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The Papal Message of H.H. Pope Shenouda III For The Feast Of Nativity, January 2004

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  • Mark Sadek
    The Papal Message of H.H. Pope Shenouda III For The Feast Of Nativity, January 2004 My beloved children in the lands of immigration, Peace to you from the Lord
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 6, 2004
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      The Papal Message of H.H. Pope Shenouda III For The
      Feast Of Nativity, January 2004

      My beloved children in the lands of immigration,

      Peace to you from the Lord and grace, and a special
      blessing on the occasion of the New Year. May God
      make it a blessed and joyous year. I greet all of
      you during the Feast of the Glorious Nativity, with
      all that the Birth of Christ carries of deep meanings.

      The most important message that the Birth of Christ
      carries is the Good News of Salvation. With this,
      the angel announced to the shepherds saying, I bring
      you good tidings of great joy which will be to all
      people. For there is born to you this day in the city
      of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
      (Luke 2:10, 11) About this salvation, the angel who
      announced to Saint Joseph, said, and you shall call
      His name Jesus, for He will save His people from
      their sins. (Matthew 1:21)

      Truly, this is the salvation that the prophets of the
      Old Testament prophesied of. This is the reason of
      our joy in the Nativity. Of this, the Lord of Glory
      said, the Son of Man has come to seek and to save
      that which was lost. (Luke 19:10) Therefore when
      Simon the elder carried the Infant Jesus, he prayed
      saying, Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart
      in peace, For my eyes have seen Your salvation which
      You have prepared before the face of all peoples.
      (Luke 2:29-31)

      If we separate the Birth of Christ from salvation,
      then we have separated the Nativity from its main
      purpose. And if we rejoice in the Birth of Christ,
      without rejoicing in this salvation, then our joy is
      in vain and without meaning. For the Holy Father
      sent His Son to the world that the world through Him
      might be saved. (John 3:17) By this, the love of God
      was manifest to us, that He loved us and sent His Son
      to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

      God desires our salvation, who desires all men to be
      saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
      (1 Timothy 2:4) The Divine Incarnation was for the
      sake of this salvation, and with this, salvation was
      completed on the Cross.

      Here, I want to ask each one of you: In the celebrations
      of the Feast of Nativity, do you rejoice in this
      salvation, for the sake of which Christ was born?
      And when you commune from the Sacrament of the
      Eucharist on this day, do you have communion from
      the Holy Sacrament for salvation, remission of sins
      and eternal life to those who partake of Him?

      The Lord was incarnate for our salvation, and granted
      us the Sacraments of the Church for our salvation; and
      He rejoices in our salvation. But do we care for the
      salvation of our souls, and work at keeping this
      salvation so that we do not lose it or be far from it?
      Saint Paul the Apostle warns us saying, how shall we
      escape if we neglect so great a salvation?! (Hebrews 2:3)

      Therefore my brother, be careful about the salvation of
      your soul. You possess one soul: If you win it, you
      have then gained everything. And if you lose it, you
      have then lost everything. Our Lord Jesus Christ, in
      His ever-lasting expression, says, For what profit is
      it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his
      own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his
      soul? (Matthew 16:26)

      Our life on earth is a period of examination for us:
      Will we deserve the Kingdom or not? Let us be careful
      that our souls are clean and pure and without blame
      before God. This happens by living a life of repentance
      and a life of righteousness. Let us strive to the life
      of holiness, without which no one can see the Lord. For
      Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
      (Matthew 5:8) More so, let us strive to perfection, as
      far as possible, fulfilling the saying of the Lord
      Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father
      in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

      I rejoice greatly, when I hear that my children who are
      in the lands of immigration, live a life of righteousness,
      and strive to perfection; and offer to the society around
      them a good image about GodÂ’s children who were created
      in the image of God, in His likeness (Genesis 1:26, 27).
      Those who saw in the Lord Christ, at His birth and during
      His incarnation, what reminds them of the image of God.

      Be in all goodness, absolved from the Holy Spirit of God.

      May this Feast be a blessing and peaceful to you.

      Shenouda III
      Pope of Alexandria and
      Patriarch of the See of St. Mark
      -------------------------------------------------------
      From the Desk of Moderators

      Syriac Orthodox Church and Coptic Orthodox Church
      remember the names of their both patriarchs in the
      1 diptychs of Holy Qurbono in the Middle East.
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