Archbishop’s Teaching

Message of the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord 2023 of H.E. Msgr. Selim Sfeir

Message of the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord 2023
of H.E. Msgr. Selim Sfeir
Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus

"He is our peace" (Ephesians 2:14) Dear priests, religious, brothers and sisters in Christ, Jesus is our peace: not like a pill that soothes a headache, but like a craftsman who shapes his work commissioned with his hands and by the sweat of his brow. Even this, the sweetest of nights, did not come easily; Joseph and Mary prepared for it, with struggle. This Christmas, Jesus relies on each of us to build His peace; not as the world gives it, but as He made it: in the total gift of Himself, "to give light to those who are sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide us on the path of peace." (Luke 1:79). Jesus' most precious gift to the world this Christmas is to bring it peace. The whole world thirsts for peace, which it seeks everywhere and by all means possible. It seeks this peace everywhere except in relationship with Jesus. Alas, sadly, we who have been baptized into Christ, into His death and resurrection, do not change anything because our lives do not testify to this one True Peace. Dear brothers and sisters, let us not seek our own well-being first, but that of others. Let us put our sisters and brothers first, and let the Father raise us up. Let us be builders of the Kingdom of God, let us always ask for the Holy Spirit, let us be just, let us forgive as the Father forgives us, and let us love as Jesus loved us. “Child is born to us, a son is given to us, and authority will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6). It is with all the tears of my body and my heart that I beg you to be peacemakers, to see God in your lives and to show Him. Yes, the world needs this so badly, and it is its only chance. Let us not deny it. Let us draw close to Mary, the Holy Mother of God. Let us entrust our anxieties and worries to her, let her clothe us with her son Jesus, and let us walk with confidence, for it is by abiding in Christ that His love in us reaches perfection (cf. 1 John 4:12). May the peace of the Infant Jesus be with us all.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2024.

† Sélim Sfeir

Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus

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