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From His Grace Bishop Youssef

My beloved Youth,

The peace of the Lord be with you.

The psalmist, King Solomon, wrote that youth are MIGHTY as ARROWS in the hands of a warrior.

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children are a reward from Him. Like ARROWS in the hands of a warrior, are sons born in ones' youth." (Psalms 127:4)

The significance of the ARROW can be interpreted as the POWER or MIGHT in which it is capable of expending. The arrow when shot from a bow can fly with pointed direction, move with immeasurable speed, and hit its target with precision. An arrow can be very, very MIGHTY with a warrior skilled in its usage.

Ineffective is the ARROW in which the warrior does not have the strength to draw the bow, the sight to point the ARROW, or whose target is unobtainable. There is no MIGHT in this arrow. It is like a twig in the hands of the warrior. Its service is of no use in battle.

Young adults symbolized as MIGHTY ARROWS represent those strong in character, who diligently grow in faith and persevere over life's daily challenges. ARROWS targeted toward eternity are those, whose faith is grounded in the Lord. Youth yield great MIGHT when they keep the love of the Lord always in their heart. They can pull the bow, aim the arrow, and always keep the target in front of them. They learn from what is placed before them and worry not about what others seek.

Many, many, Biblical youth derived their MIGHT from the Lord God. Youth such as Daniel, David, Jeremiah, Joseph, Josiah, St Mary, Solomon, and Timothy displayed their mightiness through determination, endurance, and strength. Their love for God was enormous! "Do not despise your youth," is a great lesson in which their lives taught us.

Examine your ARROWS. Ask yourself, "Do I meet challenges following God's will or my own?" Do you live according to God's commandments, recalling His goodness and mercy in your life? I want to encourage you to point your ARROWS toward Heaven and allow those ARROWS to be MIGHTY. I believe the Kingdom of God will be overflowing with MIGHTY ARROWS!

Thus, the name of our diocese's new publication for the young adult, "MIGHTY ARROWS." It is my prayer that you will find many applicable articles within each issue that will pertain to experiences in your daily life, articles that will refer you to Biblical solutions for any problems, which may arise. As you become increasingly aware of the MIGHT within you, may it lead you further down the path of goodness and righteous for His name sake.

The answers to life and all its mysteries are in God's hands. Only His is the strongest hand that can pull the bow and direct the MIGHTEST of ARROWS. Delight in your ARROWS and their Maker. Take a moment to thank God for creating "MIGHTY ARROWS!"

His Grace Bishop Youssef

Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

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