Posts Tagged ‘church’

Third Sunday of Paone | Curing of the Blind and Dumb

Written by Fr. Louka Sidarous on . Posted in Sunday Contemplations

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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.

Mad

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.

Blind

  •  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.

Dumb

  •  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.

Second Sunday of Paone | Curing the Paralytic

Written by Fr. Louka Sidarous on . Posted in Sunday Contemplations

jesusparalytic

They came to Him presenting a paralytic. Four were carrying him. When they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through they let down the bed on which the paralytic was laying. When Jesus saw their faith, He told the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven you.” (Mark 2:5). Today’s Bible is serving the paralytic and presenting them to Jesus… It is the Bible of the compassionate hearts which don’t rest without giving and serving. They took action as they don’t just stop under the banners of verses and powers, which glorify the name of Jesus.

The Paralytic

The paralytic is a person paralyzed and incapable of movement… Laying in the bed of death and shadow of darkness… Aren’t there, among us today, a lot of paralytic, the sin has paralyzed their movement towards God. Neither hands lifted up towards God in prayer, nor legs seeking His message or kneeling in humility. No eyes looking with hope, or a heart aloft in simplicity… The whole body is torn by sin and the shadow of death.

Four Men

Is there among us today, a friend with a compassionate heart to have pity on his brethren… Where is his zeal to protect us, his prayers, his fasting and humility before his Lord, on behalf of his brethren, and his father’s house. Where are Jeremiah’s tears? Where are the intercessions of Moses and David and the prayers of Ezekiel…Is there here today, anyone who strengthen his grip and carry the pains of his brethren… we should carry each others pain, as this is how you will fulfill Jesus’ law.

When Jesus saw Their Faith

What part did these four men do in this miracle? It is a very important and outstanding part to fulfill God’s intentions…

Denying Oneself

This is a major factor to cure the paralytic souls. The four men are representing the true service in the church, the bishop, the priest, the deacon and the congregation. If they unite in true love, work in self-denial and don’t race who is first among them, then they will be serving the paralytic souls. As long as they live in self-denial and not seeking glory or fame… As long as they practice in the Spirit of Jesus, resenting oneself, just to serve others for the sake of Jesus, then the miracles must occur. Jesus, Glory is to Him, will be definitely looking at their faith. He will have pity on them and will provide them the forgiveness of sin.

The Faith

Those whom completed their faith are the saints, who had complete trust in Jesus Himself. Those in faith they did virtue and achieved promises and were strengthened after weakness… These four, today in the church, are our fathers the saints, who carry the paralytic souls… With their prayers presenting them to the Savior, with faith and the Savior cures them. Today the church is living in this faith, when we ask for the intercession, we ask the saints to intercede for the weak and for those who didn’t repent. We plead that they would be carried through their prayers to where the Lord Jesus is.

The Sin is the Cause of Sickness

The Lord told the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven you.” (Mark 2:5), before telling him, “Arise, take your bed and walk.” Mark (2:9). Because Jesus first takes care of the remission of sin and to cast out what is within before working on what is on the outside. Numerously we would expect God’s men to talk about social correction, materialistic issues and social problems. But we see the church concentrates on talking about repentance and forgiveness… The truth is that the church is responsible of finding a solution for the people’s problems. But we have to discover that the secret of their pains, their sufferings and the illness they live in, is existing within the sin, which is the cause behind it all. Because of sin, death entered the world and went through all humanity. Every time we neglect the Spirit and stray away from God, we veer away from exposing the sin, which resides within our inner depth and it would be worthless to attempt to achieve the forgiveness of sin.

