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Patriarchal Easter Encyclical 2007

To the Churches in the Arabian Gulf*

Patriarch His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas







 Patriarch of Antioch & All the East

Supreme Head  of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church



E 115/07

March 14, 2007


Apostolic Benediction to our beloved spiritual children: Reverend Vicars, the Office bearers and all other faithful of all our Churches in the Gulf region.


While our Lord Jesus Christ was cleansing the Temple in Jerusalem and the Jews questioned his authority and asked for a sign, He replied: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (St. John 2:19) But the Jews did not understand that He was speaking about the temple of His own body. They latter crucified Him and He died on the Cross and was buried in a tomb. But on the third day, true to His words, our Lord Jesus rose up from among the dead proving that He was the Lord of life. By sacrificing Himself on the Cross for our sins, He reconciled sinful humanity with the God the Father. And through this reconciliation with the God, we all become worthy of salvation and eternal life.  But to ensure this we have to accept Lord Jesus as our Lord, God and Savior and abide in Him, always doing what is pleasing to Him. And for this, the first and foremost thing necessary is faith. St. Paul the Apostle reminds us: “Without faith it is impossible to please Him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)  But, unfortunately, people all over the world are becoming more and more faithless.  The love of money, power   and prestige and worldly pressure are leading humankind away from God. And people forget that our Lord Jesus Christ who rose from among the dead and ascended into Heaven will come again at the end of time to judge all humanity – to save the true believers and to condemn the unbelievers. The Apostles and their disciples and the Martyrs and all other Saints become worthy of salvation and eternal life by believing in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of life. So, without any delay, let all give up their worldly ways: and instead of being faithless, let all become true believers in Him.  Our Lord is a loving and forgiving God. It was His love for humanity that brought Him down to earth and also led Him to the supreme sacrifice on the Cross. By that same love He will receive with joy all repentant sinners and cleanse them from all evil. He is ‘the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. (St. John 14:16) So, take courage, turn to Him, and abide Him with faith, and become worthy of salvation and eternal life. We wish you all a Blessed and Happy Feast of Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and extend our Apostolic Blessings to you. May the Grace of God be with you all forever. Amen.


Reproduced with permission from the Patriarchate.

* The encyclical has been addressed to each Archdiocese as appropriate







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