His name was selected from a glass bowl by a blindfolded boy at a ceremony in Cairo’s St Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt. He succeeds the late, thrice blessed, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, the 117th Pope of Alexandria.
The other two candidates were Bishop Raphael and Father Raphael Ava Mina. They were chosen in a ballot by a council of 2,400 Church and community officials in October.
- Born November 4th 1952
- BSc. in Pharmacy from the University of Alexandria in 1975
- BSc. in Theology from the Clerical College in Alexandria in 1983
- Ordained monk on July 31st, 1988
- Ordained priest on December 23rd, 1989
- Consecrated as general bishop on June 15th, 1997
After his ordination as a hieromonk in 1989, H.G. Bishop Tawadros began serving in Al-Beheira with H.E. Metropolitan Pachomius, Metropolitan of Al-Beheira and the Pentapolis. In 1997, he was ordained as general bishop, and was assigned to serve as an assistant to H.E. Metropolitan Pachomius. Bishop Tawadros also served on the children’s committee of the Holy Synod.
“After these things the Lord appointed seventy others.” (Luke 10:1)
Before these appointments, the Lord was calling on a lot of different persons to spread His word. Through these calls He revealed the obstacles which would hinder them and hold the soul from being released into missionary.
- One told Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” (Luke 9:57). The Lord toldhim, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay His head.” (Luke 9:58). Those are the ones that want to follow Jesus to capitalize either from a position, fame, monetary or temporary profits. Those fail the call, they are not blessed and they have no share in the kingdom.
- He told another, “Follow Me.” (Luke 9:59). But that person answered, “Lord, suffer me first go and bury my father.” (Luke 9:59). So Jesus told him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:60). These are the ones who worry about the dead body, and prevent it from seeking the salvation of the Spirit. They stop it from service and paralyze it from moving towards the kingdom.
- Also, another said, “Lord, I will follow you, but let me first go and bid them farewell, who are at my house.” (Luke 9:61). So Jesus told him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62). Those are the ones that want to follow the Lord and serve, but their hearts and feelings could not let go of the past. These also are not fit for the kingdom’s work. For they would be without fire or the spiritual activity… All these kinds first asked for something else other than the kingdom. They prefer what is for the people more than what’s for God.
- He told them, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest, to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matt. 9:37, 38). Even if the Lord would have appointed seventy in one day, this will still stand true “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few”. (Matt. 9:37), and will stand, so that they would always remember that the work is greater than them, greater than their efforts, and to always keep their hands towards the Lord asking for help… Such that they would not think, that they alone are fit for the work. He told them, “Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest, to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matt. 9:38).
“Go your ways: behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. Carry neither money bag, knapsack…” (Luke 10:3,4). The
These were the words which Jesus told the seventy apostles to preach. The Lord told the Jewish teachers, “For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those that are entering to go in.” (Matt. 23:13). Their lives have been impoverished with their teaching, placing heavy and cumbersome burden on the people who could not withstand them. But for Jesus’ Apostles, their lives open the gates of heaven before mankind. Their behavior declares that they are the sons of the Kingdom… Their hardship preaches the wealth and generosity of the Kingdom… missionary for Jesus must follow the facts of life. When preaching about Jesus the savior of the World and the rescuer of the oppressed, then they are preaching about He who saves the lambs from among the wolves. When they talk about Jesus, they talk about He who gives the blessing and the provider of life to the world. For He is their purse and scrip, their peace and the force that defends them… For them Jesus is every thing… He is self sufficient… This is how they preached, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.” (2 Cor. 3:5). “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 10:7)
Their death from the world carries only one meaning, that there is a better life from the ordinary one. Their path is a clear witness for the Kingdom of God. It attracts every soul. It relishes the desire to enter God’s Kingdom.
“But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.” (Luke 10:5).
