By H.G. Bishop Mina
God did not enter our world at high noon. He entered our lives in darkness, showing us the way to light, guiding us towards love, and demonstrating how to overcome shadows and darkness. H.G. Bishop Mina | Bishop of Mississauga, Vancouver and Western Canada Message Today For 2021 Feast Of Nativity [Official Diocese Pastoral Letter in English]
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. One God. Amen.
Dear Beloved Fathers and Beloved Congregation in Christ across the Diocese of Mississauga, Vancouver and Western Canada, I wish you all a Happy New Year and joyful Feast of Nativity. I miss all of you.
During this pandemic, many of us experienced frustration. We need to be supported by the hope that Christmas grants us. We can learn many lessons about hope from the Feast of Nativity. So don’t give up! Keep going!
The first lesson is to keep following the Star of Christ. The Wise Men were guided by the Star to Bethlehem. The story of the Magi inspires us with hope that if we follow the star, we will surely arrive at Bethlehem, like the Wise Men, where we will meet with Jesus. In your life, that star may be the Bible, the word of God, or your father of confession or your patron saint. When we follow them they lead us to Jesus.
“Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her” Luke 1:38 | H.G. Bishop Mina, Diocesan Bishop of Mississauga, Vancouver and all the surrounding cities, towns and villages.
The second lesson is that saying “Yes” to the Lord grants us hope. St Mary said the greatest words during this time, “Let it be to me” as a response to Archangel Gabriel when he explained to her that she would bear the Son of God. This response changed her life completely from being an ordinary girl to being the Mother of God. “Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her” (Luke 1:38). St. Mary’s response generates hope for all believers—that by saying “Yes” to God, our lives will completely change.
He is asking us to repent and follow Him. If we do that, our lives and future will change. Fr. Pishoy Kamel was once asked by a man, “what is the difference between a saint and a sinner?” Fr. Pishoy replied, “both are sinners, but the saint is the one who repents”. Also our responses and our words to others around us have a strong impact. Your words to your husband or wife or children may change their lives for better or worse.
The third lesson is that Christmas give us hope by reminding us of the active presence of the angels in our lives who send us the message that we are not alone. We are surrounded by many angels. “The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them” (Psalm 34:7).
The fourth lesson is that in the darkness of time, Christmas grants us hope. The angels of the Lord appeared and told the shepherds about the birth of our Lord Jesus saying, “I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10,11). God did not enter our world at high noon. He entered our lives in darkness, showing us the way to light, guiding us towards love, and demonstrating how to overcome shadows and darkness. Christmas teaches us that even when things seem so dark, we can trust the everlasting Christ to enlighten our lives.
Never lose hope in God!
May God bless you through the prayers of H.H. Pope Tawadros II
H.G. Bishop Mina | Diocesan Bishop of Mississauga, Vancouver and all the surrounding cities, towns and villages.
About H.G. Bishop Mina
His Grace Bishop Mina was born on September 30th, 1952, in Cairo, Egypt. He was educated in Egypt. After finishing the military service, he immigrated to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada at the beginning of 1977. In 1978 he moved to Edmonton, AB, and joined the University of Alberta for a degree in Accounting. He decided to join the Monastery of Saint Mina in December 1980 (Mariout, the Western Desert near Alexandria, Egypt). In March 1984, he was ordained a monk by the name of Fr. Paphnotius Avva Mina.
In 2003 he was ordained a priest. He was called to serve as a priest in Ireland where he served for five and half years and built Saint Mina’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Cahir, Munster, Ireland. He was the last bishop to be ordained by the Thrice-Blessed His Holiness Pope Shenouda III on June 6th, 2009 as a general bishop. In April 2010, he was appointed a general bishop over the churches of Old Cairo, Manyal and Fom ElKhalig in Cairo, Egypt. He was nominated by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III to become a bishop in Canada.
On March 10th, 2013, he was officially delegated by His Holiness Pope Tawadros II as the Diocesan Bishop of Mississauga, Vancouver and all the surrounding cities, towns and villages. His Grace Bishop Mina was enthroned in Mississauga, ON, on Sunday, April 7th, 2013 and in Vancouver, BC, on Sunday, April 13th, 2013. His Grace Bishop Mina is the first Canadian Coptic Orthodox Bishop shepherding the first established Canadian Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Mississauga, Vancouver and Western Canada.
May the Lord keep the life of our honored father, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, and his partner in the apostolic service, His Grace Bishop Mina for many peaceful years. We pray that God may confirm them on their thrones for many years and peaceful times, grant them calm and delightful times, and grant us grace and mercy through their prayers and supplications.
About The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Mississauga, Vancouver and Western Canada
In 2013, H. H. Pope Tawadros II, the 118th Successor of St. Mark the Evangelist, instituted the first Coptic Orthodox Diocese in Canada as the Diocese of Mississauga, Vancouver and Western Canada. Later, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II appointed His Grace Bishop Mina to oversee this Diocese.
The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Mississauga, Vancouver and Western Canada oversees the following provinces:
- British Columbia
- Mississauga and the Western Towns and Cities in the Province of Ontario
Delivered to you by COPTICNN™ | Coptic News Network on 2021-01-07 from Toronto, Canada
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