The Coptic Orthodox Christian Diocese of Sydney, Australia and Affiliated Regions - under the guidance of His Grace Bishop Daniel
Feast of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
1st Bashans, 1736, 9th of May 2020
It is mentioned in the Psali, Watos for St Mary:
Praise the Lord all you nations with hymns and praises because the Lord has chosen this young girl and nourished her in the temple”.
On the Feast of the Queen of Heaven, and all the Earth, our Lady Virgin Mary, we know that the Lord has first seen her as a holy temple for Him and received her in His holy temple.
Let’s praise Our Lord by keeping our bodies, a holy temple for the Lord, and our homes holy temple for our Lord Jesus Christ requesting the blessings of the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary before her Son to have mercy on us and open again the doors of His holy altar in all the churches with the prayers of HH Pope Tawadros, II, and his partner in the apostolic service, His Eminence Metropolitan Anba Tadros.
The above icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the 13th century, located in St Anthony Ancient Church in his blessed Monastery at the Red Sea.
Stay Safe and pray for me in all your prayers.
With the Grace of God
Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church -
Diocese of Sydney & Affiliated Regions
ذكر في ابصالية واطس للعذراء مريم: " باركوا الرب يا جميع الأمم بتسابيح وتراتيل ، لان الرب اختار هذه الفتاة الصغيرة واعالها في الهيكل" .
في عيد ميلاد ملكة السمائيين والأرضين ، العذراء مريم ، نعلم ان الله رآي نفسها أولًا هيكلا مقدسا له ، فأعالها في هيكل قدسه .
فلنبارك الرب بان تكون اجسادنا مذبحا مقدسا للرب ، وتكون منازلنا هيكلا مقدسا للرب يسوع، طالبين بركة شفاعتها أمام ابنها حتي يرحمنا الرب و يفتح مرة اخري أبواب هيكل قدسه في كنائسه المقدسة أمام وجوهنا ، بطلبات قداسة البابا المعظم الانبا تواضروس الثاني وشريكه في الخدمة الرسولية المطران المكرم الانبا تادرس .
أيقونة السيدة العذراء من القرن الثالث عشر من كنيسة القديس انطونيوس الأثرية بديره العامر بالبحر الأحمر .
كونوا معافين ، صلوا لأجلي في كل صلاة.
اسقف إيبارشية سيدني بأستراليا بنعمة الرب
الكنيسة القبطية الأرثوذكسية
On this day the church celebrates the birth of the pure Virgin St. Mary, the Mother of God (Theotokos), through whom Salvation came to mankind. She was born in the city of Nazareth, where her parents lived. Her father was grieved in his heart for he could not offer an offering to God for he did not have any children. In the fullness of time according to the Divine Will, the angel of the Lord was sent to announce Joachim, her father, while he was on the mountain praying, and said to him: "The Lord will give you offspring through whom salvation comes to the world."
Immediately he went down the mountain believing what the angel told him, and he told his wife Anna of what he saw and heard. She rejoiced, gave thanks to the Lord, and vowed that the child who was to be born to her would become a servant in the house of the Lord all the days of her/his life. She conceived, and gave birth to this Saint and called her Mary who had become the Queen of all women of the world, and through her we have received the grace.
May her intercession be with us, and glory be to God forever. Amen.
بث مباشر لعشية كاروز ديارنا المصرية القديس مار مرقس الرسول من كنيسة الملاك ميخائيل والأنبا بيشوي
الخميس ٧ مايو ٢٠٢٠ م.. ٢٩ برموده ١٧٣٦ ش.
“A blessed Feast of St Mark with you all, I miss you all dearly and have you all in my heart and prayers always” Bishop Daniel
A Lecture by His Eminent Metropolitan Anba Tadros for Sydney Priests’ meeting during the Holy Fifty Days
“The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” Acts1:1-3
Firstly, it’s my pleasure to congratulate you all blessed fathers by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, that incident which changed history and restored life again to Christianity.
