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"No one can serve two masters" (Mt 6: 24)

Pope Shenouda III | 12 June 2011
In case each master has a different tendency, one cannot serve both equally, or with the same degree of honesty. One's service will be true from all the heart to the one, and in flattery or hypocrisy to the other. In case both have the same tendency, anybody can serve them equally. A person can serve God, the church, the community, the state, and knowledge, but cannot serve two opposite or competing masters, whether the master is a person or a thing... More

Blessed are the meek

Pope Shenouda III | 5 June 2011
A meek person is kind, calm, peaceful, and gentle-voiced, neither argues nor quarrels, does not break up with anyone, nor behaves rudely. In both the New and Old Testaments, it is said of Christ the Lord “ He will not quarrel nor cry out, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and smoking flax he will not quench(Matt 12: 19-20) (Isia 42: 2-3). He does not deprive anyone of hope. He does not quench smoking flax; perhaps a wind blows two years later and it may be kindled! .. More

The wise man builds his house on the rock

Pope Shenouda III | 30 May 2011
The wise never builds his house on the sand, on moving and unstable land, as the foolish does (Mt 7: 5), but rather builds it on the rock. Building on the rock: It signifies building on deep faith in God, on sound understanding of His commandments, or on strong firm foundation of love for God, for people, and for good. Such strong and firm foundation never falls. As engineers do, build houses on deep foundation of reinforced concrete, which no winds or rains can shake or move from its place. This is the difference between building on the rock and building on the sand. Some people go to church and listen to God's word, just for knowledge, while others listen, with the intent to act accordingly. While the former turn the mind into a store of knowledge or a moving encyclopedia, having answers to any question, the latter listen, act, and turn the word into life... More

The wise man & the foolish man

Pope Shenouda III | 22 May 2011
The Lord says, "Whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." (Mt 7: 24- 27).. More

"I am with you always" (Mt 28: 20)

Pope Shenouda III | 15 May 2011
He promised His disciples to be with them always, even to the end of the age, and He fulfilled His promise. He presented Himself alive for forty days after His resurrection, speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God (Acts 1: 3). He gave them peace and joy as He had promised (Jn 16: 22; 20: 20) and comforted them after the crucifixion they witnessed. .. More

The Resurrection & Related Incidents

Pope Shenouda III | 8 May 2011
The period between the crucifixion and the resurrection: In His resurrection, He sanctified the mortal human nature, giving it power to rise. Before rising, with His body lying in the tomb, He was working for us. Death caused His spirit to separate from His body, but His divinity never separated from His spirit or from His body. His spirit, united with His divinity, accomplished wonderful salvation for those lying in hope... More

Jacob the Patriarch (8)

Pope Shenouda III | 1 May 2011
The journey back & Jacob's fear of his brother Esau After settling his family issues, whether the wrestling of his two wives, or the pursue of his uncle Laban, Jacob set on his way back to his father's house. Terror from Esau: He was afraid, or rather terrified and trembling, in spite of all God's promises and support. Probably the words of Esau were still ringing in his ears, "I will kill my brother Jacob" (Gen 27: 41), or he remembered how he seized the opportunity of his brother's hunger and took his birthright, and made him swear (Gen 25: 31, 33). Maybe he recalled the deceit with which he took the birthright when he said to his father, "I am Esau your firstborn", and how his father said to Esau, "Your brother came with deceit and has taken away your blessing." (Gen 27: 19, 35) .. More

Characters of the Holy Bible

Pope Shenouda III | 24 April 2011
Lessons from the Lord's Resurrection So many miracles happened at the time of the Lord's crucifixion: there was darkness over all the land, the veil of the temple was torn in two, the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; but did everybody benefit from these lessons? HAPPY EASTER Jacob the Patriarch (8) Back to his home country & wrestling with his uncle Laban.. More

Jacob the Patriarch (7)

Pope Shenouda III | 17 April 2011
Our father Jacob submitted to the actual state, and accepted Leah as wife, then he married her sister Rachel, gathering between both sisters. He lived with the wife he loved, and the wife who loved him and sought his love. Both wives wrestled together. Our father Jacob avoided taking wives from unbelievers lest they turn his heart away from God as happened to Solomon the Wise afterwards (1 Kgs 11). He went to take wife from a holy family of his parents' relatives, not knowing that problems might follow him even with those holy people, from his uncle Laban who deceived him, and from his two wrestling cousins, Leah the weak sighted, and the pretty Rachel... More

Jacob the Patriarch (6)

Pope Shenouda III | 10 April 2011
Jacob met his cousin Rachel by the well where the shepherds watered their sheep. As there was a large stone on the well's mouth, they used to wait until they all gather and roll the stone away. When Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of his uncle, he went near and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his uncle (Gen 29: 3, 10)... More

Jacob the Patriarch 5

Pope Shenouda III | 3 April 2011
The covenant with God in Bethel So many are the covenants made between God and man, among which was that with Jacob, where God said to him, "Your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth … and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land." (Gen 28: 13- 15).. More

Jacob the Patriarch (4)

