ARMENPRESS

MESSAGE OF KAREKIN II, SUPREME PATRIARCH AND
CATHOLICOS OF ALL ARMENIANS ON THE OCCASION OF THE
FEAST OF THE HOLY NATIVITY AND THEOPHANY OF JESUS
CHRIST

ETCHMIADZIN, JANUARY 6, ARMENPRESS: In the Name of
the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
`In this the love of God was made manifest among
us, that God sent His only begotten Son into the
world, so that we might live through Him.' 1 John 4:9
Dearly Beloved Faithful,
Our souls are enveloped once again with the
all-renewing ineffable mystery of the Holy Nativity
and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ. And today, we
along with all who await the Savior, rush toward the
manger, to be joined in faith in the humble cave of
Bethlehem with the joyous shepherds and wise magi
bringing gifts to the Savior of the world; to bow down
before the infant, to see the light of God's mercy
descending to the earth, and praise the Holy Birth of
the Son of God with the angels, `Glory to God in the
highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men'.
It is the Son of God, the only begotten of the
Father, who has come to the world as love manifested.
He conquered the world with infinite love, changed the
course of history, and granted mankind distanced from
God the grace of salvation and eternal life - grace to
return to God. `In this the love of God was made
manifest among us, that God sent His only begotten Son
into the world, so that we might live through Him.' (1
John 4:9)
The Holy Nativity and Theophany of our Savior has
been proclaimed for two millennia through the
sacrifices of the martyrs, the lives of the saints,
the genuine faith of innumerable souls, and through
virtuous deeds. The Gospel of hope that gives life is
preached to renew the lives of men and women through
philanthropic values, and by cultivating the paths of
peace, justice and human rights. The recognition and
understanding of Christianity through the living
presence of God have born plans of transforming
societal life and brought forth a world outlook and
culture of valuing human life, called to serve the
welfare of the world and the happiness of mankind.
However, the spheres of the life of humankind have
not always been bountiful with the belief in the
presence of God. Alongside the beneficial golden
stalks of the harvest, we see the damaging growth of
weeds. The world today resembles Bethlehem where the
wise and the humble worship the newborn Christ Jesus,
believing in the saving grace He gifts to us. But the
world also resembles the other Bethlehem - the one
which denied shelter to the Savior, where exist Herods
who crave power and massacre children, Judases who
betray innocents to death for thirty pieces of silver,
Pilates who wash their hands in the face of injustice,
and manifold modern day crucifixions - wars,
terrorism, falsehoods, need and helplessness. As long
as we continue in paths such as these which distance
us from God, the world shall always feel the need for
peace and justice, the want of kindness, humility,
mercy and compassion.
Indeed dear ones, this is not the Will of God, this
is not the calling of the world and man. God's gift is
the life renewed by Christ. God's gift is the love
revealed by Christ, which through the great and
miraculous Holy Birth of our Lord and Savior has
connected the four corners of the world today under a
brilliant and glorious rainbow. And the star of
Bethlehem which disperses the darkness, shines above
the crises, intrigues and lawlessness of the world,
and gleams hope with love from heaven to renew the
souls of mankind with the invitation of the creation
of a new life: `...and on earth peace, good will toward
men'.
With this sacred mystery of the Holy Nativity, it
is the greatest commandment of love which is conveyed
to the world, `A new commandment I give to you, that
you love one another', says the Lord, `even as I have
loved you, that you also love one another.' (John
13:34). There is no greater power which transforms the
life of man, nations and societies than love, which
`is not jealous or boastful, is not arrogant or
rude...does not insist on its own way, does not rejoice
at wrong, but rejoices in the right, ...it bears all
things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures
all things' (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
This is how that world shall be born, where peace
and justice reign, where good and goodness are
fruitful with brotherly love, solidarity among
peoples, and cooperation among states. Truly, human
efforts to transform life shall not be in vain with
true love and the belief of the presence of God in the
world. The path of the Lord is always the path of new
life, always toward the better, toward the perfect,
which shall become reality through man's works of
faith, and the mercy and blessings of God.
Dearly pious sons and daughters,
On this joyful day of the Holy Nativity and
Theophany, we offer thanks to the Lord, Who has
granted His grace of salvation to our people as well,
blessed our lives with the light of hope, faith and
love and the spirit of creation. Relying on the
Savior, it is with His commandment of love that our
forefathers in the homeland and the dispersion were
able to withstand the tribulations of centuries,
struggled to keep their individual identity and
heritage, and once again build a new and vibrant life.
The spirit of love towards one another has turned into
care, attentiveness, effort, devotion and heroism
within Armenian life dispersed around the globe.
With that spirit today within the free shores of
Armenia and Artsakh, and on the horizons of the
renaissance of Armenian spiritual and national life
throughout the world, the hopes and prayers of our
forebears and the faith of our people are manifesting
themselves as works of patriotism and love of Church -
as good fruits of our lives. It is with that same
spirit that we shall continue to live today as well,
to triumph over the imperatives facing us, to defend
the values of liberty, justice, human rights,
philanthropy and honesty, though which the God-loving
soul of our people shall continue to be cared for;
through which our life in the homeland and the
Diaspora shall be strengthened.
Therefore, dear ones, let us advance with the
unflinching faith of a pilgrim and always work in
unison and with one will under God's blessing, for it
is truly said that through division the great become
small, yet through unity the small become great.
It is with the great tiding of the Holy Nativity of
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that we greet you
once again, our dear faithful, and bless all of you.
We extend our greetings of fraternal love in Christ to
the incumbents of the hierarchal sees of our Apostolic
Holy Church: His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the
Great House of Cilicia; His Beatitude Archbishop
Torkom Manoogian, Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem; His
Beatitude Archbishop Mesrob Mutafian, Armenian
Patriarch of Constantinople; and all of the oath-bound
clergy of our Church.
We extend our pontifical blessings and greetings to
the President of the Republic of Armenia, Robert
Kocharian; the President of the Republic of Nagorno
Karabakh, Bako Sahakian; to all Armenian state
officials, and to the leaders and representatives of
diplomatic missions accredited to Armenia.
Let us pray together that the heavenly graces and
gifts of love of the Savior's Holy Nativity and
Theophany increase in the world, leading all of
humanity to the desired paths of goodness, justice and
reconciliation.
From this holy altar of the descent of the only
begotten, with prayers and appeals for the blessings
of the Savior, we once again convey the renewing
tiding of the Holy Nativity from the Mother See of all
Armenians:
Christ is Born and Revealed, Great Tidings to you
and us.