April 8, 2016

The Length of our Lord’s Public Ministry

The Gospel reading of the Fifth Sunday of the Great Holy Fast, known as the Sunday of the Paralytic, begins with this simple statement: “After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem” (Jn 5:1). It is, prima facie, a simple statement that one can easily pass over, but it deserves our attention, for we learn from it more than the obvious fact that our Lord went to Jerusalem – …

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February 21, 2016

Love Leading to Repentance

I am a sinner. Quite easily, I fall into the sin of fornication and greatly enjoy it. I feel as though it is the most pleasurable feeling ever. I met a holy hieromonk who encouraged me to repent and confess my sins. Initially, I thought the meeting was a coincidence, but now, I realize it was by the grace of God. When he encouraged me to confess, I looked at him with derision and mockingly – …

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February 15, 2016

In the presence of holiness.

Abbâ Muthues used to say that there were three brethren who were in the habit of coming to Abbâ Antony, and that two of them used to ask him questions about the thoughts, and about life, and redemption, and the discretion (or intelligence) of the soul, whilst the third one held his peace continually. And after a long time Abbâ Antony said unto him, “Brother, thou comest here each year, and askest nothing!” And he – …

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February 1, 2016

On Modern Wedding Receptions among Orthodox Christians

In the Holy Orthodox Church, marriage is a divine Mystery that culminates in two people being transformed into a one-flesh unity through the work of the Holy Spirit. The ultimate goal of this one-flesh unity is the salvation of the husband, wife, and any children the Lord grants to the couple. Orthodox Christian marriage, therefore, is a path towards holiness. Today, this beautiful reality of marriage is oftentimes overshadowed by the dark cloud of the – …

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January 16, 2016

The Holy Prophet Elias: Going Up is Going Down

This week, in addition to the Feast of our Lord’s Circumcision, the Holy Church commemorated the miraculous ascension of the Holy Prophet Elias the Thesbite to the heavens on a chariot of fire. He is one of two men who departed from this world without first tasting death, the other being the Righteous Enoch (Gen 5:21-24). Elias lived during the reign of the wicked monarchs of Israel, Ahab and Jezebel (874-853 B.C.), who encouraged the – …

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January 13, 2016

How a Faithful Husband Sees His Wife

On the joyful day a man and woman are crowned and married in the Orthodox Church, an inseparable bond develops between them. No longer are they two individuals serving their own egos and self-wills, but rather, they become one flesh in a sublime mystery. This reality is made abundantly clear in the marriage of the first husband and wife described at the end of Genesis 2. When Adam awoke from the deep sleep into which – …

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January 6, 2016

God Dwells with Us Forever

As we prepare to celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, it is good to meditate on some of the types and symbols of His Birth in the Old Testament. One of the most beautiful foreshadowings of the birth of Christ can be found in 3 Kingdoms 8:26-30 (LXX). 1 In this passage, the Holy Prophet-King Solomon, the son of the Holy Prophet-King David, had just finished constructing the magnificent Temple – …

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December 17, 2015

The Angel of the Lord and the Burning Bush

One of the most beloved Kiahk melodies in the Coptic Orthodox Church is the praise on the Thursday Theotokion known as “The Burning Bush.” The story of Moses and the burning bush is easily found in the Book of Exodus: And Moses was feeding the flock of Jothor his father-in-law, the priest of Madiam; and he brought the sheep nigh to the wilderness, and came to the mount of Choreb. And an Angel of the – …

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December 16, 2015

The Holy Theotokos as the Living Temple

Last Sunday, faithful in the Coptic Orthodox Church celebrated with great joy the Feast of the Entry of the Holy Theotokos Mary into the temple. Although this event is not mentioned in the Holy Scripture, it is firmly rooted in the Holy Tradition of the Church, especially from a book known as the Protoevangelium of James, which offers details concerning the early life of the Holy Theotokos. When the Holy Theotokos was only three-years-old, her – …

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December 10, 2015

The Joy and Wonder of Kiahk

During this holy month of Kiahk in the Coptic Orthodox Church, we commemorate the events that led to the transformation of the world through the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are called to be attentive and faithful during this time as we see the Feast of the Nativity on the horizon, rapidly approaching as each day passes. It is a time for us to prepare and wait for the feast which commemorates the – …

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December 4, 2015

A Prayer for Peace and the Turning Away of Violence

On Wednesday, a married couple full of violence and hatred attacked a group of government employees in San Bernardino. On Thursday, many secular lawmakers and journalists attacked prayer as the proper response, preferring to place their faith in man-made gun control legislation rather than in the power of prayer to God. Faithful Christians, however, know that prayer is more fundamental to human life than air, food, and water. As the Holy Apostle wrote, we are – …

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