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"Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures."

Luke 24:45


Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)




written for those of a regular, human mindset. The Gospel is the Word of God, not

the word of men, so if the mind is set on the level of the Word then the Gospel becomes

understandable and readable according to the truth. The natural mind does not

comprehend what is of God, so what Paul the Apostle says is appropriate, “not everyone has faith.”1 Faith is the fruit of a mind opened by God to understand the Word of God.

Opening of the mind means it has acquired the mystery of God which he gives to his

chosen ones who persistently pursue faith.

This is the work of the Holy Spirit because the Father and Son do their work by way

of the Holy Spirit. The work of the Spirit is the greatest preparation for faith in Christ,

for he explains the Word and clothes it with light so that it no longer remains a riddle

requiring a solution, rather a light shining before the mind so that without striving it

understands every enigma. The Gospel requires no striving from man except that of

perseverance, for to those who persevere in the reading of the Word, the understanding

of it opens up within the mind, so man reads and takes delight in it. The words of the

Gospel are living and life-giving because the Word of God is written by the Spirit of

God. Opening of the mind comes not through intelligence, acumen or skill, but by the

Spirit flowing from the Word of God into the depths of the soul and spirit so that man

flourishes, for he has obtained the elixir of life.

Paul the Apostle described this as the delightful fragrance of God, which is an

expression of the Gospel that enlivens the spirit because it is from the Spirit of God.2

Opening of the mind means receiving divine and mysterious energy that reveals the

truth in the words, and truth is light and life. In the beginning a man will stumble over

the meaning of the words; they stand before him as if they are riddles. But then God in

his tenderness gracefully leads him to understanding and the mind is opened as if by

light. The words appear in clarity and are understandable and delicious, so that he no

longer finds the reading of the Gospel unpleasant. Rather, he comes to it with

enthusiasm, passion and desire.

The disciples in the beginning stumbled over the words of Christ. They asked him to

help them and to explain to them, until the Spirit of God settled within them, and they

became fluent and skillful in their words and in expressing the power of the Spirit in

them, so that all who knew them were amazed, “Are not all these men who are speaking

Galileans?”3 That is, these are farmers and fishermen and are not well-educated. When

they received the Holy Spirit they perplexed the scribes, Pharisees and priests by their

knowledge. The people were amazed at them and eventually learned they had been with

Jesus. It became clear that the words of Christ are true: “I am the light of the world,”4 “I

am the truth,” and “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”5 The disciples and

all who heard Christ “were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given”6 all

of this learning, knowledge and healing. Christ was so very true, for he handed over to the disciples his own spirit and relationship with the Holy Spirit, so they became

teachers who bewildered the scribes, Pharisees and even the priests.

In this way the disciples, like their teacher, became a beacon of instruction and of

passing it on to others, so Christ ensured that the message would continue and spread.

July 28, 2005


1 2 Thess 3:2.

2 See 2Cor 2:14.

3 Acts 2:7.

4 John 8:12.

5 John 8:36.

6 Matt 9:8.




Father Matta El-Meskeen

The Holy Spirit and the Word

(His Role as Witness, Speaker and Agent)

THE HOLY SPIRIT proceeds or emanates from the Father. In this emanation, the Holy Spirit

carries energy and movement to the entire creation. His course through the world is characterized

by precision and order. He brings to man in particular a spiritual creative power derived from

man’s being created in the image of God. This power consists of freedom, understanding and

wisdom. It is conveyed to man in various ways. First, it is conveyed directly in a mystical

manner. Here, the essence of the power is not apprehended by the recipient, but received as a gift

from God. Secondly, it is conveyed through the sacraments of the church and the intermediary of

the priest, through prayer and faith. This is also rightly considered a mystical conveyance of the

power, however, it is not conveyed directly as in the first case. Finally, this power may be

conveyed through the word as we assimilate the acts of the Spirit through the mind, the will and


It is through the Holy Spirit which we receive all the gifts of God. Without his mediation, we

could receive nothing from God. It is also through the Holy Spirit that we present our acts of

worship to God. Without the Spirit’s effusion of grace upon us, all our works would be

worthless: “So you also, when you have done all that is commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy

servants; we have only done what was our duty’ ” (Lk 17:10). The Holy Spirit sanctifies our

works, purifying them from the element of the flesh, as we call upon him to complete these

works by his grace. It is in this way that man finds grace from God: “God is spirit and those who

worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (Jn 4:24).



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