Be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.Ē
2 Peter 1:10, 11
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
IF WE, CHOSEN BY OUR LORD CHRIST, ACCEPT HIM as the Lord and Christ over our lives, the Holy Spirit returns to awaken our hearts with God calling us and electing us to live according to faith in Jesus Christ, being the greatest gifts man can obtain. The call is Divine, and a designation from God without merit, so that whoever is called is especially chosen. The person chosen must therefore remain steadfast in that calling no matter the cost. It cannot be ignored that he who chooses Godís calling will have gained for himself an aide able to protect him in this changing life, supporting him steadfastly in the face of tribulations and the enemyís blows. The inspiration returns here to alert our minds that Godís calling us is a victory over the enemy, the world, and the passions of this age. Saint Peter the Apostle therefore asks us to remain steadfast in this free call, because if we do remain steadfast in Godís calling to us we will gain His pleasure and more of His free offer which we do not deserve.
Those invited by God must know that the enemy is concentrated on them, increasing his blows without due cause. We must not fail but hold on to the decision knowing with certainty we were placed for such. If we are aware that we are the enemyís target having prepared us a pitfall to overtake us unawares, then the Divine inspiration here warns our intellect to let the calling and election be the subject of our prayer and supplication for God to support us in weakness and not fall. With the complete knowledge that due to our weakness we are not qualified for Godís calling, but it was given to us through Christís power and ability. Our entry into the Kingdom of Heaven is through the justification of our Lord Jesus Christ, not due to any merit. We will enter the Kingdom of Heaven with our heads held high as conquerors and victors through the Lordís power. The Kingdom of Heaven is generously offered to us because the Hand of Christ will be in our hands, and His Holy Spirit will lead our way. We will be a cause of joy to the angels and archangels, our victory over the world being akin to a crown placed on our heads by the Lord of Glory as justification for His suffering, wounds, and resurrection. Christís suffering is the mystery of our victory over the world, and our resurrection with Christ is the mystery of our glorification and our pride. The cross of Christ thus appears as the flag of the New Testament with all the glories of the other world stored in it. Because the world without the cross of Christ is the domain of the devil and of all his aides to amuse himself and tear it apart as a revenge against He who gained it on the cross.
But we are now appointed for the day when Christ will be revealed victorious over sin and the agents of sin, to untie us from the enemyís detention and vengeance, don us with the crown of victory and glory, and leave us in the world as witnesses of His cross and resurrection, a shame and disgrace to our enemies who seized man distorting his creation till it is practically impossible to know the children of God from the children of Baal1, friends of the ancient serpent; till in the modern world under the subjugation of the Devilís desires, they pride themselves over the children of God. This is not far from the truth, for the world is now placed in the hands of the evil one. The enemy has filled it with games that captivate the hearts of the errant, inciting their interest, filling the heavens, earth and seas, till the point where the enemy has subjugated all the peoples of the world, filling their nights with amusements and drunkenness till morning, as if God had created for man night and not day, Baalís children having become the owners of the present world.
For that reason St. Peter the Apostle urges us to keep steadfast in the call of Christ, striving to differentiate between that which is of God and that which is of the devil, so that the call of Christ and His electing us become unshakable, but will remain steadfast in the knowledge of God, our faces upturned, attracted to our future through the Spirit. For whatever works of the enemy will disappear and nothing will remain of them except their bitterness and disappointment. As for Christís call, it will remain steadfast as eternity.
25 June, 2005
The Mystery of the Branches abiding Firmly in the Vine
The branch does not firmly abide in the vine from the outside but from inside. The secret lies in the sap which flows from the vine to the branchógiving it growth, firmness, strength and fruit. It is from this perspective that the mystery of persons abiding in Christ is seen. The sap here is in the cup: wine turned into the true sap of Christ: his blood. Whoever is counted worthy in spirit to drink of Christís blood, that blood runs in him just as the sap runs through the branch to give it strength to bear fruit. Such is the case that the church counts Communion as part of Confirmation. In short, when the faithful partake of the mystery of the blood they unite in Christ and become true members of his body on the same pattern as that of the branches on a vine. This is the pattern on which the true vine bearing the mystery of divine existence was formed; or, the holy people, one in Christ, bearing the mystery of the perpetual presence of God [in the world] through the Son.
Excerpt from: Fr Matta El-Meskeen ďI am the True Vine, and my Father is the Vinedresser (Jn 15:1)Ē St Mark Monthly Review, April 1996, p 6, 7.
1 Baal is one of the devilís names. The serpent lured Eve into falling into temptation and is Satan.
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