He Opened Their Understanding that They Might Comprehend and be Enlightened
In the meetings the Lord Jesus Christ had with
His Disciples before ascending to heaven, it was said
that “He opened their understanding, that they might
comprehend the Scriptures…” (Lk 24:45). This
happened with the eleven disciples and with the two
disciples of Emmaus, “And beginning at Moses and all
the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the
Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Lk
He enlightened their minds to understand
prophecies and symbols and their indications. And in
spite the fact that they were apostles, the gift of
understanding the secrets of the Old Testament was
not granted to them yet. Therefore, they needed their
minds to be opened so that they understand.
This is a lesson of humility to all of us. So that it
may not happen if someone reads some books that
he thinks he realized everything and became a
scientist and start giving people doctrines and
thoughts!!! While St James the apostle says: “My
brethren, let not many of you become teachers,
knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For
we all stumble in many things” (Jas 3:1, 2).
What happened with the disciples also
happened with the Ethiopian eunuch.
He was in his chariot, reading Isaiah the prophet.
Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go near and overtake
this chariot." So Philip ran to him, and heard him
reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, "Do you
understand what you are reading?" And he said, "How
can I, unless someone guides me?" (Act 8:29-31).
So St Philip opened the mind of that eunuch to
understand what is written in the scriptures and he
understood, believed and got baptized on the same
day and he went on his way rejoicing.
Many people read the bible and do not
understand it or at least do not understand the
depths of what is in it regardless of their level. That’s
why we pray in the psalm (119) saying: “Open my
eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your
That’s why, one may, many times, pray with the
psalms without understanding all what he says in his
prayers. And from time to time, he may see that God
opens his mind to understand some sentences. So
let’s pray that the Lord grants us this understanding…
There are people who have open sights, as
the Lord said to His disciples:
“But blessed are your eyes for they see”, and He
did not mean that they can see material things that
everyone see according to the strength of his eye
sight. But spiritual things that not everyone’s eyes
are open to.
Balaam, in his purity time as a prophet, said
about himself: “The utterance of Balaam the son of
Beor, The utterance of the man whose eyes are
opened… Who sees the vision of the Almighty…” (Nu
24:3, 4)… And not everyone is of that type with eyes
The Virgin, St Mary, appeared on domes of her
church in Zeitoun. Tens of thousands and sometimes
hundreds of thousands of people gathered there,
many saw her and some could not. Each according to
his faith or humility because secrets of the Lord are
revealed to humble people, but those with pride, if
were to see a vision they might have more pride
because of what they see. Therefore Mar Isaac said:
“If the Lord grants you a gift, ask Him to grant you
the humility to bear it, or ask Him to take this gift
away from you”.
Prophet Elisha was once in Dothan. And the king
of Syria sent horses, chariots and a great army there,
and they came by night and surrounded the city, so
Gehazi, the prophet’s disciple, was terrified, so Elisha
prayed for him saying: “LORD, I pray, open his eyes
that he may see…” (2 K 6:13-17). And the Lord
opened his eyes and he saw the Lord’s soldiers
defending them and they were stronger and more in
Sometimes we are in a certain hardship and
internal aching because we cannot see that those who
are with us are more than those who are against us.
May God open our eyes so that we can see his
support and feel safe.
God used to open the eyes of our fathers the
apostles in certain occasions so that they see…
An example is that, once, a man named Ananias
came to St Peter the apostle to offer the price of a
possession he sold (and he kept back part of the
proceeds). Therefore St Peter said to him “Ananias,
why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy
Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for
yourself?” (Act 5:1-3). And he placed a sentence on
Ananias then the same sentence on his wife Sapphira
when she came after him and repeated the same lie.
In this story the Lord opened the eyes of His
servant Peter to see what Ananias and Sapphira has
done in secret so that this reveal becomes a lesson
for others. Therefore, “great fear came upon all the
church and upon all who heard these things.” (Act
“Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things
from Your law”.
This verse from the psalm gives an idea
about the gift of meditation…
Do not think that reading the bible for the first
time is enough to discover all the meanings. As we
read we understand new meanings that we did not
notice before. Therefore he who reads God’s words
should be patient and should not think that he
reached the understanding of everything from his first
reading. And truthful is Prophet David when he said
to the Lord in the Grand Psalm: “I have seen the
consummation of all perfection, But Your
commandment is exceedingly broad.” (Ps 119:96).