Jesus gave His disciples a special peace, saying, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you: not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27). His peace dwelled in them. Therefore, they kept on providing peace wherever their legs took them… For Jesus’ peace means His presence in person, because He is our peace. Therefore, when the disciples give peace, they are actually presenting Jesus, who is present within them and in them. This is what the Lord told them, “He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejrcts Me rejects Him who sent Me.” (Luke 10:16). The acceptance of Jesus’ word is accepting Him personally. When accepting the word of peace and the reconciliation, it directly brings us into the peaceful status with God in our Lord Jesus Christ. The seventy disciples returned with joy saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us to us in Your name.” (Luke 10:17).
The preaching about Jesus destroys Satan’s kingdom and shakes his thrown and liberates those in bondage like lightning. No work under heaven is greater than these colossal projects. All great charitable works are nothing when compared to the salvation of one from Satan’s kingdom… “Then shall the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” (Matt. 13:43). Satan doesn’t worry about charities, he is not defeated by the power of mankind, but his kingdom is only shaken by the preaching in the name of Jesus and the entrance into a partnership, with the power of the Holy Spirit and its work in the church. “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20).
The disciples rejoiced saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us to us in Your name.” (Luke 10:17). So Jesus told them, “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20). No doubt that casting demons, performing signs and the fruits of service… etc., makes the soul rejoice and gives hope to those walking on the road of death. But the true and continuous source of joy, is that our names are written in heaven. Our baptism, our second birth and unity in Christ are the reason for the endless joy. We should not forget this truth, even in our service. Nothing should occupy us away from the endless divine joy. All earthly joys, even the miracles will end. But the joy of those names written in heaven will never end.
How far are you from being one of His apostles?
Dear beloved one, don’t you know that we are wanderers, and ambassadors, sent by Jesus, to be preaching His word to all people? Always be a representative of Jesus who is in you. Be a reason of peace in every house you enter, as a son of Jesus. Carry His peace in yourself and transmit His peace spiritually wherever you are.
- Let Jesus be your treasure. Don’t have a purse, scrip or anything to rely on, except Him.
- Finally…. Is there any earthly thing that concerns you or makes you rejoice? Let the reason of your rejoice be that your name is written in Heaven… This means, always remember your baptism, your second birth, and this will powerfully lead you to behave like the sons of God in the midst of this world.
They brought to Him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb, and He healed him. Hence the blind and dumb, talked and saw, and those present were amazed… The Pharisees said that He healed the man with the leader of Satan. But Jesus knew their thoughts and said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand, and if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you… Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit willl not be forgiven men.” (Matt. 12:25-31).
By the Spirit of God I cast out Satan
As darkness dissipates and disintegrates before the Light, then Satan, the defile spirit disintegrates before God’s Holy Spirit. The defile spirit, which resides in man, will corrupt and destroy him… It was said about the man who was possessed with a multitude of evil ones that he used to scream and cut himself with stones. He was tied with chains and bondage. But he used to break the chains and live among the graves. When the evil spirit resides in man it works on ruining and destroying him… Since the beginning of time, Satan was a killer. He always complained about our race and he is our enemy. When it resided in this man, he left him mad, blind and dumb… That means that the evil spirit was in control of his thoughts, his sight and his tongue.
When Satan controls the thoughts, he ruins it from being in God’s straight path, and from the wisdom and knowledge coming down from above… Man becomes mad… Satan might invade him with the thoughts of pride, so man becomes mad… Man could think of himself as something great, and forgets that he is but dust and ashes. He forgets that he is miserable and poor. He is nothing but dispersed dust and a non-existing entity.
- Satan struck Nebuchadnezaar… The Satan of self glorification, he said in his craziness of his self glorification, “Is not this great Babylon that I have built for the royal dwelling of my mighty power.” (Dan. 4:30). He forgot that God has power over all the rulers of the earth. So he immediately heard a voice from heaven saying, “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken; The kingdom has departed from you.
