Weeks of Great Fast (Sawma Rabba)

During these weeks the faithful reflect on and meditate over the public life of Jesus and especially on its culmination in his passion, death and burial. It is a God-given time for turning to one’s own life more deeply and to become convinced of the abundant blessings of the loving God – the creation, the provi-dential caring, the human fall, the helplessness of man to save himself, the promise of salvation, the redemption through His Son Jesus, the invaluable Gift of the Holy Spirit and the inheritance of the heavenly Kingdom. This must naturally lead the faithful to metanoia, a total conversion and a full return to the loving Father in His Son the redeeming Jesus Christ and its proclamation in the Church through the Mystery (Sacrament) of Reconciliation.  Thus all the faithful make themselves ready to rise up with Lord Jesus to a totally new life of peace, tranquillity, satisfaction, joy, and so on. For this, everybody should fully become oriented towards God and fellow beings during the Great Fast. In short, prayer (personal intimacy with Jesus – upawasa), renunciation (getting rid of everything that is not pleasing to Jesus – tapas) and almsgiving (helping the neighbour in all possible ways – danadharma) should become the action plan of Christian life.


As it is mentioned earlier, the faithful enter the weeks of Great Fast, celebrating the memory of all the Faithful Departed on the last Friday of Denha.  According to the ecclesial and liturgical vision of this tradition, the weeks of Great Fast is also an occasion to keep up the memory of the beloved Departed through special prayers, renunciation, almsgiving, and so on and thus prepare oneself for a good death and resurrection in Jesus Christ. The Latin tradition, of course, according to their liturgical heritage, does it through the November devotion.


Credits: Fr. Varghese Pathikulangara, CMI, from the book "A moment with the Jesus"


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