This also shows the type of grace that the Lord
grants to the speaker and the listener as well. As for
the speaker, the grace gives the understanding gift
and for the listener, it gives the gift of benefiting from
what he hears. It gives to one open eyes and to the
other open ears.
May each of us have the open eye with which he
sees danger before it occurs. And open sight with
which he knows how to act with wisdom because
separation and wisdom are gifts granted by God to
Therefore, we see in the absolution of the Prime
prayer a nice statement that the prayer says which is:
“enlighten our minds, our hearts and our
understandings, O Master of all”
Therefore do not think that you have reached
enough cleverness, knowledge and insight to be
satisfied with but say to the Lord in your prayer:
enlighten or minds, our hearts and our understanding
to know how to do well…
One of our imperfections is that we get satisfied
with our understanding and never ask. And maybe
some of us pray with the prime prayer statement
“enlighten our minds, our hearts and our
understandings” and never realize the depth of its
meaning and that one really needs from God to
enlighten his mind, heart and understanding.
This enlightenment can also be remembered
when we say in the psalm “The commandment of the
LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes”. This way a
person becomes enlightened not only in secular
cultural areas but also from the side of the Holy Spirit
who enlightens our minds and our understandings.
Therefore, we also say in the Prime Prayer:
let the luminous senses and the bright thoughts
shine within us, and do not let the darkness of
passions hover over us.
So, bright thoughts are a gift from God that you
ask for. And God gives you bright thoughts and
luminous senses and keeps away from you darkness
of passions. And what is meant by passions is the
passions of spiritual fights that hurt the soul and the
spirit. And it is considered darkness because it is far
from true enlightenment.
You ask the Lord to open up your mind, heart and
understanding, so the supplication that some say:
“May God open up for you...” is good…
It does not only mean increase your income
sources as some ask for. But it also means open up
doors of the heart, mind, luminous senses and bright
thoughts and gives you enlightenment in the heart.
The bible asks us to have this enlightenment
when saying: to be sons of light and sons of
And the first statement we say in the Midnight
Praise everyday is “Arise, you, O children of the light,
to praise the Lord of Hosts”. And here we may ask:
how can we become children of the light?
God, originally, is light. An unapproachable light,
and has no darkness whatsoever. And as long as we
are God’s children, we are children of the light (in our
The Lord said to His disciples: “Walk while you
have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who
walks in darkness does not know where he is going.”
What did He mean with: “Walk while you have the
light, lest darkness overtake you”?
Good deeds are always done in the light. But if a
person wants to do an evil deed, he does it in the
darkness where no one can see him and no one can
discover his sin. It is a hidden, in disguise act that is
And so was said about evil people: they “loved
darkness rather than light, because their deeds were
evil”. They do their deeds in darkness so that nobody
can see them.
Darkness can also be used to describe sinful
feelings that one may hide in the heart, mind and
intentions and others do not know about.
Some people think that darkness covers
them and hide their deeds!
This is how scribes, Pharisees and chief priests
were preparing conspiracies against the Lord Jesus
Christ. That’s why He said to them: “this is your hour,
and the power of darkness.” Therefore, every
arrangement that is done in secret is an arrangement
in the darkness.
And you ask God to enlighten your mind to
remember that today is a Holy Day because it is
a fast day or a communion day.
And according to our prayers in the Agpeya we
consider everyday to be a holy day. Thus we say: “to
grant us to complete this holy day, and all the days of
our life, in all peace with Your fear.”
And enlighten, O Lord, my mind to understand
that I am a temple for You and that Your spirit dwells
in me (1 Co 3:16). And enlighten my mind to
understand that I was created in Your image and
according to Your likeness and it is inappropriate to
lose this divine image.
And enlighten my mind, O Lord, to know that the
sin is against You alone as David said in the psalm:
“Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this
evil in Your sight” (Ps 51:4).
Enlighten my mind to understand all these things
so that I do not sin against you.
One of the fathers said: “Each sin is preceded by
either desire, ignorance, or forgetting”. Therefore,
enlighten, O Lord, my mind so that I do not forget
Your commandments and enlighten my understanding
so that I never forget how I should be.
The first work for You, O Lord, in the six creation
days was that You said: “Let there be light"; and
there was light. And You saw the light, that it was
Therefore, God, say it again: “Let there be light”.
And enlighten our minds, hearts and understandings
so that we live in the light all our days.
And make us think, as one of the spiritual fathers
said, as if all our thoughts are written with letters of
light on the clouds of the sky, seen by everyone…
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