Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States is composed of 44 priests serving the 38 churches and 28 Coptic communities. More

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The Season of the Church

The Departure of
St. Reweis

October 31, 2014
Paope 21, 1731

Today's Readings

October 31, 2014
Paope 21, 1731

We are commanded to worship, not on special days, but continuously - all our life through, and in all possible ways.
St. Clement of Alexandria


Coptic Year Sunday Readings Program



As October 31st draws near, I want to make all uninformed Christians in our Diocese aware of certain traditions celebrated in the United States on this day. The "Halloween" celebration pays tribute to Satan. Every act revolving around Halloween is in honor of false gods. False gods are spirits in the Satanic realm.

"We only do this for fun", some say. "We do not actually practice witchcraft", others repeat. I often wonder how one justifies the celebration of Halloween, the day Satanists have set aside as their "holy day". I am told that children "dress up" as witches, goblins, ghosts and little devils. Let me think about this for a moment, a small child dressed to resemble Satan's darkness. Also, I am told of games played at Halloween festivals that promote fear in children as they are ushered through horror houses and rooms decorated with skeletons, black cats, and bats. Does this representation of death and darkness seem like fun?
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Who Can Bind the Plunderer?

During the month of Mesore, which is next to the last month on the Coptic calendar, through each of the four Sunday readings as well as the Sunday of Little Month, our beloved church keeps on reminding us of the end of this life on earth and the inevitable return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

On the first Sunday of Mesore, the Holy Gospel reading from Luke 20:9-19 is the parable of the reckless vinedressers. "Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy those vinedressers and give the vineyard to others" (Luke 20:15-16). Thus the church establishes the similitude between the vinedressers and us being stewards over what God has given us in the form of gifts and talents, and the day will come when He will inevitably ask for fruit from the vineyard He has entrusted us with, and for an account of our stewardship. So, the church leaves us with this tremendous warning message to meet us the following Sunday with a more encouraging one.

On the second Sunday of Mesore, the Holy Gospel reading from Luke 5:27-39 is about the calling of Levi, the tax collector. Through this reading the church lifts our eyes up to the hope existing in repentance. Levi, who later became St. Matthew the writer of the first Holy Gospel, is Jesus Christ's words in action. "For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance" (Matthew 9:13).
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What is That in Your Hand?...The Lord is in Need of It

"Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord of Sabaoth, heaven and earth are full of Your glory." These words prayed in the Divine Liturgy and Agpeya are Isaiah's exact words describing what he had seen in a vision. "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!' And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke" (Isaiah 6:1-4). The prophet was taken so much by the grandeur of the scene; and feeling so small having nothing in his hand to offer he cried out, "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts" (Isaiah 6:5).

That is Who God is: Holy, His glory fills heaven and earth and His greatness is revealed in His creation. Did God have any specific intention behind all that is created in heaven and on earth? Did He have a mission and a commission for everything and everyone?
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Kindness: the Fruit-Bearing Branch

Trees, green pastures, vineyards and vines are often used in the Holy Bible to symbolically represent life, lusciousness and growth. The Holy Book of Isaiah's prophesies concerning the blessings of Christ's Redemption and our salvation are revealed in this verse, "'They shall feed along the roads, and their pastures shall be on all desolate heights. They shall neither hunger nor thirst, neither heat nor sun shall strike them; for He who has mercy on them will lead them, even by the springs of water He will guide them.'" (Isaiah 49:9-10).

David, the psalmist, refers to God as "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters" (Psalm 23:1-2). He also refers to a righteous man as "He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither;" (Psalm 1:3).He also says, "Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine" (Psalm 128:1-3).

In the New Testament we read the parable of the vineyard and the stewards working there in. Our Lord Jesus Christ describes Himself as the Vine and us being the branches. St. Paul refers to the virtues as fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) This series will discuss each fruit of the Spirit in a separate article. This article deals with Kindness.
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St. Reweis, A Life of Humility

On the 21st of Paope our Coptic Orthodox Church celebrates the departure of a great man, St. Reweis. Poor, illiterate, homeless and a defamed Christian, St. Reweis endured all afflictions for the glory of God. His life reminds us of the living example St. Paul has given us in his letter to the Corinthians "We are fools for Christs sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! To the present hour we both hunger and thirst and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now" (1 Cor 4:10-13).

St. Freig, commonly known as St. Reweis, was born in a small village called Meniyet Yameen, Gharbia Province, in the Egyptian Delta region. His parents Isaac and Sarah were poor farmers. They were pious people who brought him up in the fear of God.

At an early age, St. Freig had to work selling salt. He transported the salt on the back of his camel named Reweis (which means small head). It is said that this camel was so friendly and obedient that it used to bow down its head whenever it heard its name called.
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Previous Articles

Mary Magdalene of Magdala: The First to See Our Resurrected Lord
We Are More Than Conquerors Through Him Who Loved Us (Romans 8:37)

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Diocese Events

Pre-Marital Retreat

TX: Nov 14-16, 2014
FL: Jan 9-11, 2015
GA: Jun 12-14, 2015
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OneCopt Convention

Oct 30 - Nov 2, 2014
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Family Convention

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Feb 19-22, 2015
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CPAR Convention

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Arabic Youth Convention

FL: Mar 6-8, 2015
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SUS Diocese Mission Experience Trip 2015 - Ethiopia

Jul 12-24, 2015
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Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

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Colleyville, TX 76034

Tel: 817-841-9353
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4951 S. Washington Ave.
Titusville, FL 32780

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Dawsonville, GA 30534

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101 South Vista Drive
Sandia, TX 78383

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