Forgiveness of Sin

In this dialog, Jesus reveals the power of the forgiveness of sin. He tried to show us, how man immediately gets strength from weakness, and gains life from death… goes from darkness to light when he acquires forgiveness of his sins. The Lord wants, through the healing of the human body, to reveal for us the secret of the forgiveness of sins within the human soul. Here the body stands witness, hidden in the soul of that sick person, when the Lord carried the burden of his sins and released him from the death of its grip. So the paralytic immediately gets up moving, with this new power, and carries his bed walking among the crowd… This view was a wonder for the human mind and an amazement of a colossal dimension. Then how will the soul look from the inside when it breaks the ties of sin, and enjoys the power of the Lord, and the forgiveness of sins!!

But how the Forgiveness of sins is accomplished

The Lord told the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven you.” (Mark 2:5). The subject is not a word just said by the Lord to the paralytic, but in essence the Lord Jesus has accepted to interact with the sick in an amazing exchange… To take the sins and to give him His virtue, to carry his pains and set free his soul from bondage, then the Lord would endure Himself that bondage… He who doesn’t know sin, became sin on our behalf, for us to become virtuous of God in Jesus Christ.
This is what the Lord was planning to do, to work with all humanity through the cross… The forgiveness of sin is that Jesus, the Lamb of God, will carry this sin for us so that we are forgiven from its horrifying burden. It is His sacrifice and a ransom for many…

Get up Carry Your Bed

The sign of health for this sick person is to carry the cross… By this everyone is witness that he acquired strength and a new life… This is the intent of the Lord to give us a sign and a down payment for salvation, when He told us to carry our cross and follow Him… Our carrying of the cross is a sign of our new life. It is our power after tasting the death of the cross and the shame of sin. We became cross bearers as a sign for the cure of our souls and the creation of our new life.

St. Mark’s Coptic Medical Center

Written by Administrator on . Posted in

Vision

The vision through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is to become a premiere medical clinic to establish our ongoing journey to become the finest center: to provide the utmost health and compassionate care and health education to the St. Mark uninsured congregation and recent immigrants of roughly a patient case load of 200 visits a month. Welcoming patients of all faith throughout the neighboring community of Los Angeles, St. Mark’s Medical Center is uniquely committed to the special healthcare needs to the entire community, whose traditions help to guide the provision of our services. St. Mark Medical Clinic is the hope for the future of extensive medical needs for international immigrants, uninsured resident of California, and any resident seeking medical care regardless of legal status.

Mission

St. Mark’s Medical Center provides people with the opportunity to share God’s love through short term and long term spiritual and medical care in our local community; Making a difference by improving the health of our community and providing quality health care with space, staff and funding sufficient to meet the needs of our community and church congregation.

Specialties offered

>  Internal Medicine
>  Family Medicine
>  Pediatrics
>  Psychiatry
>  Dentistry

Christ is Risen : Truly, He is Risen

Written by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III on . Posted in Feasts

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The resurrection of Jesus is the strength of the church. It is the strength of a new life given to us by Jesus, to whom is the glory. When He trampled death and subdued Hades, He was victorious for us against the fearful enemy. The feast of the resurrection is a new chance for everyone. It is the strength of our resurrection, which we received in baptism, when we were buried with Jesus in the baptism of death. So as Jesus rises from the dead, then that is how we dwell in the new life.

Who will role over the stone?

It is the dawn of the resurrection… The women are on their way to the tomb in the early hours of the morning. They are carrying incense. They were saying among themselves, “Who shall roll us away the stone?” (Mark 16:3). There was a big stone placed against the door of the tomb. It could not be perceived by the human mind that these women could reach the body of the savior.

Numerously, it seams that Jesus is imprisoned in my soul, as if motionless, as He was in the tomb before the resurrection. This great stone of my numerous sins kept Him as a prisoner. How many times my soul lingered to see Jesus rising in His light and might! How many times I have tried to role over the stone, but without prevail? For the weight of the stone, bound by habits, was heavier. Many times I have said in despair, “Who shall roll away the stone?” (Mark 16:3).

