Archbishop’s Teaching

First Sunday of the Advent time Dedication of the Church Matthew 16, 13-20

Homily of His Excellency Selim Sfeir
Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus

First Sunday of the Advent time

Dedication of the Church

Matthew 16, 13-20

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

To meet Christ is to have truly and intimately encountered him, to have listened to him through meditation of the Gospel, to have given him our trust, to have accepted to set out on a journey with him and to obey what he tells us. To meet Christ is to love him, not with a passing emotion, but to love him as he loves us, trusts us, and forgives us, even if we are the greatest sinners on earth.
At the same time, to believe in Christ Jesus means entering, through Him and with Him, into a new covenant with God, a covenant in which He, as the Son of God, became both the Priest and the offering of Himself out of love for us and for our salvation (cf. Letter to the Hebrews 9:1-12), a covenant that sanctifies us through the mystery of the death of Christ and his resurrection.
However, this act of faith is not an intellectual declaration, made by reason, but an act of love that springs from our whole being and makes us his disciples and witnesses, a grace from God that gives us the courage of faith and the folly of hope where there is no more hope. This is what Peter the apostle will do in the Gospel, and all the disciples with him, after receiving the Holy Spirit. So, you, me, we too, can go on the adventure of faith, through the divine grace received at our baptism to make each of us his or her son and daughter in the image and likeness of His only Son Jesus Christ .
Our faith is not only personal, but also communal. Moreover, we are Christians only with others and for others. In this time when the Church reminds us that we are walking "together" towards the Kingdom that is coming to us, we renew "together" our faith in Christ, head of the body that is the Church and of which we are living members .

Blessed are you, Lord, in you alone our unity, gather us in faith, charity and hope to bear witness together of your love in our family and our workplace, wherever we are, through your Son Jesus Christ Our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit now and forever and ever.

† Selim Sfeir
Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus

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