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صندوق التعاضد الأرثوذكسي

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للمقبلين على سرّ الزواج المقدّس رجاءً مراجعة موقع:  wedding2

مركز القدّيس نيقولاوس للإعداد الزوجيّ

O Jesus of Nazarth Print Email
Thursday, 17 April 2003 00:00
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O Jesus of Nazareth

By Archbishop George Khodr, Orthodox Christian Metropolitan of Mount Lebanon

No one can ever put you in writing my Lord. You inscribed the universe with your blood. Your blood alone was the Word, the utterance, through which we came to discover that the uniqueness of God is that He loves. We yearn to you because of that freedom, through which you abolished slavery from the nature of religion, proclaiming us as your beloved, and that we may dare to call upon your Father since you made us your house's own.
You utter your Father's hidden depths—you translate these depths from which spring all His kindness and flows into the deepness of suffering—to the valleys of despair of all the multitudes of sinners; enabling the mercifulness of your Father, to take hold of our eyes that we may perceive the final Truth: that God has sent you to proclaim Him nailed to the Cross; to announce Him in what is seemingly His weakness.
You refused to descend from the Cross, because if you did it, people will have continued to believe that God shall give them another sign from heaven—but you did not want for them another sign other than this: Yourself hang up on the tree. In this manner of death, you entered the game the devil perceived for you, as he thought he would annihilate you by death—his domain. He did not envision that one person could lay himself voluntarily to die for love, and that love alone can conquer death.
No poet in the entire world is able to compose a comparable love poem to the one you wrote with your sufferings and blood. Before your birth, it was said to the humanity that lived to the south of our country that they were God's beloved. But people did not believe, or they could not believe, because they were crushed under the yoke of misery—the misery of their sins. They did not imagine that God is able to lift up the weights that burden their souls.
All humans knew that God is capable of quaking the world, and subduing wild creatures to them; however, none of them did know, really and precisely, that he is God's beloved one and that he is qualified, through this compassion, to become superior to the universe and to all its natural elements.
***
O Jesus of Nazareth, if a moment of intellectual exercise permitted me to think about you regardless of my faith in you, I would then tell the people who study the civilizations, that no one before you, nor after you, nor by your sides has spoken of love the way you spoke of it. Their words were mere ethical recommendations or, in its best, closer to poetry. You said: "a new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I loved you." We may collect from the Dialogues of Plato and the affableness of Pluto something resembling love. And one can find something relating to love in the myths of the Ancient East. You may not be, my Lord, a renovator in the complete sense of the word, despite the fact that I don't know anyone who spoke with such impulse and universality, in old religious or poetical literature, as you spoke. However this is not the greatest. The greatest is that you said: "as I loved you"—that is I loved you to the end, to death. Above and superior to all of that is that you revealed your love to mankind in the reality of your flesh and blood. I don't know of any person who did not have a little or great chasm between his words and deeds. Let us take for instance the "Way" you founded which your enemies spitefully called its followers "Christians" in Antioch. I have studied the biography of your great followers and have read their works very well—they are all small if compared to you. All the saints are small. The only group that draws the closest to you, near enough until the persistence of my tears, is the group of martyrs. You alone in the whole history of humanity, none of your enemies who wrote books against you since the Roman age until the age of Enlightenment and beyond, none of them could see any separation between what you have taught your disciples and what you lived.
In the texts of your gospels, the Sermon on the Mount according to Mathew and Luke and the Farewell Address according to John are two culminating peaks, no one can remain the same person after reading it thoughtfully. However, the study of other texts, here and there, reveals that the whole of your Gospel may not be spiritually greater than other books. There are pages of religious thought, before and after you, more eloquent and more intelligent than that what you said. In this world there shines some breathtaking sentimental pieces not found in the same strength in your Gospel. People are drunken fuddled with the magical eloquence of language and of verses falling upon them like meteorites. However, it is not in this manner that your Gospel is read. All of it, from its Alpha to its Omega, is related to the blood you shed on the cross. You did not seek after the eloquence of speech for you were a carpenter and from a circle of fishermen. The beauty of sparkling words was not your concern. There is nothing that shows that you have mastered the eloquence of speech, for if people came to you because of its action on them, then they have failed to attain God hidden between your flesh and bones.
***
Love, my Master, is God's power alone. You brought love down to people's level enabling them to participate in it through your compassion. There are many aspects of love; but what mostly strikes me, the writer of this article, is that love is the thrust of forgiveness. You forgave the Jews for they did not know what they were doing. You ask from your followers much more, for you want them to forgive those who actively harm them and continuously plan to hurt and to falsely accuse them. You teach me: "this person who deliberately works on destroying you and your plans for no other reason than that his soul is evil—this same one you must forgive him for no other reason, or request from him or you, than that you want him to become one of the children of the Kingdom—to become greater than you are today and in the future, because the Kingdom is for all the children of God and is open to all the thieves and murderers because they too must be your beloved, and because I may be one of them knowingly or unknowingly." To endlessly forgive, and to not take into account what is called dignity, which is vain glory—is, I vow to my life, what mostly attracts me towards you—my Master, you the Lord of the wounded hearts, wounded by the love of your kindness and meekness.
O very sweet Jesus, make your home in the hearts of the poor and beggars of the earth, whether they know you or never have they heard of you. They are all yours through your one love to them. Accompany, my Lord, the children who are abandoned by their parents to all kind of iniquities. Calm down the weight of terrible diseases. Heal the solitude of the afflicted. Be the harmony and unity of the married and nurture their children. Take upon yourself these peoples, who the civilized nations, call retarded—for they are the iris of your eye my Savior. Assure the oppressed that you came to undo the oppression; that you are opposed to the oppressor until he repents.
Wipe out O Lord every tear from our eyes lest weeping comes to an end from the face of the earth, lest the joy becomes resembling resurrection.

Published Saturday April 19, 2003 in the © An-Nahar, Lebanese news paper. Translated from original Arabic.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 May 2010 02:24
 
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