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"Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth."


John 17:17

Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)



HE SON ASKS THE FATHER to sanctify them. In being sanctified they become

Godís completely, and the world no longer has any will or authority in them.

Sanctification is a divine work which keeps them from within and separates them from

the world. The world cannot regain its authority over them because God reigns in all of

their will and desires. St. Paul says, ďthe world has been crucified to me, and I to the

world,Ē1 meaning ďIn my will I have died to the world, and the world as far as I am

concerned has died.Ē In this man becomes completely partial to the Gospel, and Godís

Word lives within his heart and mind. Christ was quick to clarify, ďyour word is truth,Ē

that is, to man the Gospel becomes the truth of truths and his reference point for all

thought and action. The words of the Gospel take on a sweet flavor in his mouth as he

quotes from it and clings to it.


When sanctification comes from God, man immediately rises above all that is in the

world. He considers himself a slave of Jesus Christ who takes control of all his talents.

Sanctification follows justification, in which Christ justifies him, granting him personal

righteousness. Justification follows election, requiring him to be chosen by God.

Election comes first of all because it took place before time began, when man was

counted within Godís portion, a member of Godís house and the community of the

righteous saints from eternity past,2 enjoying the highest level of intimacy in love and

adoption by God. The sanctified one becomes a lamp on the lamp stand, and all his life

and actions become a testimony. The purpose of Godís gifts and abilities is

sanctification, when Christ takes possession of his life. He becomes a light on the lamp stand, drawing his light from the light of Christ that never goes out. To see it you must

envision all saints gathered together. They make up one enlightening being because their


The longing of every manís heart is to look upon this holy and enlightening

community in the house of God. They are the premium result of Christís suffering and

the bearers of the fragrance of his cross. On them are crowns shining with the light of

God in the midst of all the heavenly beings. Man, when he is chosen, then justified, then

sanctified, becomes a heavenly creation, highly regarded among the heavenly beings,

because what distinguishes them from the other created beings is that they either had

their blood spilled, or were tortured, tested and killed by the sword or wild animals.

They endured torture until they gave up their spirits and refused deliverance in order to

earn the precious crown of salvation.3

So the Son asks the Father to sanctify for him his children who believe in him, for he

departed and left them in the care of God the Father and his sanctifying work. Christís

hope from the Father is that he would reveal to his children who believe in his name the

power of the Word of God in the Gospel, that is, to teach them to understand the truth.

The truth is the essence of the words, works and commands of a divine vision that is

beyond knowing, so they by necessity become sanctified because the Word of God is

truth. It is what sanctifies, and it is the light of the soul that never goes out but shines for


July 28, 2005

3 See Heb 11:35-37.



1 See Gal 6:14.

2 See Eph 2:19.


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