mercoledì, marzo 06, 2013


Beatitude Louis Raphael I Sako’s homily for the Holy Mass in the day of his enthronement as Patriarch of the Chaldean Church.

By Baghdadhope * 

Baghdadhope publishes its translation of:  
Beatitude Louis Raphael I Sako’s homily for the Holy Mass in the day of his enthronement as Patriarch of the Chaldean Church.
Tuesday March 6, 2013,
St Joseph's Cathedral - Baghdad

(Lectures: Isaiah’s commission 6:1-9, 1 Timothy 4:12-16, The Good Shepherd. John10:11-17)

"Don’t be afraid!”

1. "Don’t be afraid!" So many times Jesus repeated these words before and after his resurrection! Today I wonder:  what effect do these words have on us who live every day in a condition so difficult that we don’t know where it will take us?
Jesus reprimanded his disciples in the boat in the middle of the rough sea because they were afraid, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” he said. (Mt 8: 26). This reprimand is addressed also to us who are afraid because we have to renew our faith, our community and our unity.
What we experienced in terms of suffering, trouble and bloodshed of our martyrs, can, if we wish, incorporate us in the mystery of Christ, help us to recognize the presence of God among us, strengthen our hope that the Holy Spirit changes and improves men and women’s hearts. The storm must cease, as the consistent  cohabitation must be lived. We have to solve our problems and our crisis, to go back authentically to our noblest sentiments, to reunite and renew ourselves spiritually, humanly and socially.

2. In the midst of the troubles we live the voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, calls us with love and hope and makes us forget the fear to get to fraternity, fellowship and unity among us. To get all this we must love, warmly welcome the other, share what we have with generosity and joy. This attitude makes our faith and our hope grow, and comforts us. Only in this way everything will become easier, more beautiful and more meaningful.

3. Authenticity is linked to the needed renewal. Do not accept it means to live in the past. For this reason we will update our  liturgy and our teaching methods, we will renew with determination and courage the structures of our Church in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council and of the Apostolic Exhortation "Church in the Middle East," so that the faithful can understand, and better participate in its rituals in order to draw closer to Christ and to their church. Our Synod, to be held from June 5, has to this end a full and urgent agenda.

4. As for emigration its causes are many: sectarian, religious or economic ... The most serious problems for Christians are security and freedom. If security and freedom will be granted the Christians will remain in their country, otherwise they will leave it. I do not encourage anyone to leave the country but to stay and continue on his own path because it is a requirement of faith and patriotism.

5. My agenda is to work with everyone in the Chaldean Church as a group, in the spirit of authenticity, unity and renewal. I will work with my brothers the bishops, the priests, the nuns, the faithful, men and women, for the good of the Church and of the people. On this occasion I appeal to the daughters and sons of our Chaldean Church in Iraq, our country, and around the world: I greet them and thank them for their prayers for me and for the church, and I thank them especially for their living testimony of Christ. Despite the difficulties they have shown their being near the Church, even in times of trouble. Their devotion and generosity and the sacrifice of their life are a vivid example we are proud of. To all of them I say as in the book of Revelation: "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life" (Rev. 2: 10)
As for working with other churches I will work with them to do everything possible to strengthen the Christian presence in this country and to offer the testimony of unity and love. We will work in a special way and in all fields with the Assyrian Church of the East to achieve unity. This year, God willing, will be the last year in which we will celebrate Easter according two different calendars because in the future in Iraq Easter will be celebrated on the same date.
With our Muslim brothers, whom God loves as He loves us, we will analyze the points of convergence and we will respect the differences between us. It is God’s will if we have been created as different.

6. I ask for your prayers for the Lord to help me to continue what my predecessors have begun in this Patriarchal See: to be strong in our faith, to spread the message of Christ with purity, to realize the will of God in my life and in the life of the Church He has entrusted to me.

Thank you! May God give us the strength and be with us to serve the Church, the homeland, the people.

Maran Ata! Come, Lord Jesus!

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