The period after the Resurrection was not a period of rest but of labour and focus from the Lord Jesus firstly towards His disciples for the great pastoral work that is required from them and from some other characters like Mary Magdalene, the Emmaus disciples and others....
We could summarise what Jesus did with the disciples in three stages
1. First stage: preparation stage
2. Second stage: deliverance stage
3. Third stage: commissioning stage
The first stage: preparing the disciples
This stage is divided into three important jobs which the Lord has performed:
1. Restoring Joy: The bible says “Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.” John 20:20. Before the resurrection, everyone was in a very bad condition experiencing sadness, despair, and fear; they escaped when they saw everything falling apart around them. Where are His words and miracles? How come He wasn’t able to save Himself from those who beat, arrested and crucified Him? Where are His power and authority? Everything is destroyed, their souls were broken, their faith was lost, nothing left but pain and tears, they lost their hope. Thus, it was important for the Lord to confirm His resurrection for them, He appeared many times to them, He showed them His hands and feet, the traces of nails, He confirmed to them that He is not a ghost but real, their sadness was transformed to happiness and we remember Jesus words about His resurrection saying: “but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.” John 16:22. That what actually happened to them, since the Lord restored to them their joy, the life of joy in the Lord didn’t depart from them all their lives even amidst hardships and persecutions, they were happy.
2. Strengthening the Faith: The Lord started after His resurrection to support and strengthen the disciples faith, curing any weakness in it after it has been shaken before the resurrection, where some betrayed Him, some denied Him, and some got afraid and didn’t believe for the lack of faith the good news which Mary Magdelene and Emmaus disciples announced to them (Mark: 16: 11-13), also when the women told them they didn’t believe them and thought they were hallucinating ( Luke 24:11). Thomas didn’t believe neither did the rest of the disciples when the Lord appeared to them. They thought he is a spirit ( Luke 24:37). When the Lord rose from the dead, He visited His disciples and came to them to strengthen their faith and restore to them their self-confidence to be able to spread the faith strongly, in confidence and courage. The Lord didn’t reprimand them nor punish them for their lack of faith, but He arose to cure, fix and restore their faith and confidence. From there on their faith was never shaken through all their lives yet it was getting stronger day after day. The Resurrection became the centre of their faith to the level they said “if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile” (1Corinthians15:17)
3. Abiding in God
Jesus’ aim was not to be with his children but more likely to have mutual stability between each other. He abode in them and they in Him forever and that was what He said to the Father “I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one” (John 17:23). He also said to His disciples “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit” (John 15:4-6), He also said “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.” (John 6:56). St Paul announced the abide in God saying “ it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;” (Galatians 2:20). This is the secret behind the disciples’ success in their service, to abide in God as the Lord reassured them “ I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:2-3), by this the stage of preparation was completed through:
1. The restore of Joy
2. Strengthening of faith
3. Abide in God
Second stage: Deliverance
After the Lord prepared His disciples in the first stage with the required preparation to be able to receive all that has to do with the kingdom of God. He restored to them full Joy, their faith was strengthened and they abide in Jesus till their death. The Lord started to deliver to them one by one all that has to do with Christian worship: the church sacraments, the associated rituals, the system of worship, the types of prayers, the firm Christian belief, the tradition, and the other things that are related to church leadership and these things that are related to the congregation The church lived by deliverance, St Paul the Apostle said in his epistle to the Corinthians “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you” 1 Corinthians 11:23. He says to His disciple Timothy “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2Timothy2:2) The Lord deliver to his disciples and they delivered to others, by deliverance the belief was established, the forty days was a very important period in the deliverance from the Lord to His disciples.
Examples of deliverance:
1. Establishment of priesthood sacrament: when the Lord blew in the faces of the disciples. The establishment of the sacrament of repentance and confession to the priest when He said “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20:23), the disciples practiced the authority of forgiveness of sins as the believers practiced confession of their sins ( Acts18:19)
2. Establishment of Baptism sacrament: when the Lord sent His disciples to evangelise the Gospels among the gentiles He told them “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (John 28:19-20), in that way he deliver to them baptism to become the basis of faith, basis of salvation, He who believes and is baptized will be saved. Baptism in orthodox perception is not just a ritual yet it is a death and resurrection with the Lord (Romans 6) buried with Him in baptism (Colossians12:2) by this baptism those who got baptised become children of the kingdom of God.
