In his Christmas message, Mar Raphael Louis Sako, Patriarch of Chaldeans knocks on doors of Christians, urging them to be steadfast and keep the faith alive even amid "suffering, anxiety and the considerable challenges."
Despite a difficult time for Iraq's Christian minority, which
has seen its size cut by half in the past ten years, Mar Sako expressed hope
that the festivity, his first as patriarch, would be the "title of a real
vital project that is achieved only by the one who understands it and finds in
it his delight, and courage to go further."
His Beatitude's message is also directed at "fellow" Muslims,
whom he urges to work and contribute to a "peace project" because
"the Good News of Christmas is for all."
Likewise, he also calls for an end to violence, to be replaced
by a "logic of dialogue" that is a source of real reconciliation of
the country's various groups.
Turning finally to his community, the patriarch thanked
its members for their "perseverance", and for the "courage"
with which they bear witness to the "flame of hope", following the
example of Abraham.
is His Beatitude Mar Sako's Christmas message:
Sisters and Brothers,
Here I am knocking your doors on this Christmas Eve, to tell you, in the
midst of your suffering, anxiety and the considerable challenges you face:
"Glory to God in the highest and peace on Earth".
I am sure of your belief, prayer, and firmness. Thank you for your
perseverance, as you are still carrying courageously the flame of hope as on
the example of our father Abraham from Ur of the Chaldeans. He was one, and you
are many; he became the father of all believers because of his confidence and
fidelity till the end.
The message of Christmas is not just a wish, but a title of a real vital
project that is achieved only by the one who understands it and finds in it his
delight, and courage to go further. He who stops upon the frustrating
circumstances and bemoans the old days is making a fatal error. The one, who enters to the depth of events,
will discover a new call, new signs of hope for new life. If the young rich man, who met Jesus, had
sold everything with joy, he would have feasted and got freedom and peace, and
wouldn't have "gone sad" (Luke,
The question before us today is: "What will be the implications of this
feast on us, our families, our Church and our country? Shall we renew our
determination to carry the joyful message of the Angels which we, the
Chaldeans, begin our daily prayers with,
through our prayers, love, service and witnessing to our Faith and our
values at home, school and work, by being the shepherds who repeat what they've
heard, and the visiting Magi, and a star that stands 'above where the boy was',
guiding other people to Him?
To all of you I offer my gratitude for your dedication to your church,
you're sticking to your land, and your steadfastness in front of difficulties
with true hope and great testimony. Christmas as pope Francis said is a
On this occasion I am happy to call on our fellow Muslims to join the
peace project, because the good news of Christmas is for all. I invite them to
work together to stop the logic of violence, fighting and attacks, and to adopt
the logic of dialogue to achieve peace, stability, freedom, dignity and justice
in our countries enflamed by conflicts.
Blessed is your feast, and hopefully every year will come will be filled
with goodness, and safety and prosperous to Iraq.