Feast of the HOLY SPIRIT

  Today is a great feast in the Church, which is the end of the fifty holy days and the dissention of the HOLY SPIRIT upon the Apostles on this day. It is considered the birthday of the Church because the Church was established on this day. Our LORD chooses the fiftieth day because the number 50 expresses eternity, we have time 7 weeks 49 days to complete time. Today, the fiftieth day means the beginning of the time. The LORD JESUS sent us the HOLY SPIRIT to enter us into the experience of eternity, and it was 50 days after the Resurrection of the LORD JESUS, and for the Jews it was 50 days after the feast of the Pass Over. The Jews also had a fest on this 50th day known as the feast of the weeks or the feast of the Harvest. This was one of 3 feasts when the Jews were obliged to be in Jerusalem to offer worship and prayer. Easter, the Feast of Weeks and the Day of Atonement. The Atonement for us is the Good Friday, the Easter is the Feast of the Resurrection and the feast of the weeks is for us the Feast of Pentecost. Read more…



The Sixth Sunday of the Holy Fifty

Today is the Sixth Sunday of the Holy Fifty days of this year. In today’s Gospel the LORD JESUS is talking to HIS Disciples and saying) John 16:24(“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. “
This is because this prayer has a very strong relationship with the week coming, Feast of the Holy Spirit the Feast of the Pentecost.
Certainly when LORD said “ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” HE meant that we should request heavenly requests and not earthly requests.
What should we be asking from our LORD?  Don’t make requests like those others living in the world, LORD give me some money, give me two houses or two cars…….these are the earthly requests, but the requests of the sons of our LORD JESUS are completely different. Let us see what should we be asking for? Read more…


The Fifth Sunday of the Fifty

 
This Sunday is the fifth Sunday of the Holy Fifty days and in it the LORD JESUS announces HIMSELF as the way for the life (John 14). The journey we started 5 weeks ago is about to end and the Church is now preparing us for the Holy Ascension so that the LORDD JESUS takes us with HIM to the Eternal Kingdom. Where is this Eternal Kingdom?  In MY FATHER’S house where we shall reside with HIM. Read more…


The fourth Sunday of the Holy fifty

Today is the forth Sunday of the Holy Fifty days, in general they are seven weeks resembling a journey from the Earth to the Heavens. In a summary, the beginning of the journey needs faith and belief since no one starts a journey if he is not convinced with it, so the First week is the week of Faith, in it we read the Gospel talking about St Tomas and we call this Sunday St Tomas’s Sunday. The Second Sunday talks to us about the Bread of Life. Every journey needs food and the bread we take with us for this journey is not earthly bread but heavenly Bread which is the Holy Communion. The Third Sunday (last Sunday) talks to us about the Woman from Samaria and about that whoever drinks from water of life shall never go thirsty again. So; the things we need for the journey are Faith, Bread and Water, those are the first three Sundays. Read more…



The Woman from Samaria

Today we are in the third week of the Holy Fifty days and the Gospel for Holy Liturgy is about the woman from Samaria.  The Samaritan woman is a loved character in the Coptic Orthodox Church and thus this part about her is read three times throughout the year.  We read it in the middle of the Holy Lent, in the middle of the Holy Fifty days and again in the Fiftieth days (the Feast of the Pentecost), so within 100 days we read this part of the Holy Bible 3 times and this shows how much the church loves this part.  The woman of Samaria chapter is suitable for the Holt Lent because she resembles the stubborn sole that was living in sin and then repented and pulled with her most of the people in the city of Samaria for the belief in the LORD JESUS, although there was a great enmity between the Jews and the Samarians (we will know about this later on). Read more…


The Bread of Life

 
The period of the Holy Fifty days is a period for living and the Church presents to us the LORD JESUS as the Living CHRIST who has risen from the dead, and so the Gospels during the Holy Fifty days presents to us the Bread of Life….the Water of Life… the Path for Life…and all what is liked and related to Life because this period is a period of Life. Today is the second Sunday of the Holy Fifty days and the Gospel for the Holy Liturgy is from the Gospel of St John chapter 6, the Church presents to us the Living CHRIST, the bread of Life necessary for our journey towards the Eternal Life and to enter the Kingdom of Heavens. The LORD had performed the miracle of feeding of the multitude by using 5 loves and two fish, after that the multitude started looking for HIM to make HIM a king, but the LORD JESUS said to them (John 6:26 26) “you are looking for me because you ate the bread and were filled had all you wanted, not because you believe” Read more…


