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



On the Occasion of the Start of a New Year

The New Year is not only a change in the calendar but it is a change in life to better, meaning that we start on it a new life that is purer.


The person who talked the most about this

issue of “new” is prophet Ezekiel in (Ez 18:31),

(Ez 11:19), (Ez 36:25-27).


He said “Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit” (Ez 18:31).


Also said that God is the One who grants us the

new heart and the new spirit so in (Ez 11:19) the

Lord says “19Then I will give them one heart, and I

will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony

heart out of their flesh” and repeated the same in (Ez

36:25-27) and added “Then I will sprinkle clean water

on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you

from all your filthiness… I will put My Spirit within you

and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will

keep My judgments and do them”.

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So God since the Old Testament wants us to

have a new heart and a new spirit so that we

can walk in His statutes and His judgment and

His grace works in us.

How beautiful is His saying “I will put My Spirit

within you”… this phrase as in the New Testament!

And prophet David says in the Fiftieth Psalm “Create

in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast

spirit within me.” Meaning recreate in him a clean


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And the newness issue comes in everything to the

extent that he says in more than one psalm “Oh, sing

to the LORD a new song!” (Ps 96:1). Meaning praise

with a new spirit. Non-routine praise, as the one who

prays the psalm quickly without knowing what he is

saying, but a new praise that is full of spirit, heart,

passion and faith. And full of his being in the presence

of God and meekness before Him.

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But in the New Testament, suffice it to say

that it carries the “new” its name.

The Lord for example says to disciple in the

Eucharist Sacrament (Communion): “For this is My

blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for

the remission of sins” (Mt 26:28)… Meaning that you,

in communion, you enter in a new testament and a

new life with God, not come out of its as you are

without changing as if you did not benefit from it in


So you must think of the New Year, to change to

better and pray saying: Grant me, O Lord, the new

heart and the new spirit, as you promised me both in

prophet Ezekiel’s Book. And you are honest in your


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This renewal process is applied first in the

Baptism Sacrament.

As came in the epistle to Romans about baptism

“…even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Ro

6:4). Meaning in the new life that we get through


And in the epistle to Titus he says “…but

according to His mercy He saved us, through the

washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy

Spirit” (Ti 3:5).

So we in baptism are washed through the

washing of the second birth. So we get a second birth

and get the renewal of the Holy Spirit. Not only that

but the apostle also says in his epistle to Galatians

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have

put on Christ.” (Ga 3:27). And the meaning of put on

Christ is that you have worn the righteousness and

the power that are of Christ’s.

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

And the bible says also “if anyone is in

Christ, he is a new creation; old things have

passed away; behold, all things have become

new.” (2 Co 5:17).

So can each of us say this statement in the new

year: old things have passed away; behold, all things

have become new?! Or are you still as you were!!...

And here we should know: what is the new creation?

And the first thing is that you should go back

to your original form in God’s image and

according to His likeness.

So that is how God created the human from the

beginning (Gn 1:26, 27). But through sin we lost this

divine image, but we gained it back through baptism

and we regain it back everyday through repentance.

So do we now go by what is up to God’s image and


􀀿 􀀿 􀀿


In addition to God’s image, in baptism we

also gained sonship to God.

So is the behavior of each of us suitable for him

being God’s son? God’s sons do not sin. Here is St

John the apostle says that “whoever is born of God

does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps

himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.” (1

Jn 5:18). And what about him who sin? He says “He

who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from

the beginning… In this the children of God and the

children of the devil are manifest” (1 Jn 3:8, 10).

And from the side of the devil’s sons, the Lord

said to the sinful Jews “You are of your father the

devil, and the desires of your father you want to do”

(Jn 8:44).

In the new creation we become God’s sons and

God’s image. And what else?

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

In the new creation we become also a

temple for the Holy Spirit.

