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Encyclical - December 12, 2008
Christmas Tidings
 



BY THE GRACE OF GOD

IGNATIUS ZAKKA I IWAS PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH AND ALL THE EAST, SUPREME HEAD OF THE UNIVERSAL SYRIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH


No. E255/08 December 12, 2008

Apostolic Benediction to our beloved Metropolitans and to our beloved spiritual children: the Reverend Vicars and the Parishioners of all our Malankara churches and congregations in the Arabian Gulf Region, Europe, Australia and Singapore.

By the Mercy of God, we have once again come to the Feast of the nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and we have great joy in sending you this message on this blessed occasion. At the birth of Jesus, the wise men came from far off places by suffering all the pains of the difficult journey to see him and to get blessed by this child who is born as the Saviour of the world. "They saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh" (Matthew 2:11). At this Christmas time we also have to submit to Him the most valuable that we have. But He is God and He came to this world in search of the lost sheep the human kind. St. Paul says "Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect" (Romans 12:2). So the most valuable and acceptable gift that we can offer Him is nothing other than ourselves our soul and our entirety. When we submit ourselves to Him, we shall follow His path truly and sincerely. Thus we will be transformed to the true image of God. As we celebrate this Christmas, let us rededicate ourselves to Him and turn to be the true followers of Him. May the baby Jesus grow through our lives and we be the bearers of Him.

Our dearly beloved, we pray that May the coming New Year also be a year when through each of you, the qualities of Jesus Christ are being truly revealed to the world, and testifying Him through your lives. Then, through each of us the world will see the light of God and receive the peace of Christmas. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and an evermore blessed New Year. This celebration may bring peace and spiritual happiness to your churches, homes, and to all your endeavours.

We extend our Apostolic Blessings to you. May the Grace of God be with you all through the intercession of St. Mary the Mother of God, St. Joseph the Righteous and all the other Saints. Amen.

Our Father Who art in heaven, ...

Issued at our Patriarchal house in Damascus, Syria
on the 12th day of December, in the year two thousand and eight
which is the 29th year of our Patriarchate.

 
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Last Update: December 25, 2008