Christmas 2000 (English)
Patriarchal Message for Christmas 2000
BY THE GRACE OF GOD POPE AND PATRIARCH
OF ALEXANDRIA AND ALL AFRICA
TO ALL THE FAITHFUL OF THE CHURCH,
GRACE, PEACE AND MERCY FROM OUR SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST WHO BECAME INCARNATE
Dear Brother Concelebrants and Beloved Children in Christ,
We are called once again this year to celebrate with hymns and praises the Mystery of the Incarnation of God and His appearance on earth for the salvation of man. The first message that was heard from the lips of the angels, was the message of peace: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill towards men". This peace is violated daily, either by social, political or economic forces, or by individualistic perceptions and attitudes of life, with the result that, 21st century man faces the stress of his personal, social or family insecurities by seeing his existence, his history and, many times, his very life, in danger.
For man, the consequences of all these situations are inhuman. They represent in his life a distorted and disoriented image, far from the real dimension and reason for his existence. He lives a void, an emptiness, which introduces him to a situation of war, most times with catstrophic consequences, both for himself and his environment. The break-up of many families is a micro-image of the break-up of many societies. International confusion reveals the internal disorder in man's personal life, who when his intersts are offended, forgets his neighbour and is transformed into a beast, which desperately seeks to satisfy, by any means, its own dispositions and desires.
When his desires are unsatisfied, he becomes a man of hatred and destruction, who does not consider the results of his catastrophic deeds.
And all this, because man of contemporary society has lost all contact with Christ, the One who humbled Himself for the salvation of man, of any era, colour, race and language, irrespective of social or financial position; above all, to bring real peace to the world. This peace is not only to do with emotions, but also with real life and its substance.
When contemporary man brings Christ into his life, His humility, love and acceptance, then he will learn how to fight correctly, and at the same time he will abound with peace and love. This is how societies change, wars cease, human beings and various nations live together. Consequently, social prosperity, progress and peace are attained and hatred, discord and destruction vanish.
Let us all try in our lives, each according to his ability, to attain the peace of Christ, and then confess with assurance that Christ appeared on earth and the lives of mankind were filled with joy, happiness, unity, peace and love. Let us all learn how to love one another as we are, and not as we would want others to be. The important thing is to change ourselves, and not others, in order to use them as we see fit. Christ humbled Himself to save man and to render him God-like by grace. Christ should be our role model and our main aim in life, because man cannot be saved alone, unless he assits, by his own offer of love and acceptance, in the salvation of others.
Together with our Paternal and Patriarchal blessing for personal and family joy and prosperity, We wish the New Year 2001 to be a fruitful one, healthy and happy, for a better future and a peaceful life.
With paternal prayers and blessings in the Incarnate Christ,
Petros of Alexandria
In the Great city of Alexandria