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The Evangelist testifies that one night, when shepherds were keeping watch over their sheep, the angel of God appears before them and they get afraid: “Don’t fear,” the angel tells them, today your savior was born in the city of David (Luke 2:8-12). The good tidings conveyed by the angel were no coincidence. That the Son of God became man was no coincidence. The man exiled from a life in paradise and living in hell needed to return to the life in paradise granted by God. Man, whose life was immersed in evil and evil things, sin and corruption, needed the saving intercession of God. Man, who had lost the sense and objective of his life and was wandering in the desert of the world, needed a leader to give direction to his life. Man, who had distanced himself from heaven and heavenly things and had become enslaved to earth and earthly things, needed a savior. For a long time, man waited for the liberating Messiah. And one day, unexpectedly, and in the most humble circumstances of life, the Savior of the world was born.

Indeed, God, who revealed himself with the creation of the universe and man, approached us through the incarnation of his only begotten Son.

By way of his Son, God approached man, whom he had made in his own image and had named him custodian of his creation and even his collaborator, but who had betrayed his vocation. Man, a sinner and wayward, whom God had invited to the way of truth through the prophets, now came through the incarnation of his Son to lead him to truth.

By way of Christ, God came to grant life again to man, who had rejected the God-given life and had become enslaved to lifestyles that led to death.

This is why the angel of God announced the incarnation of Christ as the birth of the SAVIOR. The Evangelist defines the mystery of the incarnation of Christ with these words: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.” In other words, the force driving the descent of God from heaven to earth was the infinite love of God for the wayward man.

The angel announcing the birth of Christ said “your” savior was born. The Son of God became man, to save the man condemned to loss, to approach man, who had defiled his godly image and had strayed from his Creator, to God, his heavenly Father. Therefore, man was the motivation for the incarnation of Christ born in Bethlehem, the goal of Christ’s mission was the salvation of man.

Before Christ and after Christ, man sought different saviors in vain. History shows that all kinds of “saviors” in the world were buried in the dust of oblivion, but the Infant Jesus born in the Bethlehem manger remained, despite persecutions and disavowals. Man should not seek a different savior in our present time, filled with scientific and technological achievements. Sitting on the cushions of splendor or sate with material advantages, man should not seek a different savior. Christ is the only savior of man. This is what the Church believes: “Who for us, mankind, and for our salvation came down from heaven, was incarnate, became man.” The Christian must live his life with this conscious faith and responsibility.

For humankind, 2020 was a year of suffering; the harm and loss caused by the coronavirus pandemic shocked every nation. The Christian world also suffered a deep commotion. Churches closed their doors to the faithful; however, Christians, turning their homes into churches, turned to Christ as the savior of the world.

The year 2020 was one of suffering especially for our people. The heavy consequences of the Artsakh war still continue. The ship of our nation continues to rock amid the waves of desperation and uncertainty. In such stormy conditions in the course of our history we have always turned to our Great Patriarch, Christ, to steer the ship of our nation to a safe place with faith and hope.

Let us again and always turn to Christ, because he is our only Savior. Let us turn to Christ in our times of joy and pain. Let us trust our Savior, who came to the world and was crucified for our salvation.

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On occasion of the Epiphany, from the Mother Monastery of the Great House of Cilicia in Antelias, with infinite fatherly love, we greet the Prelates of all the Prelacies under the jurisdiction of our Holy See, the priests, the organs of the community leadership, every union, organization and the daughters and sons of our beloved people, praying that the Savior of Bethlehem may lead and protect them.



January 6, 2021
Antelias, Lebanon

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