Their Eminences: Mor Timotheos Matta Al-khoury, Patriarchal Vicar for the Patriarchal Archdiocese, Mor Timotheos Matthew, Patriarchal Secretary for the Church in India, and Arminian Orthodox Archbishop of Damascus Armash Nalbandian, assisted His Holiness in the Holy Qurobo.
Their Excellences Dr. Hammoudeh Sabbagh, Speaker of the Syrian Parliament, and Ambassador Anwar Abd Al Hadi, Director of the Political Department at the Palestine Liberation Organization, also attended the Holy Qurobo.
In His Sermon, His Holiness said that on this day a new testament between God and humans started, a testament of peace and hope, which is all that humanity needs. A peace from heaven, from our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, that consoles the soul.
His Holiness then asked: “How long will men fight and remain in conflict?”; he thus invited all to “open our hearts and let Christ be born again in them, so we feel the great joy, and so that our lives are filled with divine peace, reflected in good deeds and far from hatred and animosity, so that we see in the faces of every human the unseen image of God. For, if we cannot see God in the faces of others, we will never be able to see him! But when we see God’s face in the faces of others, we will love and respect others as we respect ourselves. This way peace will fill the world and God’s Name will be glorified, and human’s hope will be affirmed for a better life.”
At the end of his sermon, His Holiness prayed for peace in the world, especially in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine. He finally greeted all Syriac Orthodox faithful, and all Christians in Christmas.
His Holiness then presided over Christmas procession in the Church.
After the Qurobo, His Holiness received Christmas greetings from the faithful, as well as from various political figures, in the Patriarchate Headquarters.