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Encyclical - December 1, 2006
Christmas Tidings



No. E343/06 December 1, 2006

Apostolic Benediction to our beloved Metropolitan His Grace Mor Theethose Yeldho and to our beloved spiritual children: the Venerable Corepiscopos, the Esteemed Priests, the Reverend Deacons and all other Respected Faithful of our Malankara Archdiocese in North America.

The Feast of the Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ is at hand, and a new year is also approaching. As we prepare to celebrate this blessed and joyous occasion, it would be appropriate that we take a look at ourselves and also around us. Lack of mutual love, respect and trust are widespread. Selfishness is on the rise. Love of hatred and revenge is on the increase. People look at one another with suspicion. And, naturally, there is a great increase in violence, and there is no peace in the world. Centuries ago, Prophet Isaiah prophesied: "For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder, and His name will be called 'Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.'" (Prophet Isaiah 9:6) This prophecy was fulfilled when our Lord Jesus Christ was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary. And this prophecy also indicates the solution to the problems we face today. It tells us that Lord Jesus is our Counsellor, God, Father and the Prince of Peace. So we have to listen to Him, to abide in Him and receive Him with faith; and we can do so only by loving Him. And the one, who loves Him, will love one's fellow beings also. In fact, our Lord Jesus has commanded us: “You love one another as I have loved you". (St. John 15:12) The Apostle St. Paul further clarifies: "Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures or all things". (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) And, so, where there is love, there will be no hatred and violence; but peace. Therefore, accept our Lord Jesus with faith; obey His commandments; love Him and all your fellow human beings too. And then, hatred and violence shall disappear, and peace shall reign. May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the 'Prince of Peace' be with you all now and forever. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year and extend our Apostolic Blessings to you. May the grace of God be with you all.

We extend our Apostolic Blessings to you. May the grace of God be with you all.

Our Father Who art in heaven, ...

Issued at our Patriarchal house in Damascus, Syria
on the 1st day of December, in the year two thousand and six
which is the 27th year of our Patriarchate.

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