May The Dominical Light Fortify The Lineage Of Haik And All Armenians
“I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” (Mark 2:11)
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Glory and thanksgiving to God for the New Year and Holy Nativity celebrations that we are embracing this new year of 2023. We welcome these holidays with renewed faith, humility and in awe of the great mystery of the incarnation. Bowing our knees we pray to the Almighty expressing our earnest prayers and giving thanks, confidant that the creator of the heavens and the earth and everything good, our Lord will take under His protection Armenia, Artsakh and the Armenian Diaspora. Just as our Lord Jesus Christ commanded the paralyzed man to take up his bed and go home, likewise our Heavenly Father will extort all Armenians NOT to dwell on the agonizing defeats, NOT to crumble in the face of mighty enemies and NOT to surrender to darkness and despair, but rather, look to the blue skies with renewed faith and conviction, stand up and march forward to bright days and to an era of new victories. Because as the prophet Isaiah says “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint”
Even though the Holy Nativity or birth of the Christ Child is an indisputable historic fact, it has the mysterious qualities of a fable. But the celebration of Christmas, as in the past, and likewise today, is the biggest and most celebrated feast in the Christian world. For the past 2023 years until today, Christmas continues to shape and be the observatory of the most noble inner feelings for all humanity, for all civilizations, for all schools of science, culture and the arts. At Christmas we are renewed with Christ, we are fortified with His inexhaustible vitality and we live and work hearing the lullaby of our dear baby Jesus. Notwithstanding the above truths, we are not accustomed to hearing “get up, take your mat and go home” theme in Christmas messages and sermons, however the uncertainty and upheaval in our homeland and contentious lack of unity in the Diaspora dictate that this biblical verse be the central theme of our message today; that the Dominical Light subdues the darkness in our lives, that hopelessness and disappointment be vanquished from our national psyche, that we are shown the true path and know-how to throw away our crutches, to stand up and march forward overcoming all obstacles to national unity and harmony.
O descendant of Haik, O myself, “stand up take your bed and go home”, so that with the power of the Holy Scriptures, you can walk over the serpents and vipers and not be stung. Embrace your worries and distress and rely on heavenly support and go home, which is the temple of God, where you will be sanctified and become a complete person.
O Armenian family, “stand up take your bed and go home”, even if sometimes you are anguished and have a broken heart. Rid yourself of all of your crises, missteps and failures and return to your loving home where you will be surrounded with love, tenderness, peace and the warmth of your loved ones. With renewed faith, you will nurture the healthy growth and development of you and your family members.
O Armenian community, neighborhood and people “stand up take your bed and go home” and throw away all negative thoughts that disrupt the harmony of our community life, instead, let Christ be the center of our national life so that our community structures and organizations, and all of us, armed with the values and virtues of our forefathers can look to a brighter, more hopeful future in our community life.
Finally, O fatherland, government of Armenia, Artsakh and patriotic warriors “stand up take your bed and go home” Re-arm, re-live and re-strategize your past fatalistic approaches that lead to centuries of defeat, decline and losses. Without minimizing the pain and shame of defeat, the time has arrived to reenergize and retake the land once ruled by Tigran the Great, the land of Armenia…. for the Armenian warrior is the only legitimate and just heir to our historic lands of Armenia and Artsakh.
Viewed from the perspective of all levels of the human race, these tangible and hopeful sentiments give us pause for much reflection and self evaluation. As rays of life, may they impact our times and envelop the Western Prelacy, which for the past 50 years has provided irrefutable, consummate and meticulous service to our faithful and community in a full spectrum of arenas from Christian education, social, charitable, ethnic to educational services. For the past half century, the Western Prelacy has exhorted our people to stand up for Armenia and Artsakh, for our communities in Lebanon, Syria and the Middle East, for our local community and for our children. Filled with the live-giving sprit of Christ, the Prelacy today encourages the nation and our fatherland to “soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,they will walk and not be faint”
O myself, do not wait, start to fly, higher and higher and be spiritually cleansed.
O Armenian family, with the wings of an eagle, fly toward new successes.
O community so dear, with steadfast determination traverse to your sacred causes, take decisive and relentless steps toward unity according to your prepared roadmap never becoming disillusioned or in despair.
O dear land of Armenia and Atsakh, land of our forefathers, for centuries the eagles have soared above our ancestral lands and inspired hope in successive generations, now is the time to heed the words of the Holy Scriptures, give purpose to your present-day by resolutely ascending, so you will run and not grow weary, you will walk with high hopes for the future and never tire.
With these luminous sentiments and with filial affection, I greet His Holiness the incumbent of the venerated hierarchal see of the Armenian Apostolic Mother Church, the hierarch of the Holy See of Cilicia, His Holiness Catholicos Aram I.
With Christian love, I greet the Western Prelacy National Representative Assembly, the Religious & Executive Councils, our parish communities, pastors, board of trustees, aid organizations, our schools, Board of Regents & Educational councils, our teachers & educators, journalists, political servants, friends, benefactors and our precious faithful. Wishing that the New Year grants victorious and soaring new flights to us ALL and that the Dominical light fortifies the lineage of Haik and ALL Armenians. With renewed faith may the Fountain of love, our Savior, Jesus Christ engulf our lives. Amen
HAPPY NEW YEAR AND MERRY CHRISTMAS
CHRIST WAS BORN AND REVEALED
BLESSED IS THE REVELATION OF CHRIST
Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Prelate
Western Prelacy of the United States of America
2023 New Year and Christmas