11. Konferenz vom 25.08.-28.08.2011
Unter Schirmherrschaft Seiner Heiligkeit Papst Schenuda III
Im Koptisch-orthodoxes Kloster des Heiligen Antonius
35647 Waldsolms-Kröffelbach / Deutschland
Unser Motto: GOTT ist LIEBE – WAHRHEIT – LICHT
Es steht: das Programm des “European Youth Mission 2011 in Waldsolms-Kröffelbach”! Die erwarteten rund 800 Teilnehmer aus ganz Europa dürfen sich auf abwechslungsreiche und interessante Tage freuen. Workshops zu Glaubens-Themen, Podiumsdiskussionen, Filme, Sketche und Spiele – rund 12 Veranstaltungen stehen vom Freitag, 26.08. bis Sonntag, 28.08. auf dem Programm. Aber auch an Ruhe, Besinnung und individuelle Seelsorge wurde gedacht. Leider hat seine Heiligkeit Papst Schenuda III. noch ganz kurzfristig und unerwartet seine Teilnahme an der diesjährigen Konferenz abgesagt. Viel Zeit wird nicht bleiben am Rande des EYM 2011. Das Programm ist schließlich dicht gedrängt. Aber vielleicht reisen einige ja früher an oder fahren ein bisschen später wieder ab. Dann lohnt es sich, Kröffelbach näher unter die Lupe zu nehmen.
Am Freitag, den 26.08.2011 gegen 10:00 Uhr wird die European Youth Mission (EYM) offiziell von Seine Exzellenz Bischof Moussa, dem Jugendbischof, Erzpriester Michael (Kloster des Heiligen Antonius) und Ibrahim Samak, Vizepräsident und Gründer von African Hope eröffnet. In Begleitung sind 5 Bischöfe und ca. 20 Priester aus ganz Europa. Gastgeber: Erzpriester Michael Ava Antonius, Leiter des Koptischen Zentrums St. Antonius Kloster.
Höhepunkte an den jeweiligen Tagen ist die Heilige Messe und die Botschaft an die Jugend von Jugenbischof Moussa aus dem Bibelwort 1. Johannes Kap. 2, 14: „Ich habe euch Vätern geschrieben; denn ihr kennt den, der von Anfang an ist. Ich habe euch jungen Männern geschrieben; denn ihr seid stark und das Wort Gottes bleibt in euch, und ihr habt den Bösen überwunden“. Die Jugendkonferenz wird am Sonntag, dem 28.08.2011 gegen 11:00 Uhr mit diversen Feedbacks und Vorschlägen für die nächste Konferenz beendet.
Nun Ihr lieben jugendlichen Geschwister, nehmt sehr viel von diesen schönen Tagen mit nach Hause und baut das Erlebte und Gehörte tief in Eure Herzen ein und kehrt mit großer Freude im Glauben und neuen Impulsen in Eure Gemeinde zurück und gebt Eure Begeisterung weiter. Einen großen Vorteil besitzt Ihr jungen Christen, die ihren Glauben im Alltag leben:
Andere junge Leute müssen sich in ihrem Leben allein auf ihre Kräfte, auf ihren Verstand und auf ihre Kenntnisse verlassen. Diese sind aber endlich, vergänglich und unzulänglich. Ihr habt die Möglichkeit, zusätzlich noch die Hilfe, den Rat und den Beistand aus der Liebe und der Gnade des allmächtigen himmlischen Vaters zu bekommen, der seine Kinder segnet. Darüber hinaus kann der junge Christ auf die Hilfe durch Wort und Tat und Fürbitten der Amtsträger seiner Gemeinde rechnen. Hinzu kommt als große Kraftquelle die lebendige Hoffnung auf die ewige Geborgenheit seiner in der Himmelsheimat. Darin unterscheidet Ihr Euch als gläubige junge Christen von vielen anderen Menschen.
Liebe junge Schwester, lieber junger Bruder, nutze diese göttlichen Möglichkeiten als Lebens- und Glaubenshilfe und sei dankbar dafür.
