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Intervention of H. B. Nerses Bedros XIX TARMOUNI, Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians, Archbishop of Beirut of the Armenians (LEBANON)



The Word of God that was chosen as the theme for this Synod Assembly: “Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul” (Acts 4:32)is like a beacon that lights the road we must take for our life of faith, Christian witness, with our fellow brothers not fully united with the See of Peter and with our other brothers, while different in creed from us.

The return to the first Christian community shows us how the first Christians did not have an easy life, nor was it exempt from difficulties and adversities; on the contrary, they endured outrage and persecutions. But this did not stop them from proclaiming the teachings of Jesus integrally and forgiving.
We find similar situations in our contemporary era. Those Christians not enlightened by the Holy Spirit think they should be spared difficulties. It is important to point this out, and in the sense to re-evangelize our faithful, in proposing faith as lived during the first centuries of Christianity to them.
This does not mean that we should not fight to re-establish justice and peace in the Middle East. But it would be wrong to consider that, without this justice and peace, the Christian cannot fully live his faith or should emigrate. Also, nobody migrates to look for a better Christian life.
The convinced Christian who is called upon, by his baptism, to bear witness of his faith and to lead a Christian life in the community, does not have as his main concern the search for material well-being or peace, or even the flight from problems for his own serenity and those of his family. On the contrary, following the example of the witness of his ancestors in the Middle East, he works in a group with other fellow Christian brothers, to witness through life and through examples, to make the most convincing message of the love of Jesus.
With this principle as a basis, the committed Christian in the Middle East will live, guided by the bishop and in communion with other Christians, to make the spirit of the first Christians progress, who had “one heart and soul” (Acts 4:32), and who put their possessions in common, like the source for our days of the members of certain communities such as the Neocatechumenate, the Focolari and Charismatic Renewal, which have spread throughout several Middle Eastern countries.
To the disciples who live according to these principles, Jesus promises “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven” (Mt 5:12).

[00073-02.03] [IN051] [Original text: French]




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