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Address Of The Catholicos Of All Armenians On Christmas

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  • Rev Fr John Brian
    ADDRESS OF THE CATHOLICOS OF ALL ARMENIANS ON CHRISTMAS armradio.am 06.01.2009 17:26 In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen. A new
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 7, 2009

      06.01.2009 17:26

      In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

      "A new king is born in Bethlehem Bless (Him) sons of mankind, For He became
      incarnate for us."

      Armenian Church Hymnal

      Dear pious faithful in Armenia, Artsakh and the Dispersion, With songs of
      praise and prayers of thanksgiving we celebrate the Feast of the Holy
      Nativity and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ today, conveying the good
      news of the incarnation of God and the revelation of the Savior.

      The prayerful fathers of our Church called the Holy Nativity a "mystery
      great and wondrous". They named it as such, since it is impossible to
      describe how the uncontainable, the eternal and the boundless was contained
      in a manger; how the Word and Wisdom of God was born in a stable of
      incognizant animals. It remains beyond the comprehension of the human mind
      how the Only Begotten Son of God - the Creator's Light of Glory - became a
      created being, and the Lord took on the form of the servant.

      We do not know how this great miracle of God came to pass nor can it be
      explained; however we do know the reason for the miracle, "For He became
      incarnate for us". Truly, these few words explain the Almighty's
      providential will, guiding and directing the Holy Nativity and Theophany.

      God is Lord and Creator "of heaven and earth, of things visible and
      invisible". His glory is shown by His temporal and spiritual creations - the
      universe, mankind and the angels. The God of all has no need for body nor
      time. The Savior seated on the eternal throne of God had no need to descend
      from the heights of heaven to this sinful earth. The Prince of Peace had no
      need for persecution, torture, and crucifixion; there was no need for a
      crown of thorns, death, or resurrection. But all of this the Savior took
      upon Himself for our sake. The Love of God took on flesh to liberate us from
      the power of sin and death, and to make us worthy of the blessedness of
      eternal life. "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us
      and sent His Son to be the expiation for our sins." I John 4:10. God Whom we
      lovingly worship does not desire our death or condemnation, and for that
      reason He Himself came to live within us. He came to transform our lives, to
      grant us the hope of salvation and eternal life.

      Indeed, our songs of praise and giving of thanks have no value, if within
      the depths of our soul we do not have the unshaken faith that God "became
      incarnate for us". Our prayers will not be heard, if God does not abide in
      the very center of our existence.

      Holy Nativity marks the beginning of reconciliation between God and man; it
      is the invitation to inherit eternal life and the exhortation to remain
      under the grace of salvation with Jesus Christ. God revealed Himself to us
      in His fullness, so that we do not remain apart from that fullness of divine
      and human perfection, and so that our lives hoping for salvation become
      satiated with that fullness of perfection. We believe that God is one. Is
      unity not essential for us? We preach that God is love. Do we not feel the
      need for love? Can we live without love? Can we create without love? God, to
      Whom we constantly pray, is holy, righteous and benevolent. Let us examine
      our hearts - do we not feel the need for holiness? Let us examine our
      actions - are they always truthful, good and benevolent? We declare that God
      is just. Do we not long for justice every hour of every day? We confess that
      God is our Father; that He is merciful, the unending source of peace and the
      grantor of goodness. Is peace not our daily appeal and wish? Does the earth
      not yearn for mercy and care every day? He who recognizes God in this
      manner, cannot live without Him; cannot live without binding his own hope
      for salvation with the faith of the incarnation of the Son of God; and
      cannot live without aspiring to always be under His blessings and graces.

      The world loses its path without the light from the star of Bethlehem.

      Without Christ, the world will always be in distress, troubled and lacking
      morality. Material progress alone will not secure the avoidance of crisis
      situations, the prevention of conflicts and discord, or the elimination of
      disasters and poverty. The disregard of spiritual values and the tendencies
      of secularization unequivocally damage sacred traditions, distort moral
      concepts and understanding, as well as the inner-world of man, causing him
      to be indifferent to and alienated from God, from himself and the world. It
      is God who sustains the human soul. Human life shall be repaired by the soul
      that loves God and the power of faith, so that there is no blurring of the
      boundaries between philanthropy and egoism, so that there is no failure to
      differentiate between the just and the unjust, truth and falsehood, good and
      evil. Many issues shall be decided, many disparities shall be leveled and
      wounds shall be healed by the discerning comprehension and belief that the
      Son of God became man for our sake. This example of perfect love is light
      and direction for our lives and a commission to work with love. "Put on
      then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness,
      lowliness, meekness and patience, forbearing one another; and if one has a
      complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven
      you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds
      everything together in perfect harmony." Colossians 3:12-14.

      Dear faithful Armenians, on the "great and wondrous" feast of the Holy
      Nativity and Theopha ny, our Church commemorates the holy baptism of Jesus
      Christ with the Blessing of the Waters service, so that through the graces
      of Christ's revelation to mankind, the blessed water be distributed
      throughout our families, increasing the love and blessings of God in our
      lives. Through our baptism, we are adopted by God. Through our baptism, we
      are one - regardless of where we may be; we are the sons and daughters of
      our Holy Apostolic Church, our nation and our homeland. Let us live and work
      with this sense of unity and love towards one another, so that we may be
      empowered to overcome all difficulties and challenges, to progress toward
      the achievement of our hopes and aims. As the oldest Christian nation and as
      God's people, let us bring our participation with our God-pleasing lives in
      the creation of a peaceful and prosperous world - a world filled with
      solidarity and happiness. Today our Lord and Savior comes to live within our
      hearts and to renew us with His grace. Let us receive the Lord in our souls,
      be reinforced with faith, and remain loyal to our spiritual inheritance and
      Christian values. With reliance on our Lord and Savior and the steadfast
      hope and strength granted from Him, let us make our lives flourishing in all
      aspects, continue to build our native land, and care and strive for the
      manifestation of all national aspirations and the rights of our people in
      Artsakh. May our virtuous works and benevolent souls filled with love
      towards one another always shine brightly in our lives, whereby we shall
      bear witness that we love God.

      It is with these emotions, prayers of joy and warm Pontifical love, from the
      cradle of our faith - the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin - that we greet all
      sons and daughters of our people in Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora.

      With fraternal love in Christ, we greet the incumbents of the hierarchal
      sees of our Holy Apostolic Church: His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the
      Great House of Cilicia; His Beatitude Torkom Manoogian, Armenian Patriarch
      of Jerusalem; His Beatitude Mesrob Mutafyan, Armenian Patriarch of
      Constantinople; and the oath-bound ranks of our clergy.

      We extend our Pontifical blessings and greetings to the President of the
      Republic of Armenia, Serzh Sargsian; the President of the Republic of
      Nagorno Karabagh, Bako Sahakian; all state officials of the Armenians, and
      leaders and representatives of diplomatic missions accredited to Armenia.

      On this grace-renewing day of the Holy Nativity, let us offer thanksgiving
      with prayers to God in heaven for the blessings and consolation He grants
      us; for the successes and achievements in our ecclesiastical and national
      life, and ask that He care for us with His boundless love as is His will.

      May He make us worthy to remain steadfast on His path, reinforce us,
      illuminate us and make His saving grace shine within us, today and always.

      "Bless (Him) sons of mankind, for He became incarnate for us."

      Christ is Born and Revealed Great Tidings to you and us.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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