The First Letter of Saint John – One of the Seven Catholic Epistles
What are the Catholic Epistle letters?
The word “Catholic” means universal. The seven catholic letters are James, 1st and 2nd Peter, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, and Jude. They are so called because they were not written to a specific individual or community, but to the universal church of believers.
Who is the Author?
The Author is Saint John the apostle the disciple whom the Lord Jesus loved; and he also wrote:
- The fourth gospel,
- The second letter of John,
- The third letter of John,
When and where was it written?
It was written at the end of the first century, around the year 90 AD in Ephesus.
Why was it written?
Saint John defined 4 main objectives of his letter:
- That our joy may be full (1Jn 1: 4),
- That we may not sin (1Jn 2: 1),
- That we may be wary of those who try to deceive us (1Jn 2: 26),
- That we may know that we have eternal life (1Jn 5: 13).
How can we break up the letter?
We can break it up according to the order of the subjects as follows:
- The incarnation of the Word and fellowship with God (1: 1-4).
- Walking in the light (1: 5-7), by confessing our sins (1: 8 – 2: 2), observing the commandments, especially love and doing good (2: 3-11), guarding ourselves from lust of the flesh and the love of the world (2: 12-17) and from the antichrists (2: 18-29).
- To live as sons of God (3: 1-2), by confessing our sins (3: 3-10), observing the commandments, especially offering oneself following the example of the Son of God (3: 11-24), and the discernment between the spirit of truth and the spirit of deception (4: 1-6).
- The source of charity: Love comes from God and is rooted in faith (4: 7-21).
- The source of faith: the faith in the Son is the foundation of love and the victory that overcomes the world (5: 1-13).
- The conclusion: prayers for sinners (5: 14-17), the summary of the epistle (5: 18-21).
The key elements in the letter:
* Sin and how we can purify ourselves from it: by confessing our sins the blood of Jesus Christ purifies us from all sins.
* True love: the proof of this is not to love the world.
* We are Sons of God.
* False teachers [spirit of deception].
* Faith is the foundation of behavior.
* Redemptive intercession of Christ.
* Overcoming the world.
* The witnesses for Jesus Christ: the Spirit [Holy Spirit], the water [baptism], the blood [the Cross].
* Certainty of eternal life.
The Importance of Love in the 1st letter of St. John:
- Love is an element existing from the beginning (3: 11).
- Love is also a commandment and law given by God (2: 7, 3: 23).
- The true knowledge of love is through Jesus Christ and His love for us (3: 16).
- We know God by imitating this love (4: 7).
- Love is from God (4: 7) and God Himself is love (4: 8).
- Love for one’s brother is a practical proof and acknowledgement of faith (3: 10).
What are the similarities between the letter and the Gospel of St. John?
1. Theological similarities,
2. Similarities in style and language: both being direct and simple,
3. Similarity in the connection of topics.
Examples of Theological similarities between the letter and the Gospel:
* That He was manifested to take away our sins. (1Jn 3: 5)
* Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (Jn 1: 29)
* That which was from the beginning… the Word of life… which was with the Father. (1Jn 1: 1, 2)
* In the beginning was the Word… He was in the beginning with God. (Jn 1: 1, 2)
* Jesus Christ has come in the flesh… God has sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him. (1Jn 4: 2, 9)
* The Word became flesh and dwelt among us… Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (Jn 1: 14, 17)
* We have passed from death to life. (1Jn 3: 14)
* He who hears… and believes…, has passed from death into life. (Jn 5: 24)
* He who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. (1Jn 2: 10)
* By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (Jn 13: 35)
What are the circumstances that caused Saint John write this letter?
At the end of the first century some heresies arose in regards the person of Jesus Christ. They said that there existed two gods: one of good and one of evil: the god of good is the creator of the spirit and the god of evil is the creator of matter and the body. And they said that God [the god of good] could not be incarnated in a true body of flesh, because the human body was considered to be evil. Thus, according to them, Jesus Christ had an imaginary body that appeared to people like a human body: He only appeared to suffer from hunger and thirst, to eat and drink, to be crucified and die. Therefore Saint John the beloved wrote in answer to this heresy: confirming the incarnation of God in a true living human body, and to confirm the Christian concept towards matter and the body that they are both good in light of being created by God, whereas man corrupts them with his evil.