Despite that, the women are on their way to the tomb. Their approach is a work of faith. So whether that was faith or craziness, still it will be rewarded. Then I will have to continue in my overwhelming desire, so that the stone would be rolled away. But the women didn’t go to the tomb empty handed they brought sweet spices for the Savior’s body, (Mark 16:1). Therefore, I have to bring something with me – at least as my good gesture – that is if I desire that the stone be rolled over from my soul. This gesture should be of value, even if it was a token, but it has to constitute a sacrifice. And now… The women have found that the stone was removed in an unexpected way. “There was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door.” (Matt. 28:2).

To remove the stone, there should have been an amazing miracle – An earthquake – because a push or a snug was not enough. It is the same for that stone within me, which seems to paralyze the movement of Jesus. It requires an earthquake… That is an internal overhaul, a full uprooting change. The matter requires an illuminated projectile that will shake me. This is how Jesus rises within me to subdue the old and make room for the new. This surpasses the arrangements and organizations, for it requires death which is followed by birth. The angel has announced to the disciples that Jesus, who is risen, is waiting for them in Galilee. Jesus Himself asserts the fact, saying, “Go into Galilee, and there shall they see Me.” (Matt. 28:10).

Why is the return to Galilee? Is Jesus trying to protect his disciples from the adversity of the Jews? Or does He want to confirm that after the turbulence of His sufferings, there will come days of peace and tranquility? Maybe… But it seems that there is a more deep reason than that. Jesus met His disciples in Galilee. There they heard His call and started to follow it. Therefore, the memories of those days will stay with our souls youthfully and refreshingly. This was after some of them were weak and hopeless, without faith during His sufferings. Jesus wanted them to return once more to their first vigor and their old warmth… He wanted to renew their emotions and their will, which were there when they first met. In the atmosphere of the Galilee, which the Lord has returned to, was for the new life, which He will fulfill and declare to them. There is a ‘Galilee’ in the life of each of us. Or at least among those who, one day, met the Savior and loved Him. The ‘Galilee’ is the time, during which I felt the Lord is looking at me, and calling my name. Since that time, long years have passed, maybe burdened with a lot of sins, during which it seems that I have forgotten Jesus. But despite this – whoever meets Jesus – even once – will never forget Him. Here is Jesus calling on me to go to the ‘Galilee’ of my life, to reconfirm that love, which I was characterized with during my early days. There I will see Him anew.

My Master… I would like to return to the ‘Galilee’, but will I meet You there? How will my heart illuminate, that which was dim? Is it just by mentioning the ‘Galilee’, my life will be content, will I regain my emotions, with my first meeting with You? “And, behold, He goes before you into Galilee.” (Matt. 28:7). My son, don’t think about the new meeting in pain. I will be honest in the promise that I will strike with you. I will do more, just for the intention of your waiting, in the ‘Galilee’ of memories. I will be there before you, to guide you. When you stead fast your heart anew in ‘Galilee’, then He is the One who will guide you, He will know you and will talk with you…

The different features of Jesus

Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection. He came to them. He didn’t spend time in scolding them for their weak belief, and they didn’t waist time to apologize, or explain their excuses. But everything happened in simplicity and love giving, He said unto them, “Have you here any meat?” (Luke 24:41). “And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.” (Luke 24:42).

So life returns to its original nature, to that time from when it ceased. If I betrayed Jesus and left Him, when I set a time to return to Him, I don’t have to worry or prepare for such a meeting. I only have to let Him return into my daily life. I would place Him in my current events. Get Him involved in my problems and my wishes. It is enough to offer Jesus His share of the fish and honeycomb. At this instance Jesus will be present at the table. He will share our lives anew. This happens in the blink of an eye. But we have to act in humility and repentance. The exterior condition is simple and easy, but we require an overhaul from within We require to surrender, and be humble. “After that He appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.” (Mark 16:12). Jesus, after His resurrection, appeared to individuals who knew Him (John 20:20).

We beseech Jesus our Lord, who has risen from the dead, to give us the spirit of the resurrection from within, to renew our lives and our repentance. We desire Him to enter unto us, even if the doors were closed, so that we can hear His divine voice.

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