and faults through repentance? I am in need of your mercies, O Good and Kind One, but because you love the repentant, I do not give up hope in my life, O Lord.

-From Night Prayer of the First Monday of Lent

Ep. 008 – Have You Made Meaningful Change?

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Third Station: Jesus Falls the First Time

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

Scripture:
Though he was in the form of God, Jesus did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

-Philippians 2:6-8

Reflection:
While the world fights for ambition and honor, O Lord, you chose to leave your glory in heaven and take the form of a servant. As you bowed down in inconceivable humility to wash the feet of your disciples, you fell to the earth under the weight of our sins to wash our souls from all evil. For this, may we thank you forever.

Liturgical Hymn:
Who is able to tell of your grace, O Lover of Mankind, who pities all? For you have given us spiritual figures in your glorious and holy Mysteries: you taught us true humility in your works, for you lowered yourself like a servant, and washed the feet of your disciples.

-From Evening Prayer of Passion Friday

Mrahim illan ya Marya,
mrahim illan.T’in-na motha mamir-ana
di-jrihlih libbah tuw-wana,
m-bar di-Bronah haluya.Ya yimma hash-shany-tha,
Jirhi d-‘azzy-zakh mytha
T-o’ b-libby d-la mhaya.
Have mercy on us, Lord,
have mercy.She bore a painful death
which wounded her blessed heart
for the sake of her noble Son!O Sorrowful Mother,
Imprint the wounds of your Beloved
Permanently upon my heart.

 


Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Suffering Mother

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

Scripture:
Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow which was brought upon me.

-Lamentations 1:12

Reflection:
As we face loss and hardship in our lives, O Lord, let us always remember the example of your Virgin Mother as she beheld you, her life, suffering so deeply, and had to let you go, in acceptance of God’s will. As you gave her the beloved disciple as his mother, give her also to us, that we may face our troubles with grace and acceptance through her prayers. For her, may we thank you forever.

Liturgical Hymn:
O Virgin Mother of God, surround our thoughts, for waves and storms surround us from every side. In the confidence you have before Christ, plead and implore him, that he may accomplish his mercies toward us. May he bestow health upon the sick, refreshment upon the weary, return upon those who are distant, and upon us, the forgiveness of sins.

-Marian Hymn traditionally said after Evening Prayer

Mrahim illan ya Marya,
mrahim illan.Emaylih libba d-la k-bakhih
kud da’el malktha dmala-khe
k-shakya m-kewa gawaya.Ya yimma hash-shany-tha,
Jirhi d-‘azzy-zakh mytha
T-o’ b-libby d-la mhaya.
Have mercy on us, Lord,
have mercy.What heart would not weep
when it gazes at the Queen of angels
seeing her inner pain?O Sorrowful Mother,
Imprint the wounds of your Beloved
Permanently upon my heart.

 


Fifth Station: Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

Scripture:
And they compelled a passer-by, Simon of Cyre’ne, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.

-Mark 15:21

Reflection:
Unbelievers describe a meaningless, uncaring universe, where even human joys are empty at their root, and sufferings are entirely pointless. You have shown us, O Lord, that everything in creation is, to the eyes of faith, saturated with meaning, even our suffering, when we unite it to yours. Grant us grace to carry our crosses, and see them as your instruments of our sanctification. For this, may we thank you forever. 

Liturgical Hymn:
O Good Shepherd who gave himself for his flock and saved it by his Blood: make us worthy to share in your suffering, and accept you in your kingdom.

-From the Third Mawtwa of Passion Friday

Mrahim illan ya Marya,
mrahim illan.Man y-bi dim-tafker w-sayer,
b-keweh di-bthulta w-la k-khayir
bet-faqa b-y-hy-dhayah?  Ya yimma hash-shany-tha,
Jirhi d-‘azzy-zakh mytha
T-o’ b-libby d-la mhaya.
Have mercy on us, Lord,
have mercy.Who could picture the encounter of the
Virgin with her Son without being
mystified?O Sorrowful Mother,
Imprint the wounds of your Beloved
Permanently upon my heart.

Ep. 007 – Sowma? Sow-mah of What?

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First Station: Jesus Is Condemned To Death

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

Scripture:
Pilate went out again, and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you, that you may know that I find no crime in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!”

-John 19:4-6

Reflection:
The sentence of death was the just punishment of Adam for his disobedience, O Lord, and it is what we deserve for all our sins. And yet, even when we were sinners you took our condemnation and punishment upon yourself. For this, may we thank you forever.