3. Myron Sacrament: (granting the Holy Spirit) the Lord delivered to them through priesthood the authority to grant the Holy Spirit to the baptised, the disciples executed this instruction, they put their hands on the baptised and gave them the Holy Spirit as St Peter and St John did with the people of Samaria (Acts 8:16-17) as St Paul the Apostle did with the people of Ephesus (Acts 19:5-6), when the number of baptised increased, the disciples used the holy anointment (!John: 2 20-27)
4. The Eucharist Sacrament: the Lord spoke about that sacrament when He said about Himself “ I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51), when the Jews therefore quarrelled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?”... He said to them “Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him” (John 6: 54-56). When St Paul wasn’t with the eleven disciples during the forty days as he hadn’t believed yet, The Lord delivered to him this sacrament, he delivered to others in his epistle to Corinthians ( 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). Which confirms that the disciples received all church sacraments, its laws and rituals in the holy forty days as being the matters that are related to the Kingdom of heaven.
Third Stage: commissioning
After the Lord had given the disciples the sacrament of priesthood by which they can practice the holy sacraments which they received. They had to wait in Jerusalem to receive the Holy Spirit, to receive enormous power they need to support them in their great mission which the Lord commissioned to them “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts1:8) Before the Lord ascension to Heaven by His Body, He commissioned them to:
1. Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15) and also Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; (Matthew 28:19-20)
2. He asked them to be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
3. He informed them of the hardship of the service he commissioned them to, they will face hardships, persecutions, they will face kings and authorities for the sake of His name “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” (Luke 12:11) and also do not be afraid of those who kill the body (Luke 12:4)
4. He confirmed to them that he will never forsake them “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20).
5. After the Lord completed the required preparation for the service by the constant life of joy and the strength of faith and the abide in God, after He told them he will never forsake them and will send the Holy Spirit on the 50th day, the Lord ascended by His body to heaven and sent them the Holy Spirit as He promised then the service started to flourish everywhere.
6. The secret behind the success of the disciples’ service was that they evangelised what the Lord told them in complete obedience to all his commandments, their evangelism succeeded ‘and the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.’ (Acts 2:47) the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.
7. The service spread everywhere, many churches were established. Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied. 8. Dearly beloved, the Lord through His care for the things that are related to the kingdom of God presented a practical lesson for the church to perform. It started in spreading the kingdom of God, it started to evangelise, teach, spread the faith, it baptised those who are saved It anointed the believers with the holy oil for the Spirit of the Lord to dwell in them, it guided the sinners to repentance and confession to forgive their sins, it shepherded the people and taught them the Love of God to abide in faith.
Thus we have to be very careful, the main work of all priests and servants in the church is to establish the kingdom of Heaven and accordingly every activity has to be related to the kingdom of heaven. For example the educational, social, sport activities, etc. must have a spiritual goal which is building the souls to become alive members in the body of Christ which is the church and for all those who get served to be children of the kingdom of heaven.
Sadly I would say every church service that is away from that main goal of the church which is to establish the kingdom of heaven, is not a true service.
Let’s read what the Holy spirit says through St Paul “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;” Ephesians 4:11-13
This is the establishment of the kingdom of heaven, this is the aim of the service.
My dearly beloved, if the Lord spent the holy period of forty days to prepare His disciples for the great work awaiting them, he gave them priesthood, delivered to them the faith, the belief, the sacrament, urged them about the things that are related to the kingdom of heaven, they were faithful in what they received , the church was established and spread all over the world, the believers were joyful not only to live on the kingdom of God on earth but they laboured to have a constant life with God in the kingdom of heaven
We also have to be faithful in what we received from the honourable priesthood, that we may please the heart of the Lord by spreading the Kingdom among His people to present to him a blessed holy people. God be with you.
Anba Tadros Metropolitan of port Saeed.
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