Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States is composed of 44 priests serving the 37 churches and 31 Coptic communities. More

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The Season of the Church

The Martyrdom of St. Mina, the Wonder Worker

November 24, 2014
Hathor 15, 1731

Today's Readings

November 23, 2014
Hathor 14, 1731

Traces of those signs and wonders are still preserved among those who regulate their lives by the teachings of the Gospel.
Origen (c. 248, E) p301 in dictionary


Coptic Year Sunday Readings Program


Voyage Into the True Deep: Discovering the Kingdom of God

What is the kingdom of God? Why do we want it? How can we get there? Who can take us there? Where can we find it? We are sojourners throughout life—pilgrims journeying through many crossroads. Until we first seek the kingdom of God, all that we obtain are but vanities—a shallow existence in a materialistic world that offers many instantaneous and frivolous pleasures, but no real contentment, no satisfaction, and no peace. God's word does not just scratch the surface, but slices through the depth of one's soul.

"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).

The first discovery is in learning what it is? A kingdom is ruled by a monarchy. Ask yourself—who is ruling your life now? Who is in charge of your heart, your thoughts, your desires, and your dreams? Each person elects a different kind of monarchy to rule his life. Some choose work and become workaholics. Some are money-driven and may resort to unscrupulous means to obtain it.
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Who Can Bind the Plunderer?

During the month of Mesore, which is next to the last month on the Coptic calendar, through each of the four Sunday readings as well as the Sunday of Little Month, our beloved church keeps on reminding us of the end of this life on earth and the inevitable return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

On the first Sunday of Mesore, the Holy Gospel reading from Luke 20:9-19 is the parable of the reckless vinedressers. "Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others" (Luke 20:15-16). Thus the church establishes the similitude between the vinedressers and us being stewards over what God has given us in the form of gifts and talents, and the day will come when He will inevitably ask for fruit from the vineyard He has entrusted us with, and for an account of our stewardship. So, the church leaves us with this tremendous warning message to meet us the following Sunday with a more encouraging one.

On the second Sunday of Mesore, the Holy Gospel reading from Luke 5:27-39 is about the calling of Levi, the tax collector. Through this reading the church lifts our eyes up to the hope existing in repentance. Levi, who later became St. Matthew the writer of the first Holy Gospel, is Jesus Christ's words in action. "For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance" (Matthew 9:13).
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What is That in Your Hand?...The Lord is in Need of It

"Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Sabaoth, heaven and earth are full of Your glory." These words prayed in the Divine Liturgy and Agpeya are Isaiah's exact words describing what he had seen in a vision. "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!' And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke" (Isaiah 6:1-4). The prophet was taken so much by the grandeur of the scene; and feeling so small having nothing in his hand to offer he cried out, "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts" (Isaiah 6:5).

That is Who God is: Holy, His glory fills heaven and earth and His greatness is revealed in His creation. Did God have any specific intention behind all that is created in heaven and on earth? Did He have a mission and a commission for everything and everyone?
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Faith: A Commitment to be Lived

Faith is more than just the five letter word that spells it. Faith is not one simple definition but an on-going process of constant learning, growing, failure, restoration, and empowerment. It takes effort and stamina to build faith. It takes courage to fail and rise up, persistence to attack negative thoughts and defend true precepts. It is a commitment in one's life to live what you believe, a call to preparation to represent your belief, accepting your mistakes as necessary to strengthen your faith, to live wisely, and above all to remain true to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Building a strong and mature faith requires, "starting at the bottom and working your way up". In today's world, society encourages us to start fast and prepare, if at all, along the way. We are indoctrinated to start as close to the top of the ladder as possible and that it is okay to miss a few steps. With faith, this does not work and is not productive at any phase of establishing a strong faith and commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ.

First, we must learn to trust in God. The Lord Jesus Christ was constantly discouraged by the sporadic, maybe even surprising lack of faith in His disciples and followers. Perhaps the Lord Jesus Christ wanted them to completely trust in His Word with the simple, less complicated experiences in their life, so that they could fathom the glorious Resurrection which would be in their future.
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St. Mina: Blessed With the Gift of Healing

The Lord Jesus Christ promises us, "He who believes in Me, the works that I do he will also do, and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father" (John 14:12).

The ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ was one of numerous occurrences of healings of "all kinds of sickness and all kinds of diseases" (Matthew 4:23). The Lord Jesus Christ healed not only sickness and disease but also darkened hearts and minds as He released people from demonic oppression.

Like their Master before them, the early Apostles participated in God's work of healing, giving all thanks to their miracles to the risen and ascended Lord Jesus Christ. In the Holy Book of Acts 9:34, St. Peter told a newly restored man who had been bedridden for eight years, "Jesus the Christ heals you."
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Previous Articles

Mary Magdalene of Magdala: The First to See Our Resurrected Lord
We Are More Than Conquerors Through Him Who Loved Us (Romans 8:37)

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