Humanity has entered into a mystical relationship with God in Christ Jesus, becoming partaker of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) and inheritor of all the heavenly glory through the Holy Spirit. Likewise, we, as Christ is sitting with our body on the right hand of power, inherit the same power and attain the very same destiny, not only to stand and watch the judgement of the world on the last day, but to participate in this judgement (Matthew 28:19). What is this share? What is this length, depth, width, and height? This is exceedingly astonishing. This is the gift of the Holy Spirit. A gift that renders us at once: inheritors (of God) with Christ, partakers of the divine nature, and steadfast in Christ.
On Pentecost Day, the Church accepted the Holy Spirit, in other words, the indwelling of God himself in the heart and being of the human being through a mystical union. This is no mere indwelling, but rather a union. Had it been merely an indwelling, (the Spirit) would have departed, which it never does. The result is that the human nature is radically transformed through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Come, O Church, you have been granted the Holy Spirit who has rendered you a partaker of the divine nature and made all your members, old and young, advanced and novices, leaders and subordinates, attain the fellowship of the Spirit. It is a fellowship that renders the two one and makes those near and far one in Christ, reconciling all in him, removing enmity and all barriers from the middle, making the vain and dead human being of an earthly nature immortal with God and adopted by God in Christ. Thus, making the human being cry out through and with Christ and through the Holy Spirit: “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15), (calling) the Father whom the angels fear to look upon. Ultimately, the human being is granted the knowledge of the deep mysteries of God and is given eternal life.
O Church! O people! My fathers and brothers (as well as mothers and sisters), you have received the Holy Spirit who is in Christ Jesus, who brought together divinity and humanity, bringing together that which is perceived (humanity) and that which is not perceived, the incomprehensible and unapproachable God, the consuming fire. Christ has united this frightening and terrifying (divine) nature with the weak and wretched human nature. Accordingly, it belongs to you, O Church, to gather all contradictions, to accept the weak, the poor, and the overpowered, carrying everyone over your head, seeking after those in the streets, the children of Saint Mark, who do not know their right from their left. But not only the children of Saint Mark, but also those of Saint Paul, Saint Peter, and all Christians in the world. But why do I even constrain myself to my group only? The Church ought to reconcile all groups, to remove all sectarianism—no difference between rich and poor, or any powerless human being.
This article is translated from Arabic by Wagdy Samir from a booklet published by the Monks of St Macarius Monastery, The Salvific Intent of Sending the Holy Spirit (Cairo: Monastery of St Macarius, 2017) 26-28. The booklet is a transcript of a sermon of the same title delivered by Father Matta al-Miskīn at the monastery on Pentecost Day, 9 June 1979.
6 September 2022 © AIOCS
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