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“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.”
John 14:16

Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)





E ARE STRANGERS and will remain strangers until the Father takes us to his eternal home. Then we will become “members of God’s household,”[1] where there will be fullness of inexpressible joy and happiness. For now we mourn because we still must choose between good and evil, and the will is still inclined to move away from God.

We do now have Christ who is the fullness of our lives, and he is able to keep us from the hand of the enemy. Yet man is man who by his will leans toward sin, and he needs one who draws him toward the truth. Christ knows man is weak, clothed in a body of dust, and the body tends toward its origin. Even if the spirit is willing, the body is weak, a toy in the hand of the enemy. This was what concerned Christ on our behalf. Since it is Christ who is the guarantor to save man, wipe away sin and to raise him from the dead, upon whom could man depend when Christ departed, for he was soon to ascend and be with the Father? So there was no option except for Christ to plead with the Father to send another counselor, the guardian who would support man until he entrusted him into the hand of the Father. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of the Father, so when the Father sends his Holy Spirit, we are kept by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. So Christ initiated the preparation for the presence of the Holy Spirit by clothing man with his resurrection in the glory of the Father. The Son likewise lowered himself and gave man his glory which is from the Father, “I have given them the glory that you gave me.”[2]

By this man became qualified to enter the sphere of the Holy Trinity, not because he deserved it but because of the Son’s plea and the Father’s pleasure, for the Father had planned before time began that man would “become like one of us.”[3] The credit, all of it, goes to Christ who became a man[4] to prepare us to be in him first of all, so that after that we would be made ready to be in the Father. Before the cross, he cried out to the Father, with complete confidence that he had successfully betrothed us to the Father as a new heavenly creation, “I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity.”[5] It is unspeakable, that man, after putting off his old self polluted by sins, should become one with the Father and the Son. By way of the Father, Christ sent the other Counselor who took on the role of shaping man’s spirit to that of the Father and Son. This was Christ’s final touch in fitting out man to enter inside the circle of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one granted to be a partner.

The instant the Holy Spirit, the other Counselor, descended, on the fiftieth day after the glorious resurrection of the Lord, he went to work shaping the new man, with a spirit so active and effective that the disciples and all the people were astonished. Man began to speak in a new tongue as a confirmation that he had received the new spirit that raised him from being a worn-out creation to a new creation that is like its maker in glory.[6] Miraculous healings took place as an expression that man had acquired a new spirit.

So Christ achieved his desire that his brothers on earth receive heavenly comfort and be transferred from the hand of the Son to that of the Holy Spirit and the Father in heaven. The Son’s work was complete, he rejoiced in the work of his hands, and he gave his promise to his disciples that he would be with them “always, to the very end of the age.”[7]

October 2, 2005


Father Matta El-Meskeen

Christ, the “Son of God”

As an intimate Son, Christ is aware of all that will happen to him; he accepts it and welcomes it before it takes place. He dedicates a feast to commemorate his crucifixion before being crucified. He offers his blood willingly, consigns it to the Eucharistic cup, and gives it to his disciples to drink. His flesh as well he surrenders willingly, consigns it to holy bread, and with it feeds his beloved. And so man has become a partner in the new covenant by the shedding of blood and the sacrifice of flesh, thus sharing with Christ the exaltation he has received. He has also been seated with him as a Son at the right hand of the Father. Were it not for the actual existence of the Son-of-God-relationship which Christ lives out with the Father, he would never have been able to obey or make out of the cross a love feast in which to present the sacrifice of his body to the Father on behalf of the world according to his Father’s will.  Moreover, had it not been that he who is crucified is really the “Son of God”, no man’s sin would ever have been taken away, neither would a kingdom ever have been opened for anyone. Therefore the Father purposely intended to say twice in his hearing: “Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased.” This he did to support him in the dreadful journey of death, that he might be conscious of victory as he tramples death and him who has the power of death underfoot. So those in heaven and on earth may know with certainty that he is the Son of God. It is with the flesh of man whom Satan enticed one day in Paradise to disobey God and transgress his commandment, that the Son of God has bruised the head of the serpent on the tree, and thus man has won a happy and everlasting return to God’s bosom.

[Excerpt from: St Mark, Monthly Review, Nov 2000, p 7-8].

[1] Eph 2:19.

[2] John 17:22.

[3] See Gen 3:22.

[4] See John 1:14.

[5] John 17:23.

[6] See Col 3:10.

[7] Matt 28:20.

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