Click here to watch the Prelate’s New Year message
In a few days, we will bid farewell to 2022 and welcome 2023, which may be either worse or better than the previous year. Years are neutral numbers, which acquire a meaning through human deeds, guided by actions that are either focused on God or on rejecting Him.
To focus on God does not mean to be weak, passive, or spineless. On the contrary, it means to mobilize our collective talents and strength, overcoming our human weaknesses veiled by the ego, with divine wisdom and power.
How desirable it would be that humanity went along the way of the Most Merciful God, who only offers and spreads goodness, life, and happiness. The rejection of God that started with our ancestors Adam and Eve continued with Cain’s jealousy and fratricide and, since then, history is filled with tragic falls.
More than ever, humanity, including the Armenian people, is confronted with an existential struggle. Our homeland, Artsakh, and the Diaspora are living through one of the most fateful periods after the Armenian genocide.
The historical saying, “Hannibal ad portas” (“Hannibal is at the gates”), is not just an ominous indication of imminent peril, but a signal calling to action, for danger has already penetrated various realms of our leadership and people. Slogans such as “Armenia and Azerbaijan became brothers” were the matter of songs for seventy years; the current authorities of Armenia need to stop paying lip service to internationalist slogans and being permissive toward damaging social customs, and awaken from their comatose state, which is leading the entire nation to an abyss of perdition.
The Bible teaches that “the wolf and the lamb will eat together,” but that will happen among creatures fed with divine love. The surrender of Artsakh and the denial of the Genocide, instead of two neighbor countries eating together in peace, will whet the predator’s appetite even more as we are witnessing today in Syunik, and we may tomorrow in Sevan, and then in Yerevan.
There is no doubt that we are faced with complex international events, in which we also had our sad share in their development over the past three decades and especially in the last three years. It has been justly said that “people don’t die but commit suicide.” They commit suicide by getting away from their roots, denying their identity, and surrendering to pale slogans —those in the Gospel message look like seeds fallen and grown over stones, which dry and disappear from the burning heat of the sun.
May the New Year be an invitation for collective renewal to all of us with the motto “One Nation and One Future” in Armenia, Artsakh, and the entire Diaspora. Let’s always walk together with our wounds and our hopes with our eyes directed toward the eternal Mount Ararat.