Pope Shenouda III | 27 March 2011
Jacob fled from the face of his brother Esau who had intended to kill him. Strange indeed was such hatred and strange his ignorance! Could he prevent the blessing that went to Jacob, that peoples serve Jacob, and nations bow down to him, that he become master over his brethren, and his mother’s sons bow down to him, that the older serve him though the younger? (Gen 27: 29; 25: 23) Esau was defying the divine dispensation, unlike his father who despite intending to bless Esau, submitted to the divine will when he remembered God's promise. Isaac said affirming, "Indeed he shall be blessed." (Gen 27: 33) Esau nevertheless disobeyed and showed ignorance, for the blessing implied the coming of Christ from the offspring of the firstborn, how then would he kill Jacob before the coming of Christ from his offspring! How would he kill him before the fulfillment of the other blessing Isaac had given him, that he multiply and be an assembly of peoples (Gen 28: 3)? It was impossible, but Jacob in fear fled from his face... More

Jacob the Patriarch

Pope Shenouda III | 20 March 2011
Jacob succeeded in obtaining the blessing of his father, a great treasure sought by the sons at that time. Blessings throughout human history came directly from God, from Him alone. He blessed Adam and Eve (Gen 1: 28), Noah and his children (Gen 9: 1), and our father Abraham (Gen 12), the first to whom God said, "You shall be a blessing" (Gen 12: 2)... More

Jacob the Patriarch

Pope Shenouda III | 13 March 2011
Birthright was a great desirable thing in the days of our early fathers. The firstborn before Aaron served as priest of the family after the decease of his father, as the Lord commanded Moses, "Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb … it is Mine." (Ex 13: 2) Christ was expected to come from the firstborn, according to the Lord's promise to our fathers Abraham and Isaac, "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed." (Gen 22: 18; 26: 4).. More

Jacob the Patriarch

Pope Shenouda III | 13 March 2011
Birthright was a great desirable thing in the days of our early fathers. The firstborn before Aaron served as priest of the family after the decease of his father, as the Lord commanded Moses, "Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb … it is Mine." (Ex 13: 2) Christ was expected to come from the firstborn, according to the Lord's promise to our fathers Abraham and Isaac, "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed." (Gen 22: 18; 26: 4).. More

Jacob the Patriarch:

Pope Shenouda III | 6 March 2011
God chose Jacob before his birth, and gave him blessing and authority while still in his mother's womb, for God said to her, "Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; one people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger." (Gen 25: 23) The older is Esau, and the younger Jacob... More

Characters of the Holy Bible

Pope Shenouda III | 27 February 2011
We mention in this context our first parents and grandparents Adam and Eve, the first human beings, the first sinners, the first to undergo punishment, and the first married couple forming the first family. The type of the relationship between our mother Eve and our father Adam: She is of the same nature, or rather "bone of his bones" and "flesh of his flesh" (Gen 2: 23) She is a helper comparable to him (Gen 2: 18) in nature, in mind, and in spirit. She is in God's image and likeness, responsible for her actions. He is the head, and she a helper, for God said, "He shall rule over you" (Gen 3: 16), and the Scripture says, "The head of woman is man" (1 Cor 11: 3; Eph 5: 22), and commands women to submit to their husbands in everything (Eph 5: 24)... More

Characters of the Holy Bible

Pope Shenouda III | 20 February 2011
Nehemiah built the walls of Jerusalem so that the people might no longer be a reproach. In his determination that knows no despair, he could turn darkness into light and grief into joy. Yet this was not all. There were souls like Jerusalem, with walls broken down and gates burned with fire, souls trodden by enemies, and lost dignity. Having completed restoration of the city, Nehemiah then began restoration of those souls. He did not want for Jerusalem with the new walls to be like whitewashed tombs, while the inside full of dead men's bones (Mt 23: 27)... More

Contemplations on the life of Nehemiah

Pope Shenouda III | 6 February 2011
We know nothing about Nehemiah's past life except his enthusiasm to build the wall of Jerusalem. The lives of some people begin from the time of their attachment to God and to church. Their true lives are briefed in what they did for God, and the rest is only emptiness, not worth to be recorded. Nehemia was a captive in Babylon,and held a position in the palace of King Artaxerxes. He was the king’s cupbearer (Neh 1: 11).. More

The most serious sin in one's life

Pope Shenouda III | 3 February 2011
A person often forgets the sins he committed, but there may be certain unforgettable sins. David the Prophet for instance asked the Lord in his prayer to forget his many sins, saying, "If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?" (Ps 130: 3) "Do not enter into judgment with Your servant, for in Your sight no one living is righteous." (Ps 143: 2) "Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions." (Ps 25: 7) Even concerning his errors, he says, "Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults." (Ps 19: 12).. More

Life of Virtue & Righteousness (27)

Pope Shenouda III | 23 January 2011
The body is not a sin: First of all the body or the flesh is not a sin by itself, for many reasons: 1. Had the body been evil, God would not have created it, for after creating it, God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good (Gen 1: 31). 2. Had the body been evil, the Lord Christ would not have taken for Himself a human body, "The Word became flesh." (Jn 1: 14) 3. Had the body been evil, the Scripture would not have said, "Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you." (1 Cor 6: 19) "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?" (1 Cor 6: 15) .. More