St. Paul the Apostle says “Do you not know that

you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God

dwells in you” (1 Co 3:16). So do you my brother

realize this fact and work with what complies with a

human in whom God’s Spirit dwells in?! As yourself.

The Lord says “If anyone loves Me, he will keep

My word; and My Father will love him, and We will

come to him and make Our home with him” (Jn

14:23). Meaning that the Father and the Son live in

him and initially he had the Holy Spirit living in him,

meaning that in him, with grace, there is the Father,

the Son and the Holy Spirit!!

This Holy Heart which became like this is this new


􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

Also as a new creation, you take the spirit of


The weak person cannot be God’s image and

likeness. For we say in the Trisagion: Holy God, Holy


So, the spiritual person, that God wanted to dwell

with His Spirit in, is supposed to be a strong person.

Not strong over other humans, but strong over the

world, to have triumph over the world and over the

devil. And be powerful to have triumph over the sin

and the sin never have triumph over him. H should be

strong in his personality, in his power and his effect…

The Lord Christ told his disciples before He

ascends “you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit

has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to

Me” (Ac 1:8).

So could you be in a state of weakness or in

devastation as if you are definitely lost and then say:

I am God’s image and likeness?! Or I am God’s son

and a new creation?! No, for the new creation takes

the blessing that God promised the winners with (Rv

2, 3). And this is the creation to whom He said

“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on

serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the

enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Lk


􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

The Lord Christ said “be of good cheer, I have

overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). Some may say: we

know Lord that you have overcome the world because

you are mighty. But what about us the dust and

ashes? And the Lord answers:

I have overcome the world in your human

nature which I united with so that your human

nature becomes qualifies to overcome the


And the world here is not people but as the

apostle says “For all that is in the world--the lust of

the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life…

And the world is passing away, and the lust of it” (1

Jn 2:16-17).

This is the new creation to whom God gave

power to overcome the world.

Also God gave the new creation the nature

which overcomes death through rising from the


Therefore, it is said about rising “For this

corruptible must put on incorruption” (1 Co 15:53).

And we tell the Lord in our prayer over the dead:

“Because there is no death for your servants but a

departure” Why no death? Because God gave the new

creation the ability to overcome death through rising

from the dead. And so St. Paul the apostle says “O

Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your

victory?” (1 Co 15:54, 55).

All these things were said about the new creation.

So are you on the beginning of the new year feel

that you have become a new creation? And that you

are different from before and that you have returned

back to being God’s image and became a true son on


􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

This does not mean that you are hiding behind a

religious imagery!!

As if you say I am regularly going to church,

regularly confessing and taking communion and

regularly fasting and praying. While all these are

images from outside or this is just a piece of

unshrunk cloth on an old garment (Mt 9:16). This doe

not work my brother, the whole garment should

change. And your change should be from the inside.

For the bible says “The royal daughter is all glorious

within the palace” (Ps 45:13, 14) although Her

clothing is woven with gold and She shall be brought

to the King in robes of many colors.

Gold accessories and robes are all matters from

outside. But what really is important is in the heart

from inside that changes and becomes a new heart

and the person becomes with a new spirit.

􀀿 􀀿 􀀿

And the apostle says “be transformed by the

renewing of your mind” (Ro 12:2).

So the change process includes renewing the

mind. And renewing the mind happens in repentance

life through renewing in bases, values, concepts and

all your thoughts, aspirations and directions in life.

It was said in the Revelation book “the former

things have passed away." Then He who sat on the

throne said, "Behold, I make all things new."” (Rv

21:4, 5).

Yes everything, even the commandments that

you have heard in the past has taken a new concept

in Christianity. Love, for example has taken a new

form which is “For God so loved the world that He

gave…” (Jn 3:16). So love means giving oneself. And

love others mean give yourself. And love even your

enemies and those trespass against you.

O Lord, we hope you give us this renewal in our


And make this year new in everything that

complies with Your good and righteous will. And give

us the new heart that loves you and applies your

commandments and goes by what satisfies your will…

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