Humbleness and haughtiness – Al-Wafd – 11/1/2015

Humbleness and haughtiness – Al-Wafd – 11/1/2015


   I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart on the feast of Nativity .May we have a blessed year full of peace and goodness.

   When we reflect on the nativity story 2000 years ago; we find it a story of humbleness. Adam and Eve fell due to the seduction of the serpent when she said to the woman “You will not surely die.For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Haughtiness is the sin that Satan committed and lost his angelic degree accordingly when he thought he could be like God. He said in his heart :“I will ascend into heaven,

I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;

I will also sit on the mount of the congregation

On the farthest sides of the north;

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,

I will be like the Most High.”

   Our Lord Jesus Christ humbly came to our world, a poor Virgin gave birth to him and a Carpenter took care of. He even had no place to be born at save a little manger. Humble shepherds celebrated His Birth and came to see Him. Jesus came to put a different standard of greatness than that of the world where money, power and social status determine man’s greatness. In God’s eyes, man is great for his humbled heart and good character not his fortune. All the haughty were not able to see the Nativity Scene. One of them was Herod the king.

    He was an Idumaean,a descendant of Esau. He was appointed by the Roman Caesar as a governor of

   Galilee then of king of Judea to become the first foreign king ruling over the Jews since Moses the prophet as the Roman Senate has agreed to grant him that title.

   Jerusalemwas the capital. His reign was famous for erection, cultural and social prosperity. However, he was a paranoid tyrant who was afraid of losing his kingdom doubting all his people even the closest ones!

   He killed Hyrcanus, the grandfather of his most beloved wife. He even killed her with three of his children, many of his friends and assistants.

   One day, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”.Herod was troubled and asked the wise men about the place where Jesus is born inquiring them to tell him once they found it.“And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet”

   Hence he was bent on killing the new baby born. However, heaven was not silent; being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, who was waiting for them. Out of his despair, he ordered to kill all the children of Bethlehemand all its districts, from two years old and under. As for the Holy Family, they ran off to Egypt: the land of peace and refuge for saints and prophets.

   The Jewish historian, Josephus Flavius stated that Herod suffered many diseases due to his horrible crimes; he suffered from irritable bowel syndrome, foot swelling, breathing problems, peripheral artery disease that led to losing control over his body. He tried hard to receive treatment; however all his efforts along with his attempt to commit a suicide were futile. It is mentioned that he summoned up all the men of Judah and imprisoned them asking his sister and her husband to kill them all on the day of his death, thus, the entire city would cry on him the same day of his death. Nevertheless, they had not done that.

   How destructive is the end of an egoistic man who lived his entire life thinking selfishly of his own interest and becoming tyrannical and licentious so much so he made a god of himself!

   The Nativity story depicted the good and evil intentions of man. Honest and sincere people were blessed by Jesus’ birth, however all the stubborn and hard-hearted were deprived from all the blessings of Nativity.

Many Happy Returns

General Bishop

Head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center