Harvey Hesse

Church Address 125 Academy Street Belleville, NJ 07109

February 2012 letter

Dear brethren,

Usually, the Church celebrates each year the fasting of the people of Nineveh during the month of February, known as Jonah’s fast. The character of Jonah the prophet is worthy of contemplation, it is of importance that Jesus referred to him specifically, considering him not only a sign for a generation in which he lived, but also a symbol and a sign of Christ Himself: “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12: 39-40). Let’s see how the prophet Jonah was a symbol of Christ:

Jonah

Christ

Stayed in the belly of the whale for 3 days.

Was in the tomb for 3 days.

Was alive in the belly of the whale.

Was alive with His Divinity, therefore His body was not corrupted.

Came out safely to fulfill his mission.

After His resurrection the disciples started evangelizing to the whole world.

By his entombing in the belly of the whale and coming out he gave life to people condemned to death.

Through His death and resurrection He gave life to all humans who were condemned to death because of sin.

God asked him to preach to a gentile city.

Ordered His disciples to evangelize to the whole world.

The gentile people believed because of his evangelism and repented.

The Jews who saw His power refused and crucified Him, while the people to whom His disciples evangelized believed.

The masses schedule for Jonah’s fast will be as follows:

Monday February 6th: from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Tuesday February 7th: from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Wednesday February 8th: from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Thursday February 9th (Jonah’s feast): from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m 

Please remember the church, the priests, the servants and their services always in your prayers, and may the blessings of St. Mary & St. Mercurius and the blessings of this fast be with us always, Amen.

Fr. Youssef Halim & Fr. Luke Istafanous

Belleville, February 1, 2012