The Palm Sunday 2020

The Church celebrates today the Palm Sunday which is the entrance of the LORD JESUS to Jerusalem; this was HIS last entrance to Jerusalem after which HE was crucified.
Truly when we talk about Jerusalem, it resembles the human soul; Let us go through together and see what has happened when the LORD has entered into Jerusalem, but I will take off the word Jerusalem and replace it by the word I or the human soul or my heart.
When the LORD JESUS enters my heart (Jerusalem) HE does 3 things Purifies, changes and makes it joyful.  How is that?
The first thing the LORD JESUS did after HE has entered Jerusalem was that HE went into the Temple and cast out the buyers and sellers and overthrew the tables of the money-changers and said “Mat 21:13 “My house shall be called the house of prayer”; but you have made it a den of thieves.”  So the first thing the LORD JESUS did was to purify the Temple.  The first thing the LORD JESUS does when HE comes into my soul is to purify the heart.
For example, St Mary Magdalene met with the LORD JESUS her temple was purified, HE cast out 7 devils from her, the same act of purification.  In Jerusalem, HE cast out the buyers and sellers and purified the Temple and when HE entered St Mary Magdalena’s heart HE cast out the devils and purified her.
The second thing is the changing:
It is not possible that anyone comes to know the LORD JESUS and he does not get changed, let us take an example Zacchaeus the tax collector. Zacchaeus loved his money and wealth very much and he was a very unfair man in his job as a tax collector and used to report anyone evading the taxes so that he gets jailed.  The LORD JESUS came into his house and sat with him, Zacchaeus said to the LORD “Luke 19:8 Behold, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor. And in anything I accused anyone falsely, I restore it fourfold.”  This means that when the LORD came into Zacchaeus house Zacchaeus was a rich man and when the LORD left the house Zacchaeus was almost broke, for someone to change from a money lover to someone giving up all his wealth to the poor and compensating those he treated unfairly, such changing cannot happen except by the LORD JESUS when HE comes into this sole.
So the first thing the LORD JESUS does when entering Jerusalem (my heart) is????Purification.
The second thing is????Changing.
The third thing is rejoicing: when the LORD JESUS enters someone’s heart, this person will find himself very happy no matter the troubles he is having.  St Paul when he was in prison and chained across the ankles he said “Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice!” how can he rejoice and he is in prison and might be killed?  That is exactly what the LORD has said (John 16:22) “And therefore you now have sorrow. But I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”
The most important thing today is that the LORD enters my Jerusalem and I hope that during this week we get only concerned by the LORD JESUS who Purifies, Changes and gives us happiness. Good News


The Fifth Sunday of the Lent

We have reached the fifth Sunday of the Great Lent. The story of today is a known story in the Gospel of St John; it is the healing of the crippled paralyzed man who was there by the lake of Bethesda for 38 years.  The story tells us that there was a Lake called Bethesda which in Hebrew means the house of mercy. There were a lot of sick people, they were all waiting for the Angel who comes down and stirs the water, the first of them who gets into the water was healed, but only the first one but not the second.
Among the sick people was a paralyzed man for 38 years by the lake of Bethesda, the LORD JESUS came and said to him “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And so the man took his bed and walked away.
If we go back to the book of Deuteronomy chapter 2, it tells us that the LORD GOD said to the Israelites “You have gone around this mountain long enough. Turn northward.” (Duet 2:3). This happened after they have spent 38 years lost in the wilderness, and after 38 years the LORD GOD said to them move in this direction, they started walking in the directions given towards the Promised Land for 2 years thus making the time being lost in the wilderness 40 years.
 
The place where the LORD JESUS healed the man was the Lake of Bethesda which had 5 branches.  What do the lake, water and the branches symbolises?
The Lake of Bethesda symbolises the Israelites and their situation before the LORD JESUS came to them (sick, crippled…….).  This lake had 5 branches.  This Lake had 5 branches which symbolises the 5 books of St Moses which is the Law the Jews had.  The crippled paralyzed man was there for 38 years symbolising the Jews being lost in the wilderness.
 
