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

 

 

ďTherefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand,

and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.Ē

Romans 5:1, 2

 

 

Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)

 


ADAM AND HIS SONS had lost their peace with God and Adam was banished from Paradise making all his descendants inherit the curse of the earth. Until Christ was born in Bethlehem where the hosts of angels appeared in heaven announcing to the shepherds and especially to all Adamís children, that through Christís birth peace had been established with God, and proclaiming: ďGlory to God in the highest. And on earth peace, good will toward men!Ē1

Thus man came to peace with God through the birth of Christ, nay with His birth, i.e. Christís coming to the world, the doors of heaven were opened to us, and grace overflowed onto those who believe in Christ. Believers in Christ hence lived, nay spiritually remained constantly in that grace. To the extent that man who had been in enmity with God became fit for the living hope in God proclaiming with the angels: ďGlory to God in the highestĒ. Nay, due to Christís entry to the world the doors of living hope to enter the heavenly glory became open to us, and became a pride to those who believe in Christ. In this unique verse and in its profundity we find four heavenly glories descending on man: righteousness through faith, peace with God, residing in grace, and pride in the hope of glory!

We wonder at the depth of the revelation in which the Apostle Paul delved while speaking with incomparable depth over matters that happened to us through the birth of

1 Lk 2:14.

the Son of God according to the will and desire of God since the beginning. What Paul sees as if present before him is Godís eternal plan hidden from many heavenly beings and from all the prophets and forefathers.

We are required to note the Apostle Paulís revelation to the extent of faith, salvation, justification, continuous peace with God, and entering in the grace of God residing for ever in it. It is as if the new light that emanated from Christ to cover the whole inhabited world was for man to rejoice who had been in bondage to the enemy, but now proud of Godís glory at the freedom Christ freed us with. We thus became a renewed creation belonging to heaven after having been a member of the dust of the earth submitted to the head of this evil world.

We repeat to the reader to pay attention and not to take these words lightly as mere words. It suffices to say that Christís birth made heaven tremble and the heavenly hosts appeared openly to offer glory to God due to the Holy Sonís birth, for the first time in existence, to offer earth the peace of heaven that had been hidden from man since the beginning, and to give man total joy following his grief from the beginning.

The heavens and the heavenly hosts thus offered their divine turn in inaugurating the book of the New Testament with bugles, proclamation and rejoicing. The story of mankind became thus the follower of heaven after having been the follower of the earth dust.

It is left to us to listen to the Apostle Paulís notice that we now reside in the grace of God that overflows on Christ!

O children of grace, consider seriously that which has become yours at no cost through faith in our Savior Jesus Christ for grace to consequently continually overflow onto us and to be counted resident in it as a king resides in his castle. If we remove the castle from the king he would become the same as one of his subjects. Dear reader, we must contemplate, feel, and depend on this gift offered to us as that of a garment. As we put on Christ we put on grace and man thus becomes a new heavenly creation asking for his heavenly country.

Prayer

We are confident that we will enter the holy of holies through the blood of Christ,

the way of life being open to us through the offering of the body of Christ to death and afterwards resurrection,

Christ having offered us His deed on the cross to be counted for us.

The cross became the sign of the greatest reconciliation Christ offered to us,

Man thus entered heaven justified through the blood that will be revealed on the day of redemption.

We live now, O Lord, in our living hope in You,

If our faith weakens, our hope is alive that the work of Your cross be fulfilled in us, because through the cross we will inevitably gain adoption to fulfill redemption of the flesh.

July 7, 2005

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