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Groong: Christmas Message of His Holiness Karekin II


Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin

Address: Holy Etchiamdzin, Republic of Armenia

Tel: (00 374 2) 28 51 52

Fax: (00 374 2) 15 16 24

E-Mail: holysee@etchmiadzin.am

Information Services


(Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, January 6, 2003)

`Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’
(Luke 2:14)

Glory to You, O Heavenly King, as we behold the sacred mystery of the
Theophany, the children of Our Nation in Armenia and in Dispersion,
assembled together in the ranks of clergy and laity, greet each other
today with the tidings of Your Holy Birth. Laborer and government
official, soldier, intellectual and student, adult and child; we all hear
the heavenly message, `on earth peace, good will toward men,’ which is
proclaimed from Your 1,700 year-old Holy Cathedral where the Only
Begotten Descended. The message was clarified the instant of the Holy
Nativity’s profound mystery before our gaze, when the guiding bright Star
rested over the skies of Bethlehem.

Glory to You, O Heavenly King, that the consolation of Your Holy Nativity
lives yet again in the Armenian Nation. We worship You with the wise
men, we glorify You with the shepherds, and we praise You with the
multitude of angels: `Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace,
good will toward men.’

By the compassionate and merciful Love of God, the Savior was born for
the world. The Lord of the universe became a Child and came into the
world, so that man estranged from God and snared within evil due to
original sin, would be able to renew himself, and the world would renew
itself through man. In order to bring freedom to the souls of men, in
order to call men to justice and peace, God extended His hand of
reconciliation, and gave the unsurpassed example of love. In the Manger
of Bethlehem, the `Sun’ of Justice and the Prince of Peace was born, so
freedom, justice and peace be inseparable in the world. Truly, the birth
of Jesus is the renaissance of man, through the grace of reconciliation
with God and by the invitation, `on earth peace, good will toward men.’

All through time, the cherished dream of mankind has been peace as a
condition for security, prosperity and happiness. Countless theories
have been developed, principals proposed, means and efforts invested, all
in the name of peace. However, the rumblings of war have not been muted;
intrigues, enmity and destruction have not ceased; famine, misery and
poverty have not been eliminated; because mankind has not always pursued
Christ’s message of peace: to implant the triumph of the Gospel of love,
freedom and justice in the souls of men.

`Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world
gives, give I unto you.’ (John 14:27). Peace bequeathed from Christ is
for the world, but not of the world indeed. More often than not, peace
known to the world is motivated by profit, is conditioned upon interests
and circumstance, often it is established and secured by violence. Thus,
it cannot be stable and unchangeable; and moreover, it cannot be the
genuine good, which brings forth blessings, because it is always filled
with the danger of turning into antagonism.

Today, in the Holy Land, instead of hymns of praise for peace, hostility
resounds and death-bringing volleys of fire boom. Today, the world
restlessly witnesses the horrors of terrorism in different corners of the
globe, where wars are spreading destruction and taking away thousands of
innocent lives. The wounds on our people’s heart from the Armenian
Genocide continue to bleed; which still has not been universally
condemned by governments, which continues to be an encouragement for new
villainies, as was in the case of the Holocaust.

Our soul today is also troubled by the fragile peace prevailing in the
Republic of Nagorno Karabagh, because the opposite side continues
resonating frivolous appeals for renewing the war. The core issue of the
Armenians living on their historic lands of Artsakh is being led to a
deadlock, when it is being connected unjustly and without foundation to
the principal of territorial integrity; while the natural, just and legal
right of man and nation to live freely is being trampled under foot.
Justice will prevail, the thunders of war will be silenced, inter-ethnic
antagonisms and public crises will be reconciled, when mankind desires
and searches for the Christ-provided redeeming road of peace, more than
the world’s paths toward peace; and when justice and humane values become
the guiding principles for human life. Only in this manner can peace
truly be established in the life of society, becoming the aspiration for
creation, being one another’s support, and turning into the greatest
ability and happiness for living one another’s joys and sorrows.

Today, beloved Armenian people, from the source of love, swaddled in the
cave of Bethlehem, and from the heights of the Zion of faith and hope,
the light of peace has descended and is contained in the lanterns of our
churches. As it has for continuous centuries, that light is distributed
through the benediction of `Peace unto all’, so that the peace of the
Lord lives in us and be spread from our souls throughout our national and
public life and the entire world.

Today, with the tidings of the Holy Nativity, `on earth peace, good will
toward men’, we see the Savior again descending upon our land, and into
our life; so that through the eternal Mother See of the Armenians, Our
faith and Our covenant of relying on God, will always be renewed.

God is with us. He is with us with His greeting of peace. This is our
belief. Let us accept the Dominical greeting, let us truly love each
other, and desiring the benevolent and peaceful will of the Lord, let us
serve one another, and together let us serve our Motherland and our
Apostolic Holy Church. Let us make 2003 a year of new hopes and
expectations; let us make it the year of strengthening our national life,
both in the Motherland and in the Diaspora; and the remarkable New Year
for witnessing our faith.

Before the cradle of the Incarnate God, let us beseech the Lord to keep
our Apostolic Holy Church steadfast under His care, and to protect and
strengthen the incumbents of our Hierarchal Sees under His blessings and
graces: His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia;
His Beatitude Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, Armenian Patriarch of
Jerusalem; His Beatitude Archbishop Mesrob Moutafian, Armenian Patriarch
of Constantinople; and the entirety of our dedicated and devout
ecclesiastical order of the Armenian Church, and the whole of our
faithful people throughout the world.

With Pontifical love and blessing We convey Our good wishes of the Holy
Nativity, to the high officials of the Government of the Armenians, led
by the President of the Republic of Armenia, Mr. Robert Kocharian; to the
President of the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh, Mr. Arkady Ghukasian; and
to all the representatives of diplomatic missions and international
organizations registered in Armenia.

Let the Peace which is born of the Revelation of the Savior, through the
care of the Mother of God, be swaddled as a child under the roofs of all
homes, be nurtured and be strengthened through the good will, trust and
cooperation of all great and small nations, so that nations cast
plowshares from their swords, and pruning hooks from their spears, and to
all corners of the world, may the hymn of praise be spread: `on earth
peace, good will toward men’.

`Christ is Born and Revealed!
Great tidings to you and to us.’ Amen.

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