Who are the Antichrists?
The antichrists are the false teachers, the heretics even though they were from the Christian community, they withdrew and left, as they were against the apostolic teachings. So, St. John wrote about them saying: “They went out from us, but they were not of us” (1Jn 2: 19). They had such a great influence that even Saint John called them “prophets” when he said: “Because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1Jn 4: 1). Even though they left the church they tried to spread their false doctrines and to mislead her members away from the Orthodox belief and the true Christian faith handed down by the apostles (1Jn 2: 26).
Examples of the heretics that rose at the end of 1st cent
Gnosticism: Gnosticism is derived from the Greek word “gnosis” meaning knowledge, and identifies both the way and the aim that the Gnostic seeks to achieve. Gnosticism is a behavioral approach including the entire life of the individual. A Gnostic believes that through perception and personal experiences, he attains the knowledge of oneself, of God and of the origin and destiny of the human race: this knowledge allows him to be rid of the world of matter, which is the evil from which man must be freed. For the Gnostics God is the eternal being who existed from the beginning. This God created a chain of incorporeal entities [Aeons] to form with them the Pleroma [the fullness of the divine]. But the last of the Aeons was corrupted with lust, creating the Demiurge, creator of the material world. According to the Gnostics the Demiurge is the Hebrew God Jehovah, whom they show to be evil, and they despise his laws and the material universe created by Him to imprison the souls of men. To aid humanity in recovering the lost knowledge of the divine origins of humanity and to reunite it with the Pleroma, Christ the Aeon came to earth as a messenger from God and as a supreme guide. Whereas Christ was not incarnated on earth but revealed himself to people as a human and did not die crucified, but returned immediately to his superior world.
Finally, the development of this denial to all which was real, and contempt for the material world led many Gnostics to conduct their daily life in a radical contradictive fashion, from uncontrolled sexuality, to chastity and stringent asceticism.
Docetism: Docetism is a term deriving from the Greek word “dokein” meaning “to appear” or “to seem”. It refers to the belief that the humanity and sufferings of Jesus Christ were apparent and not real. According to the Docetists, it is unconceivable that humanity and divinity coexist together in Jesus Christ. As to them, humanity represents evil and divinity represents good. Therefore Christ could not have a human body, but an imaginary one. And he could not have been born of the Virgin Mary, died or risen from the death. Therefore the true body and blood in the Holy Eucharist are nonexistent, everything relating to the human nature of Christ is but an illusion of the senses. Given the opposition between spirit [good], and evil [matter], the redemption of man occurs through a progressive purification from matter in order to transform it into a pure spirit. Therefore it is not possible for the Word to be degraded by becoming flesh or matter.
The theological thought in the Gospel according to St. John opposes this heresy: “Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn 1: 13-14). One of the most important saints who fought against this heresy was Saint Ignatius of Antioch.
What did Saint John say about the person of the Lord Jesus Christ in answer to these heretical doctrines? The primary intent of the first letter of St. John is to confirm what came in the Gospel, in particular the human nature of Jesus and His redemptive death. The points that are included in the letter about the person Jesus are: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life” (1: 1),
“The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1: 7),
“And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins” (2: 2),
“We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (2: 1),
“Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ?” (2: 22),
“Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God” (4: 2),
“God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him” (4: 9),
“The Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world” (4: 14),
“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God” (4: 15),
“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God” (5: 1),
“Who is he who overcomes the World, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (5: 5),
“This is He who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood” (5: 6).
The Key Verses of the Letter: “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may [continue to] believe in the name of the Son of God” (1Jn 5: 13). “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren” (1Jn 3: 16).
The words of St. John to the youth: I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one. (1Jn 2: 14)