THE MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS KAREKIN II SUPREME PATRIARCH AND CATHOLICOS OF ALL ARMENIANS ON THE FEAST OF THE HOLY NATIVITY AND THEOPHANY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST (Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, 06 January 2021)
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
“The true light, which enlightens everyone,
was coming into the world.”
(John 1: 9).
Beloved Sons and Daughters in the homeland and diaspora,
On the feast of the Nativity and Epiphany of our Lord Jesus Christ, with a prayerful spirit, united in our holy churches, we bless the newborn Savior. On this blessed day of Christmas, the true Light emanated from the manger of Bethlehem to enlighten the souls of humanity. “The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world,” says the Evangelist.
Like the Evangelist, the hymnologist compares the Nativity of the Son of God, incarnated for the salvation of the world, to the origin of the sun, and says: “Arose from the Father to enlighten the creatures, the Sun of Righteousness, Lord, glory be to You” (Hymn of the Nativity). The Son of God came to dispel the darkness of sin and death, to lead mankind to its Creator. From the humble cave of the Savior’s Nativity radiated the dawn of spiritual renewal, a spiritual power.
From the day Jesus was born, he was persecuted. The Savior and His family became refugees from His birthplace when Herod, wanting His death, organized the massacre of children; believing that He had killed the newborn Son of God and defeated Him. But the real victory was Christ’s, who through the glorious victory of the resurrection crowned the path of suffering by His saving mission. Going through all the hardships, the Lord brought hope to the fallen man and salvation to mankind, immersed in the darkness of iniquity and idolatry. Throughout history, “Herods” have caused disaster, destruction, and misery to mankind; they have wielded opposition and enmity under the influence of evil; alongside progressive achievements there has been poverty, oppression and injustice. Even today, people, burdened with sins, turn away from God, the world is plagued by political intrigues, the materialism that leads to polarisation has taken over societies, and justice with truth have become relative rather than absolute values. In this contradictory and troubled world, Jesus Christ rises as the Sun of Righteousness, the true Light to illuminate humanity’s way through life.
Beloved ones, the miraculous birth of Christ is a source of hope and consolation for our heartbroken people, especially during these grievous days, when we consider that our lives have also not been free from destructive mistakes and sins. Necessary vigilance was not shown in the face of the threats of an unstable peace and war, the interests of the homeland and the people were subordinated to individual aspirations and goals. God-rejecting spirit and alien ideologies and habits permeated our society. Our lives were not far from the lies, insults, intolerance, hatred and enmity that were spreading and continue to spread in various ways, dividing us, drying up the love of Christ in us. And the Gospel testifies: “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand” (Matt. 12:25). The catastrophic consequences of the Artsakh war have overwhelmed the souls of the sons and daughters of our nation with feelings of despair, anxiety and uncertainty. The loss of a large part Artsakh, the martyrdom of our heroic sons, the pain and grief of tens of thousands of displaced brothers and sisters in dire need of shelter and material supplies, of thousands of soldiers wounded, in captivity and missing, have plunged our national life in the homeland and diaspora into the grip of a gloomy night. It is in this darkness, in this nightmarish reality, that the Sun of Justice shines brightly today, to illuminate our national life and homeland, to provide healing to the wounded soul of my nation with its warming power.
Dear faithful, relying on the endless love and the grace of salvation of the incarnate Son of God, we have overcome the sufferings of wars, disasters, despair, and had victories in our lives over the centuries. These days our faith is alive with the same confidence. We are able to strengthen and enrich our homeland once again and turn a new awakening of our life into reality by uniting the potential and efforts of Armenians around the world, with a joint and harmonious society of Armenia and Artsakh, a developed economy, science, and education, and a highly efficient army equipped at its best. As in the alarming days of the war, our hearts must beat with the love of the homeland, our thoughts and cherished feelings must be tied to the sacred soil of the homeland. Every commitment and every sacrifice is needed to keep the stability of the national life, to not lead the country into dangers, to overcome the existing crises, and to stop the catastrophe of emigration. Let us stand strong in the face of the lethal test for our nation and people with hope and faith; girded with the life-giving power of the Lord; let us gain strength to rise from disasters, to dispel this heavy darkness that is forced upon us with heavenly support, and to illumine the new horizons of our lives.
On this soul-renewing day of the Nativity and Epiphany, let us ask so that that we may go towards the realization of our aspirations, relying on the grace of God’s salvation and the crowning of the victory of our just rights. Let us pray that the vault of our national life will be illuminated with the heralding light of Christmas, that the Armenian church will eternally be enhanced through the dedicated and fruitful ministry of our clergy and the committed life of our faithful people, so that Armenia may be filled with the love and hope of the incarnate Savior. May the Lord grant peace to the entire world, to the souls of the people, and keep in peace and safety our country – Armenia and Artsakh, and to grant a prosperous life to the Armenian people all over the world, today, always, forever. Amen.
Christ is born and revealed,
Great news for you and for us!