The chapter starts with a very beautiful phrase: (John 5: 1-2) “After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is a pool at the Sheep Gate at Jerusalem, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porches.”  
Jerusalem was a great city and had 4 gates:
When the LORD JESUS came into Jerusalem HE entered from Eastern Gate, the sheep gate, through which they entered the sheep for the sacrifices on the Altar. There near the Sheep Gate, there was a lake named the Lake of Bethesda, the Lake of Mercy, there in this lake they were used to clean the sheep before taking them to the Temple, so the sheep are lead through the Sheep gate then cleaned in the Lake of Mercy and then sacrificed. Saint John the Baptist said about the LORD JESUS” Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 )
 
The LORD JESUS came in through the Sheep gate and to the Lake where HE stood by a paralyzed man for 38 years, as if HE was pointing to the lost mankind, and asked him a question:” Do you desire to be made whole?”   a wearied question, do you desire to be made whole, of course, otherwise I wouldn’t have stayed by the lake for 38 years, as if HE is talking to the human spirit who had the will to be made whole, but the will here was towards the water and the lake, thus this spirit willed to be whole again through the Laws.  An Angel used to come down and stir the water and the first one who gets into the water was healed from all his sicknesses, the bodily sicknesses, but the LORD JESUS wanted this will to be directed towards the Grace.
 
The paralyzed man answered, “Sir, when the water is troubled, I have no one to put me into the pool.”  ( John 5:7) . The ONE the whole of humanity has been waiting for.  This HUMAN, the SON OF MAN, came and said to the paralyzed man “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” HE came to rise him from the death of sin, just as what St Paul has said: “and has raised us up together”. ( Eph 2:6) . The man got up and carried his bed, at first the bed was carrying him but now he is carrying the bed therefore now he is bearing the responsibility. He bared the responsibility and went round telling others how much God has done with him.
 
I was expecting that after the LORD JESUS has healed the paralyzed man that all the other sick people around would have asked HIM to cure them also, but the Holy Bible does not say that, but they did not even notice the LORD JESUS and stayed there watching the lake and the water. John answered them, saying, I baptize with water, but One stands among you whom you do not know.”  (John 1:26)    
We are seeking too many things and forgetting about the LORD JESUS, we are seeking a man and forgetting about the SON OF MAN, we are seeking an Angel that will stir the water and forget about the one who came to say to us get up and walk. Good News.
 


The Wismen

 
The Gospel for the first Sunday after the Nativity feast is from the gospel according to St Mathew chapter 2; it talks about the wise men who also worshiped the Child JESUS and offered their offerings. And it was made clear to them by God in a dream that they were not to go back to Herod; so they went into their country by another way.
And when they had gone, an angel of the Lord came to Joseph in a dream, saying, Get up and take the young child and his mother, and go into Egypt, and do not go from there till I give you word; for Herod will be searching for the young child to put him to death.
After the visit of the wise men, St Mary the virgin lady, and St Joseph the carpenter were happy, joyful and calm, but mind you that the situation is not always like that, meaning that living with the LORD JESUS some days you will be happy and joyful and in others you will be in pain, some days you will be in glory but in some other days you will be in hardship.  Some days the wise men shall come and kneel down for you and give you presents and the bright star come over the cave where you are borne and all the people know that a great one is borne, all this is great, joyful and glorious events, but there are times when there will be weakness and pain and you will be told take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt.  Living with the LORD JESUS is a mixture between pain and joy, hardship and glory, you should know this very well.
We notice that St Joseph the carpenter was not greatly worrier nor he discussed the matter any further with the Angel, for example he could have said to the Angel how these can be a while ago you told me that the Child shall be the saviour of the world, okay then, the saviour of the world cannot get rid of Herod, who is stronger then?  Is it the LORD JESUS or Herod, is it Herod who is the stronger and that is why we should flee? No…..you can kill Herod and not to ask me to flee!  My beloved brothers; St Joseph the carpenter did not go through this dialogue with the Angel, but it is we who say that because of our week faith and believe, but not St Joseph, but he immediately took the Child and HIS mother and fled to Egypt without even asking the Angel about when will he come back, one should have obedience…endurance accepting all that what comes on to him.  
Saint John the Chrysostom tells us not to ask for wonders from our LORD JESUS……why is that?  Because HE has HIS own ways which you will not understand now but later on you will. Saint John the Chrysostom says (if since HIS child hood HE showed many wonders then the people would not have taken HIM as a human but a God). We know that HE is the LORD GOD, but HE wants to tell us that I am also a full human just like you; I live all your hardships and pains.  For this HE subjected HIMSELF to the fleeing to Egypt to give us a method to follow in our lives, and this method or way is Do not resist evil, but escape from evil.  There are situations when we need to flee.  The LORD JESUS grants us HIS protection and protects us all Amen. Good News


When we pray

 
نحن حينما نصلى نأحذ من الله ، وحينما نصوم نأخذ من الله، وحينما نعطى نأخذ من الله هو دائماص المعطى بسخاء .  ‏
 
When we pray , we receive from God . When we fast , we receive from God. When we give , we receive from God. So our merciful God is always the source of  ‏generous giving.Good News