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2023-12-21 11:29:14 Views : 270 |

News: Christmas Message of His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II

Ishtartv.com - Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate


Below is the complete text of the Christmas Message of His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II:

Our spiritual children in Christ,

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”

                                                                                     (Isaiah 9: 6)

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

        As we prepare ourselves for the celebration of the Birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we are once again reminded of the reality of our broken world. The diminishing of faith of many, leading to the denial of the existence of God offers an easy path towards self-destruction. Man is distancing himself from God, distorting thus the image of God after which he was created, by rejecting God's work in his life. Consequently, man treats his fellow human beings unjustly, mistreats the creatures entrusted to him by God, damages the earth and corrupts nature.

  Despite humanity's distance from God, God promised salvation to mankind, as expressed through the words of the Prophet Isaiah: "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9: 6).

 The Holy Scripture defines the form of the relationship between humanity and God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through His miraculous birth, He gave us the authority to be called ‘children of God’ and opened the door of adoption that had been closed due to sin. In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul writes: “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:15–16).

 The Birth of Christ is God's continuous message of selfless love for humanity and an invitation to a new and better life through the sacrifice of the cross. Therefore, the birth of the Lord Jesus has become a pivotal sign in the history of humanity that had gone astray. Through His birth, the Wonderful One (Isaiah 9: 6) has wonderfully united the scattered human race, Yeshua (God saves) (Matthew 1: 21) has saved His people from their sins.

 The birth of our Lord Jesus Christ is a proclamation of renewed and lasting hope for all humanity on earth, especially in the East, a region that has been crushed by existential tragedies such as disasters, economic crises, devastating and oppressive wars, revealing the harshness of people and their estrangement from God. Let this Christmas be an invitation for all nations and governments to stop injustice and tyranny in our tormented East, including Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and wounded Palestine which is currently witnessing a humanitarian tragedy that should shake the conscience of every human being.

Dearly beloved,

We extend to all of you our warmest congratulations and blessings on this occasion of the birth of the Lord Jesus, His incarnation in flesh, and the beginning of the new year 2024. We pray that the Child of the manger brings blessings to each of you, granting peace to the whole world, comfort to the weary and distressed, healing to the sick, solace to the grieving and those with broken hearts, and mercy and rest to all the faithful departed.

Wishing you all a happy and prosperous New Year.

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