Offering the First Fruit

In one of the winter evenings in 1969 Father Bishoy Kamel went home late (as usual) and he was accompanied by one of his spiritual sons. This young man could not afford new clothes and appeared cold because of the cold weather.

When Father Bishoy entered his home he went straight to his room and asked his wife Angel to bring him any old pullover to wear. She was surprised at this request because she knew he was wearing a new pullover. Her surprise increased when she saw him take off his black gown quickly and the new pullover which he was wearing over his shirt underneath and put on the old one. He then told her to wrap the new pullover carefully because he would give it as a present.

But Angel asked, “Why Father do that? It is such a beautiful and new pullover!”

Father Bishoy answered her with his smile and in his usual calm way, “I can wear anything as I wear it under my clothes but this young man is a university student and it isn’t proper for him to wear less elegantly than his colleagues. Besides it is not right to give God from our abundance, we should give Him from our first fruits, the very best. We should not give Him the things which we don’t need but the things we need.

The poor are not the beneficiaries of the giving but those who give.

St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church in London is one of the oldest Coptic churches in the lands of the immigration, and one of the first to be supported and cared for by our beloved patriarch, HH the late Pope Shenouda III.

  • St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church
    Allen Street, Kensington
    London W8 6UX