Harvey Hesse

Church Address 125 Academy Street Belleville, NJ 07109

March 2012 letter

Dear brethren,

Congratulating you for the start of the holy lent, and may the Lord give us all a spiritual blessing in this lent period with growth in our personal relationship with Him.

The Bible tells us about the temptation of Christ: “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matthew 4: 1), meaning that He deliberately entered this battle with Satan. His intention of this confrontation was to defeat the enemy who overcame man since the fall of Adam, leaving him without force against the children of God. Satan’s temptation to man is not new, since the time of man’s creation Satan tempted Adam and Eve. And for this we note the strong similarities between the temptation of Adam and Eve and their fall, and the temptation of Christ and His victory:

Temptation of Christ

Temptation of Adam & Eve

Temptation that food is the source of life:“command that these stones become bread” (Mat 4: 3).

“And he said to the woman, Has God indeed said, `You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’? (Gen 3: 1).

Temptation of life and death: “throw Yourself down” (Mat 4: 6).

“Then the serpent said to the woman, You will not surely die” (Gen3: 4).

The separation of life from God: “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me” (Mat 4: 9).

“you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen 3: 5).

The victory of Christ – the second Adam – over Satan, unlike the fall of the first man, became an asset for all humanity, which Jesus confirmed by saying: “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy” (Luke 10: 19).

On the occasion of the holy lent, you can review the website of the church to find out schedule of masses in surrounding churches, giving you the opportunity to attend liturgy in any church.

We ask you to remember the church, its priests and all its services in your prayers, and may the blessings of St. Mary & St. Mercurius & the Holy Lent be with us all.

Fr. Youssef Halim & Fr. Luke Istafanous

Belleville, March 1, 2012