He sighed, and said to him,

      "Ephphatha,"that is, "Be opened"

 

 

"Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him. And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue. Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened."(Mark 7: 32-34)

 

The word in Aramaic language, which our Lord Jesus Christ uttered to the sick man from Decapolis, is the same one that He shall say to me if I’m willing and asking Him. As a deaf person, my closed ears are no longer able to hear the word of God, the callings of Divine grace or the sweet powerful supplications; all those sweet melodies which the Holy Spirit sings inside me. Even when I pray, my prayers usually are self-talks to my self, whereas I must pay more attention to listen. And, I am no longer able to hear what others say. While some talks of others whom I consider sinners (atheists, heretics or criminals…) come from above and remind us with God; still I don’t look beyond those strange and enmity words to see the better element that exists in every human-being. Because I am selfish, argumentative and negative, I don’t realize behind those strange and hostile talks that goodness existing in every human being, as I find it in those words of love and sincerity. Ephphatha”! O lordopen up my ears.

I come to the Savior, as a mute or a semi-mute. Myhindered tongue is unable to address God with the fiery words coming out from a loving heart. My prayers are still merely cold mumbles. And, I don’t know yet this language which overcomes all differences, and soars above them, to convey to every human speaker only whatever is from God, to urge for a godly response. I don’t know yet how to communicate, or to enter into an exchange of very deep and true communication, because my uttered words, do not express yet that Him who is the Incarnate Word. Hence, what account will I be required to give for those miserable words that I utter? “Ephphatha”! O Lord, open up my mouth.

The narrative of St. Mark explains precisely the circumstances in which Jesus restored that sick and handicapped man, “He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue.” (Mark 7:32-33). This internal cordial communication is necessary to give His word “Ephphatha”. Accordingly, He must touch my ears and my tongue. 

Here I am O Lord submitting my self to the purifying and opener touch of yours. All of my personality as a whole is closed and is begging you to keep it open. Here I am opening my heart for you, so please open it for Yourself and for all human beings, “Ephphatha”. Please grant my feebleness and my lowliness this wonderful liberating word to work in me at all times and forever.   

Translated from the writings of  “Fr. Lev Gillet

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IN THIS ISSUE

The English Section:

The first article, “Be Transformed”, byFr. Matta El-Meskeen is a call for transformation based on the commandments of our Lord in the New Testament. In this fourth and final part of the article, the author presents the factorsthat keep us in the power of the effective living Word.

The second article is “The Heavenly Banquet and The Table of the Messiah in the NT”, by Rodolph Yanney, MD. In this part, the writer presents the Lord’s teachings on theEucharist, in the union of the bridegroom and the bride.

The third article, “The Bible And Ancient Tradition” addresses the features that may be considered common among the Biblical commentaries of the early Fathers of the Eastern Church, and the ancient writings.

The fourth article is,The Millennium In The Bible”. The word "Millennium" has been mentioned only in Chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation. How can we understand the word "Millennium" in accordance with the biblical text of this chapter?  That is what the fourth article explains.

 

The Arabic Section:

The first article is, "The Bible And The Orthodox Spirituality”, by Noshi Abd-El-Shaheed, M.D. The article explains the efficacy of using the Bible in the Liturgical prayers of the Orthodox Church, and its value in keeping the high level of the Orthodox spirituality through ages.     

The second article is, “St. Cyril of Alexandria A Biblical Interpreter”, byGeorge Awad, Ph.D. In this article the writer studies the values and the characters of St. Cyril Biblical writings.

The Third article is, “St Paul The last Disciple”, by Gamil N. Soliman, Ph.D. This study from the Book of Acts presents the life of St. Paul the Apostle and the Disciple of Christ.

The fourth and last Arabic article, by Fouad N. Youssef continues the study in the Coptic Lectionary. In this issue we start studying, “The Second Season of the Coptic Liturgical Year.” The fourth curriculum in this season offers the readings of ‘The Great Lent’. This study is very important and vital to the Coptic Church’s preachers and teachers of the word.

 

We thank every person who offered help in publishing and distributing the magazine, asking the Lord to reward them with His heavenly blessings. Also, we ask for your continued prayers for the success of this work serving the “Word of Life.”

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