My Beloved the Benevolent,
Grace and peace from the Lord wishing you every goodness and blessing.
I wish you a happy Coptic new year and a blessed Nayrouz Feast; remembering our fathers the martyrs and their love for Our Lord Jesus Christ offering their lives to defend the faith. Truly the blood of the martyrs became the seeds for the church.
Merciful deeds are beautiful deeds that are favored by God and have not only earthly rewards but heavenly rewards as well. A merciful deed usually has a positive impact received graciously amongst people, however, many times the merciful deeds are faced with resistance; we may even find the merciful persecuted for their good deeds. The message of Our Lord Jesus Christ is a message of goodness and salvation for humanity. Jesus Christdid many good deeds while He was on earth. So much so that St. Peter summarized Christ’s service in the following statement: “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)
- They brought to Jesus Christ a man who was blind, mute and demon-possessed and He healed him that the mute and blind man both spoke and saw. The multitude were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub the ruler of the demons.” (Matt. 12:24)
- When Our Lord Jesus Christ healed the man with the withered hand, the Bible says about the Scribes and the Pharisees, “But they were filled with rage, and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.” (Lk. 6:11)
- When Our Lord Jesus Christ healed the woman who had an infirmity for 18 years and was bent over and could not raise herself up, the Bible says, “…the ruler of the synagogue answered there are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day. The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound- think of it- for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath? And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.” (Lk. 13:14-17)
- When Our Lord Jesus Christ healed the man born blind, the Pharisees revolted and interrogated the man born blind and his parents and accused Jesus Christ, “This Man is not from God, because he does not keep the Sabbath.” (Jn.9:16) and said about Him, “We know that this Man is a sinner” (Jn.9:24) and when the man who was born blind defended Jesus Christ, the Pharisees became angry with him and said to him, “You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us? And they cast him out.” (Jn.9:34)
- And after Our Lord Jesus Christ raised Lazarus from the dead and this miracle had a great effect to the extent that many of the Jews who were present and saw this miracle believed in Christ, “Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.”(Jn. 11:47-48) and decided at the end on killing Christ, “Then from that day they plotted to put Him to death.” (Jn. 11:53) Not only this, but the Holy Book says, “But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus” (Jn.11:10-11) Our fathers the Apostles carried the message of their teacher Our Lord Jesus Christ in doing good deeds but also endured suffering for the sake of doing good.
- When Peter and John went up to the temple, they found a man who had been lame since birth who was carried to the gate of the temple to beg for charity, and when the man asked the saints for alms, St. Peter told him “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you; In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. And he took him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them-walking, leaping and praising God.” (Acts 3:6-8)
What was the reaction? The Book of Acts says “Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees …And they laid hands on them and put them in custody until the next day.” (Acts 4:1-3)
Why do good deeds face resistance? Why do good-doers endure suffering? We shall continue our discussion in the next letter asking Our Good Lord to give you strength in doing good works and bless your offerings to the Santa Verena Charity.