Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas and New Year message from His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East

The Christmas and New Year message from His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I
Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East is given in the following link:


Ignatius Zakka I Iwas
Patriarch of Antioch and All the East
Supreme Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church


Apostolic Benediction to our beloved Metropolitans and to our beloved spiritual
children: the Reverend clergy and the faithful of all our Malankara Syrian Jacobite
churches and congregations in the Arabian Gulf Region, North America, Europe,
Australia and Singapore.

At this august occasion of the celebration of the Nativity of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ, we have much delight to extend to you all, our paternal greetings and
prayerful best wishes of a Merry Christmas. The blessed Apostle Matthew quotes the
prophecy of Isaiah about the birth of our Lord: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and
bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel, which means, God with us” (1:23).
In the fullness of time, the Light of God, whom the prophets and generations eagerly
awaited, came and took birth in this world. He came to bring heaven down to earth
and to be with His creation. But ironically, those awaited him were unable to
realize and receive Him. Even after 2000 years, millions of the children of God
grope in darkness without grasping the real Light of the World.

When we celebrate this feast, we have to re-examine ourselves to see if we have
provided for Him to be with us and whether our hearts are eligible to be His abode.
Jesus told: “the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head”. Many bear the name
Christian, but have not given room for Jesus Christ to stay with them. Our Lord
Jesus keeps on knocking at the doors of our hearts waiting for us to open our doors
for him (Rev.3:20). He wishes to come into us and live with us.

Our dear spiritual children, the uncertainties of this world are disheartening. The
current financial recession and the associated crises are immediate examples. Even
in this high-tech era, calculations and expectations of human fail pathetically. In
a way, such eventualities sarcastically question the human expertises and his
technological achievements. Many have sadly lost their jobs and business and are
suffering. But we have to remember the promise of our Lord, to be with us for ever
(Matthew 28:20). At the same time, reckon that, Jesus has not promised: there won’t
be any suffering or pain for His faithful. But He told: “In the world you have
tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). The
proponents of the so called ‘gospel of prosperity’ are the false prophets, who
misguide people for their vested motives. But what really matters is, whether Jesus
Christ is with us. He told: Abide in me, and I in you (John 15:4). His promise t
o be with us, is never failing. Hence we should never allow fear or worries about
future, dominate our spiritual life. Wait for God. His presence with us and His
loving grace and power, will open new doors for us and enable us to go ahead with a
renewed zest and vigour. May the celebrations of this Christmas enable us to open
our doors for our God-Immanuel and let Him be with us. We wish you all a Blessed
New Year and extend our Apostolic blessings to you. May the grace of God be with
you all.

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