Tarek El Mahaba May Issue - Page 42

Journey to the Paradise of Joy "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me" (Psalm 23:4) Our holy fathers defined a martyr as one who sacrifices his life on refusing to deny his faith in Christ. Since the beginning of Christianity, there were many martyrs and confessors who suffered a great deal of pain. Some of them chose to do so willingly and they received the crown of the eternal life. Many of our forefathers marched joyfully in the way of martyrdom right after attending the liturgy. Their eyes were fixed on the One and only One who gives life to all mankind. However, others became martyrs due to the devil corrupting the minds of unbelievers to get rid of our beloved brothers and sisters in faith like what happened in Saint George’s church in Tanta and Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria. Our beautiful church place the martyrs in a high rank of the saints because their precious blood was shed for the sake of the Lord Christ. The church also places in a latter rank the confessors who confessed the faith and were tortured but did not obtain the crown of martyrdom. Our Lord established 42 the concept of taking hardship as a condition for His fellowship. If we want to live with the Lord Christ, we must suffer for Him. Through suffering in this temporary life, we obtain the crown of glory in the eternal life. Christianity is the love of the suffering for the sake of the Lord Christ and His everlasting kingdom. He is always there to support and strengthen us through the time of tribulations. Saint Stephen saw the heavens open and with great power asked the Almighty to forgive those who were stoning him. May the Lord Almighty help us all to live a life worthy of His calling.