Are they crazy? How could the Copts still have faith?
How could the Copts still have faith?
I normally post a Joke on Monday morning, to ease us into the work week and to chase away the Monday blues.
However, I do not have the heart to laugh this morning.
You see, I am Coptic.
It is an honour and a blessing that I inherited, through no merit of my own, but through the grace of God. I was born into 2000 years of strong faith. One that was preached by Saint Mark in the first century A.D.
The Coptic Church has defined Orthodox faith, established the monastic tradition, fought heresies and thrived on a steady stream of persecutions and blood baths. Wave after wave of martyrs has strengthened the faith of the Coptic church.
The last one happened yesterday.
The Coptic congregation, worldwide, spent yesterday in tears and prayers. And we woke up today more faithful than ever.
I don’t blame you if you are secretly wondering if we are all crazy or fond of pain and sorrow.
Surely a congregation that is often in sorrow, throughout its 2000 years history, persecuted in its own ancestral land, rejected by the rulers of its homeland, discriminated against, and yet who stubbornly clings to its beliefs must be mad!
So why do we cling onto our Faith with such ferocity?
Why do we continue to forgive those who persecute us and pray for those who shed the blood of our people?
Why do we continue to preach love and peace?
Because we are Coptic Orthodox!
Because we have experienced God’s unconditional love. Because we believe that Jesus died on the Cross to save us. Because we have experienced millions of Miracles, Saintly intercessions, Heavenly apparitions. Because we have been comforted by our Lord, throughout the generations, throughout the massacres, attacks, discrimination and killings, up to this day.Because Faith can’t be rationalized but surrendered to, like falling in love. Because we have experienced the peace that comes with our faith.
And today, as we watch the funeral of the 25 martyrs, our newest, we will continue to chant: Lord have mercy.
I invite you to read up on the History and Faith of the Coptic Church. Don’t let this latest massacre be another news item, make it your personal mission to discover our Lord. The people in the church did not count on being in Heaven by the end of Liturgy. It is a wake-up call to all of us.
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