||    Pope Shenouda    ||    Father Matta    ||    Bishop Mattaous    ||    Fr. Tadros Malaty    ||    Bishop Moussa    ||    Bishop Alexander    ||    Habib Gerguis    ||    Bishop Angealos    ||    Metropolitan Bishoy    ||

 

†ďTo know the love of Christ which passes knowledge;

that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.Ē

Ephesians 3:19

 

 

 

Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)

 


CHRISTíS LOVE IS TWOFOLD: First: His Fatherís love for Him and His love for the Father. This is the great Divine love. It is not only extremely perceptible but is impossible to fathom. For divinity is beyond manís understanding or even of its revelation. Second: Christís love for sinners also surpassing perception, because that Christ should love man as a human being is one thing but that He should love sinners and the wicked is beyond all thought. As Christ has said to love the righteous is logical1 but to love the sinner, adulterer, blasphemer and licentious is illogical, because the known nature of love among us is to reciprocate love with love, if not it ceases and becomes impossible.

What Christ accomplished is something that never happened, nay cannot be understood as it is beyond understanding. Yet it actually happened. For the reader to imagine the stature, depth and impossibility of loving sinners he should look at what Christ did in the garden of Gethsemane as He prayed a great deal kneeling with tears, sighs and supplication, nay crying out to the Father to let this bitter cup pass. This cup is not as some fathers imagine the cup of the pain of death as it is contrary to the process of incarnation on the whole and in detail. For Christ became incarnate so as to die. He could not be exempt from death but bore the cross for the sake of the joy placed before Him, i.e. the salvation of man from the fear of death, domination of sin and the devil.

What Christ feared nearing the hour of His crucifixion was that He would be reckoned as opposed to the Father and a blasphemer against God, an adulterer and evil doer of sin, while He actually was holy without blemish or evil, nor was there any deceit found in His mouth2. He loved the Father and it is impossible to depart from loving the Father and be reckoned His enemy as the high priests had depicted Him. He was presented to death on the basis of being a sinner and evil, a blasphemer, seeking to rule. For that reason and only for it did He ask His Father with insistence, great restraint and a guilty conscience to release Him from being a blasphemer of the Father and considered as His enemy. He repeated the demand with tears and continual worship for the Father to remove this cup from Him. But that which eased His conscience was that He knew it was the will of the Father, and that He, the Father, knew very well what the cross entailed, what its shame was, and Christís position as Son, via Godís position as Father. He thus said His famous words: ďNevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.Ē3

Here in the Apostle Paulís Epistle to the Ephesians he asks us to know Christís love that is beyond understanding so that when we know Christís love of the Father in spite of being crucified as a blasphemer, then and then only will we attain the stature of the fullness of God.

What is the stature of the fullness of God? It is the knowledge of the limits of the Father and of the Son in God. Because the fullness of God is the Father and the Son in the farthest and deepest limits as They are One.

The Apostle Paulís words that we be also filled with the fullness of God means we must realize every work of the Father manifest in the Old Testament, and every work of the Son manifest in the New Testament. This means that all the fullness of God is the Gospel and the Torah together not as specific to either of the Father and the Son but as the revelation of the work of the Father and the Son in God. This shows that the Holy Bible in both its Testaments is the revelation of God.

July 4, 2005

1 Note Matt 5:46-47; Rom 5:7.

2 Note 1Pet 2:22.

3 Lk 22:42.

 

 

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