He is not one who advocates a notion of God, but rather accepts God as a god to him, or as the center of his whole existence, guiding and directing his entire life.
This means that the essence of Faith is for God to become “my God”. That is to say, He becomes the absolute point of reference for all of my affairs, and I am to obey Him not only in my external behaviour, but in my thoughts, desires, all of my feelings, so that He rules over my heart.
This is the meaning of the word “orthodox” (sound or right doctrine). An Orthodox Christian is a believer who lives a right life in God.
Faith is not merely embracing a number of doctrines that are recited in the “Creed”. It is rather a life that we live, or a belief that leads to life. Faith is not merely belief in concepts or principles about God, but is rather a union at the core with a Living Person Who is God, and a relation to Him as the Author of our life, and its source.
Christian Faith: A living, existential realization of God’s existence in my life, which is defined by Holy Scripture as, “The substance (personal) of things hoped for, the evidence (internal) of things not seen” (Heb 11:1).
The Reposed Hegoumen Bishoy Kamel said, The measure of a Christian person is not that of his human body, but is rather the measure of God, who dwells through His spirit in the person. Therefore, I cannot by myself move a mountain. But God, Who dwells in me, is able, through me, to move a mountain. Similarly, If I have Christian Faith like a mustard seed, “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).
All societies on earth have advantages and disadvantages. Take the benefits and leave the negatives… “Test all things; hold fast what is good.” Choose positive matters. Work on developing yourself positively and choose what suits you.
This is a big topic, for fatherhood is the most precious value in our lives. When a priest is ordained, we call him “Father.” What preserved the Church throughout history are these short phrases: “Our father the priest, our father the bishop, our father the Pope.” Fatherhood is the most valuable thing. You have seen fatherhood in all the priests you love. The features of fatherhood are what make the Church’s service successful. It is the strong link between the shepherd and sheep; between the priest and the congregation he serves”
The thoughts from the devil always cause you disturbance and anxiety. They do not lead to peace. However, the thoughts from God all have love and peace. I can say a word or think of a thought which makes people hate each other. But the thought or word from God makes them love each other more.
When you are close to God and realize that He is driving the ship, you will remain in joy and peace. One day, a ship was sailing and the sea became very boisterous. The ship’s passengers were afraid and ascended onto the ship’s roof, except for one young girl who was playing and not scared. They asked her: “Why are you not scared?” She answered: “Because my father is driving the ship!” Likewise, God leads our lives. He is the Lover of Mankind, but He does not love sin. He is Beneficent and the Pantocrator. God is like the maestro who manages our lives.
Sit with yourself and get a piece of paper. Write down 30 good things in your life. I think you will find that there are more than 30 good things in your life; so thank God for them. God’s daily blessings are abundant, and this is when you will learn thanksgiving and contentment.
Do not feel that you are far. You are able to constantly repeat short prayers: “My Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon me a sinner… Make haste, O God, to deliver me! Make haste to help me, O Lord!”
This is communication with God.
Know that sin is the only thing that disconnects our prayers. In whatever you are doing, always do it whilst praying and asking for God’s help.
No! The end of the test is your last day on earth. Therefore today is better than tomorrow, and tomorrow is better than the day after.
Strive now and offer a repentance now. Say with the Prodigal Son:
“I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”
My beloved, know that life is like a straight line. It has a starting point (the day of your birth) and an end point (the day of your death).
Over these two points, man has no control.
You cannot choose your parents, nation, date of birth, gender nor name. Likewise the day of your death; you cannot choose when, where or how.
However, between these two points are the line of life and you are free to choose. You chose to read these words now. You chose your work. You chose your life partner. You chose your words. You chose your friends… life is full of choices.
Despite time being revealed in front of God, He does not interfere with your freedom. The proof for this is that a thief chooses this path.
God has drawn a path for you that is full of goodness. This is why everyday, we pray saying: “Let us give thanks to the Beneficent God.” The faithful person who accepts God’s work in his life receives this goodness. We find him content and hard working, so he succeeds.
But the person with a complaining spirit, who criticizes the other and envies other people’s lives finds no success in his life.
A person became ill with a disease that affected every part of his body. When a priest visited him, he was unsure about what to do with him. There was no healthy part in his body, but he found the man smiling whilst saying: “What makes me joyful is that I read the Bible with my tongue (the only body part that he is able to move) and this gives me joy.”
God is present in our lives. He controls the entire world. He is present within you.
Read your Bible to know Him and hear His voice. Tell God what Samuel the Prophet told Him: “Speak Lord, for Your servant is listening.”
Have periods of silence in your prayers to hear His voice.
God moves, and He moves us, but we need to have ears that hear.
“Maren Atha” is a Greek phrase, meaning: “The Lord is coming” or “The Lord is near”.
The reply to it is the same.
As we teach throughout the 40 days after the Lord Christ’s resurrection, He appeared many times: to His disciples, Mary Magdalene, the disciples with Thomas, at the sea, in the Upper Room… many appearances.