Liturgical Hymn:
The human race was condemned to the judgment of death and the curse, but Christ accepted and was crucified in his love, to free all from the curse; the Immeasurable Sea of Mercies gave himself over to his captors, his body tasted a temporal death, and he destroyed both death and the curse.

-From Evening Prayer of Passion Friday

Mrahim illan ya Marya,
mrahim illan.Kim jarhaleh rumha d-hash-sha, libba
di-
bthulta qaddysh-ta, min kewa
diyyah qishya.
Ya yimma hash-shany-tha,
Jirhi d-‘azzy-zakh mytha
T-o’ b-libby d-la mhaya.
Have mercy on us, Lord,
have mercy.A sword of suffering
pierced the holy Virgin’s heart,
because of her heavy pain.O Sorrowful Mother,
Imprint the wounds of your Beloved
Permanently upon my heart.

 


Second Station: Jesus Carries His Cross

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.
People: For by your holy Cross you have saved the world.

Scripture:
So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Gol’gotha.

-John 19:17 

Reflection:
Your Cross, O Lord, which was a stumbling-block to the Jews and a scandal to the Gentiles, is our greatest glory. To them it shows your weakness, but to us who watch you carry your Cross as you carry us, it shows your immense power and patience. For this, may we thank you forever.

Liturgical Hymn:
The rays of your Cross, O Lord, which were hidden from the malice of your crucifiers, have soared through all creation – to the ends of the world! Indeed, the priests you have chosen to honor you extol it in the Church, and it is made a sign for the faithful, to save them from the curse.

-From Evening Prayer of Passion Friday

Mrahim illan ya Marya,
mrahim illan.Oh min kewe mazid-ane
dig-dish-lay l-Malik-tha d-mawdyane
yimma d-Malka zak-kaya!  Ya yimma hash-shany-tha,
Jirhi d-‘azzy-zakh mytha
T-o’ b-libby d-la mhaya.
Have mercy on us, Lord,
have mercy.Oh how fearful are the sufferings that happened to the Queen of confessors,
the mother of the King victorious!O Sorrowful Mother,
Imprint the wounds of your Beloved
Permanently upon my heart.

 

Ep. 006 – Fast, A Verb and An Adjective (Sawma Talk)


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On this week’s show we cover the “Great Fast.” Sawma. Lent. Building off of our discussion of fasting in general in episode four, part one, we not talk about how fasting applies to Sawma and how it originated as the gold standard for fasting in the Church.

Here are some of the reasons why we fast during Lent:

Following Christ’s Example

Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights in the desert before going into his public ministry. It was there that he was tempted by the devil. Jesus went away to a quiet place and fasted for a certain amount of time. During Lent, we follow the example of our Lord as we walk with him by fasting from things that we desire in order to be strengthened to fight temptations to sin..

Preparing for the Resurrection

In the Liturgy we fast and prepare ourselves before big feasts. Sometimes it is just a day before a feast, but other times it is a longer period, like Advent, which is four weeks before Christmas, or like Lent, which is the 7 weeks before Easter. The feast of the Resurrection of the Lord is the Great Feast (Edha Raba) and so the fasting period before it is called the Great Fast (Sawma Raba). We fast to prepare ourselves to walk with Jesus in his suffering so that we can also walk with him in his Resurrection. The whole Christian life is, in fact, walking with Jesus.

Becoming Virtuous

A unique aspect of the Eastern view of Lent is that all of us are joining together to become more virtuous human beings. The hymn that our Liturgy brings forth during this season tells us what the point of our fasting is:

Let us cleanse our consciences and scour our minds from the stain of sin, and our vices cast away as we strive for excellence.

Fasting is meant to make us stronger, as we deny ourselves something that we desire that is not necessarily bad (like alcohol, chocolate, TV shows, smoking, meat or anything else we choose to give up), so that we become masters of ourselves. While fasting helps us become masters of our own desires, it also increases our will power to fight sin.

The Devil Hates You

Lent is not something we do alone. As a Church, community, family and a team, we strengthen ourselves in virtue while attempting to remove our bad habits. We do this so that we can become better husbands, wives, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, friends, colleagues, and most importantly, followers of Christ, The devil hates this idea, so be prepared for an attack. The temptation won’t be something obvious. But expect it to be difficult. In any shape or form that it comes, the temptation can be overcome by the grace of God. And through our effort and openness to him, we can become champions of faith, helping others by our example.