CWN - The Palm Sunday bombings of Coptic Orthodox churches were “a test for the faith of Egypt’s Christians,” the head of the country’s Catholic Copts told the Fides news service.

Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak, the Coptic Catholic leader, reported that he was celebrating Mass in the Catholic cathedral in Alexandria at the time when a suicide bomber struck at the Coptic Orthodox cathedral nearby. “We clearly heard the loud explosion,” he said.

The Catholic patriarch said that his Orthodox counterpart, Coptic Pope Tawadros II was “deeply saddened” by the bombings, to the point that “it is not easy to speak with him.” Pope Tawadros was apparently the target of the bomber in Alexandria, but escaped unharmed.

The Catholic patriarch said that he was happy to hear that Pope Francis will not alter his plan to visit Egypt later this month. He remarked that “cancellation of the program could have given the impression that bloodshed and terror can prevail.”

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Teachings of Christ

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

While the Bridegroom tarried, they slumbered and slept: Give ear, ye prudent, to our Lord's parable, for it is all light. All of them slept, both the foolish and the wise -- Which signifies that the good and the wicked die until the resurrection. The same sleep comes upon the ten of them, which is as much as to say, That death is the same for all creation without distinction. One was the sleep of the wise and of the foolish, For one is death, both of the righteous and of sinners. The good die, as the wise virgins slept; And the bad die, as the foolish also slept. Behold, all creation looketh for the coming of the Bridegroom, Christ, Who cometh at the end with His angels. But since He hath tarried, all generations slumber and sleep with the sleep of death, while looking for when He cometh.

A Homily on the Ten Virgins by Mar Jacob, Bishop of Serugh