His last appearance was on the Day of the Ascension. He blessed them and ascended to heaven.
We await His second coming with yearning, to take us with Him.
We repeat the phrase: “Maren Atha”… “Amen, come O Lord Jesus.”
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen.
Ekhristos anesti … Alithos anesti, Christ is risen … Truly He is risen.
I congratulate you, beloved, in all of our Coptic churches worldwide on this feast and our most joyful occasion. I wish to send my greetings to all the fathers, the Metropolitans, the Bishops, the priests, the deacons, church boards, archons, youth, children, and families. I send this greeting from Egypt. I congratulate you and rejoice with you on this feast. The Feast of the Resurrection exists and affects all our lives. However, in these few minutes, I wish to contemplate why we celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection and why it is essential. We celebrate it for fifty full days as we consider the Holy Fifty Days to be one long Sunday in which we celebrate the glorious Resurrection. I want to present you with three reasons for celebrating the glorious Feast of the Resurrection.
First: The Resurrection is the most magnificent event of our history and in our life. The Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ on the third day is the most superb event in the history of our Church. When reminiscing on the events of the previous week, which are the events of the Passion Week, we find that the Crucifixion and the Resurrection to be two sides of the same coin. The Crucifixion led to the Resurrection, and the Resurrection happened because of the Crucifixion. We spend all the weeks and Sundays of Great Lent, then Passion Week with its asceticism, just so on Good Friday, we can say with St. Paul the Apostle: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). In the Resurrection, we see the empty tomb and the guards guarding it, and the large stone that covered the door of the tomb. After three days, our Lord Jesus Christ rose. Much archaeological and historical evidence exists. However, this is in addition to prophetic testimonies. “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so [was] the Son of Man,” our Lord Jesus Christ, “Be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40). In the Old Testament, one of the plagues in Egypt during the time of Pharaoh and Moses the Prophet, there was darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days. Then the darkness was dispelled, and light came to be. When the Marys came with burial spices for the tomb, and on their way to the tomb to place the burial spices as a sign of their devotion, they were shocked to hear the following that is mentioned in the Bible: He who was placed here “is not here, but is risen!” (Luke 24:6). The Resurrection is the most magnificent event of our history and in our life.
The second reason for celebrating the glorious Resurrection this extended celebration is that the Resurrection happened because of the Crucifixion; and we were taught by the late Fr. Bishoy Kamel That Christianity without the cross is like a bride without a bridegroom. Without the Resurrection, our Christian faith is futile. The Resurrection is the foundation of faith and the foundation of our doctrine on which our Christianity stands. Without the Resurrection, the Church would not exist, nor the Gospel, nor preaching, nor a foundation for our faith.
Therefore, the second reason for celebrating it is the foundation of faith. For this reason, the first hymn we say at Midnight is: “Arise O children of the light,” referring to the Resurrection. In the hymn of “Aripsalin,” we say, “O sing to Him who was crucified for us … and resurrected.” This praise concerning the Three Youth is said in the middle of the Midnight Praise. Resurrection is the foundation of faith in our life. When we pray the Matins prayer every day, we celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection: “Through Your light, O Lord, we see the light.” We celebrate it also every Sunday when we attend the church: “This is the day that the Lord has made” (Psalm 118:24). The Resurrection becomes the foundation of our faith. We have no hope in eternity Except through the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The third reason for celebrating the Resurrection for all these days is that the Resurrection is the source of our joy and peace. We read St. John’s Gospel chapter 20, verse 20: “Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord,” When He appeared to them in the upper room While the doors were shut, and they were full of fear and terrified, And our Lord Jesus Christ appeared in their midst, and said, “Peace be with you.” Thus, the Resurrection because a cause for joy and peace. For this reason, we call the Gospel “the Good News,” that is to say, “Joyful News.” Every time you hold your Bible, you are holding the source of joy in your life. We call the Resurrection “Easter” Related to the word “East,” out of which light shines, with gladness and joy. The Resurrection is peace towards humanity. “This is the day the Lord made; Let us greatly rejoice, and be glad therein” (Psalm 118:24).
I congratulate you and all our beloved brothers, the fathers, the metropolitans, and bishops, The fathers, the priests, the deacons, and every servant in all the Church. I congratulate every congregation in every church. Let us all pray for the peace of the world and all the beloved. We raise up special prayers, as we are rejoicing through this Resurrection, for this pandemic that humankind is enduring, that God may protect all humans in every place, and take away this hardship from everyone, and make us rejoice through this glorious Resurrection in our life. I send you greetings from Egypt in the Papal Residence in Abbasiyya, Cairo. I congratulate all in every diocese in Europe, North America, Canada, South America, Africa, the Holy See in Jerusalem, the Gulf Region, Asia, and Australia. My greetings and love to all of you, wishing you every goodness and health. Ekhristos anesti … Alithos anesti.
Pope Tawadros II
This page is also available in: العربية (Arabic)