And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses. That very hour the words were fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar: he was driven from men, and ate grass like oxen, his body was wet with the dew of heaven.” (Dan. 4:31-33)
- Herod the king was also struck by the madness of self glorificationj. He arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration to them. And the people gave a shout, cry, “’The voice of a god and not of a man’. Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms, and died.” (Acts 12:21-23)… A lot of us are struck with the madness of self glorification of pride, selfishness and the false talk. Those who are blinded by it think that they are wise. In truth, whoever wants to be wise must first be ignorant.
- Others get struck with the craziness of desires and the love of the world.
- Others get struck with the craziness of the world, its philosophy and the so called infallible apostates.
- Others are in the craziness of denying the only master who is the only One who doesn’t die.
- This man is totally different than the other who was born blind… Births with, natural illness and defects are set into place, with purpose by God. Man has nothing to do with it. It shall all fade away for the glory of God, as the Lord said, “Neither has this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.” (John 9:3).
- But this human being is blind because the spirit of pride is dwelling within him. That is why when Jesus caste out Satan from him, by the power of the Holy Spirit, his eyes once more gained its sight, “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:5).
- Our eyes which were lit with the sight from baptism, which was given to us by the Son of God, is our most precious property. So brethren let us be conscious, so that the dark spirit would not enter into us and dim our sight.
- The Lord told the Pharisees, “If you were blind, you would have no sin, but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.” (John 9:41)
- He who sees the truth in front of him and closes his eyes, isn’t that a kind of spiritual blindness?
- He who sees the path of life with God, and closes his eyes from it, isn’t that a big danger?
- He, who sees the need of his brother and shunts against him, isn’t he blind and poor?
- He who doesn’t see the danger and defile of the sin, and doesn’t run away from it, as if it is a poisonous deadly serpent, isn’t he blind and poor?
He who doesn’t see his sins and the defile of his heart, make peace with his conscious, by being like the Pharisee, looking at the sins of others and judging them, isn’t he blind, short sighted who forgot the cleansing of sins? We are not addressing what we can see, but unseen ones. These that are seen are temporary, but the unseen are eternal.
This is the sight, which the Holy Spirit must daily review in us with repentance, in the church and in the sacraments, so that we can be aware of the gifts given to us by God according to His blessing and power.
- The Holy Spirit renews our features and moves our tongue… It lets us utter new words and new praises. The Holy Spirit descended on the disciples as tongues of fire, declaring the witness of Jesus Christ and without hindrance. It talks with love to all the people. These tongues of fire resided on the church through all its generations.
- The Holy Spirit spoke through Peter the apostle, words that consists of salvation and witness for Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
- The Holy Spirit spoke through Peter and John the apostles, who were ordinary illiterate men, with words full of grace; the leaders of the Rabies were not able to quite them.
- The Holy Spirit spoke through the mouth of Estaphnous, with wisdom, all opposing him and those steadfast were not able to resist or contradict him.
- The Holy Spirit gave Saint Paul the apostle the missionary word. When he opened his mouth, he spoke with the sacraments of the Spirit, church and Christ.
Without the Holy Spirit, men will remain dumb, and with incapable tongue, even if it utters a million words.
Blaspheme against the Holy Spirit
The group of Pharisees willingly refused the Word of God. They refused the work of God’s Holy Spirit and refused Him. This was blaspheme and ended with their destruction. Today the Holy Spirit wants to work in us. It needs to liberate our thoughts, lights our sights and releases our tongues. Do we abide by its advice? Do we submit ourselves obediently to its will so that it works in us with rejoice?!
- Everyday the Holy Spirit, wants to cast away from us the darkness and every thought of deficiency of belief. It reacts to utilize our thoughts, tongues and eyes. It wants us as vessels, blessing vessels… It is enough that we have been left like dumb, blind and mad without power, capability or effectiveness with respect to the faith and the life with God.
- Today is our chance to surrender ourselves to present our lives with prayers and pleading at the Lord Jesus’ feet. So that He can cast away from us, with the power of the Holy Spirit, every resisting spirit of the enemy and utilize our weakness for His Glory.