Christmas Gala Dinner 1/6/2020
His Beatitude Theophilus III, Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all the works of Palestine and Jordan, received the President of the State of Palestine, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen, “may God keepers”, where he held a dinner in his honor in the Greek Orthodox Monastery Hall in the Church of the Nativity in the presence of a representative of His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan His Excellency the Minister of State, Mr. Sami Al-Dawood, and his accompanying delegation, and the Prime Minister, Dr. Muhammad Shtayyeh and the Consul General of Greece Hristos
Sofianopoulos, the Governor, Major General Kamel Hamid and Ramzi Khoury, Chairman of the Supreme Presidential Committee for Churches Affairs, the Minister of Tourism, Ms. , Leaders of the security services from Ramallah, and a commander The region, His Excellency Brigadier General Nader, Bethlehem Police Director, Brigadier General Tariq Al Hajj, Human Rights Officer, Brigadier Salim Al Qaisi, Director of Intelligence, Brigadier Hilal Abdel Haq, Director of Preventive Security, Military and Civil Liaison, Medical and Military Services and Civil Defense, a number of Palestinian ministers and officials and a large number of Orthodox parishioners in the city Bethlehem, and the banquet included a speech by His Excellency President Mahmoud Abbas “Abu Mazen” Where he welcomed the attendees and congratulated everyone on the arrival of Christmas, according to the eastern calendar. In his speech, His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilus III welcomed his Excellency and the representative of His Majesty King Abdullah II, the guests and the attendees, and praised President Mahmoud Abbas, the political and national leader of the Palestinian people and his wise policy, and said: We meet today in the cradle of Christ from which the light was emitted, the light of the world, the land of the Redeemer, to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of the Messenger of Love. And peace, in a land that yearns for peace, and under the leadership of its primary concern is to achieve peace to ensure a bright future for its people, who sacrificed a long time for their dignity and freedom and the realization of his legitimate dream of independence and self-determination.We believe that we are able to make peace and live by its requirements, no matter how difficult it is. This imposes on us a transcendence that raises us above the limits of our self, so we transcend them, so that we are able to look at the other as God looks to him, and accept the other as God accepts him, so that we realize and achieve justice and truth for us and others. It is Christmas this year and the Middle East region suffers regional tensions and conflicts. In Lebanon, the Lebanese are protesting the country’s deteriorating economic conditions, and in Syria, Christmas carries the hope that the country will witness a way out of the current impasse and that the next year will be a year of security and safety for Syrians with all their political, ethnic and religious affiliations, far from foreign interference. Yemen is still moving ahead with its internal war, which we pray for it to end as soon as possible. We also call on the Creator to give Iraq and Libya the stability it lost years
On the bright side, we celebrate in the Holy Land the legal victory achieved by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem in the battle of defending the properties of Bab Al-Khalil in Jerusalem within the context of successive battles that the “Mother of Churches” wages to preserve its capabilities and the authentic Christian presence in the Holy Land, especially the city of Jerusalem, which God blessed. And adhere to protecting the pilgrim’s route between the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Church of the Nativity, between the place of Christ’s birth and the place of his crucifixion. We also celebrate the birth of Christ today and have completed important housing projects in Bethlehem, Beit Sahour and Beit Jala, and we are looking forward in 2020 to implementing a housing project that includes 400 apartments and a shopping mall in Beit Hanina, Jerusalem, as we have been working on obtaining the necessary licenses since For years, this huge project will limit immigration from the Holy City and contribute to strengthening the steadfastness of its people. In the same context, we are preparing this year for the restoration of the St. Mitri School building in the Old City, to provide a comfortable atmosphere for the school’s students and to preserve its historic building, in addition to dozens of charitable projects on which our patriarch is based with the support of its children in particular and society in general. The doors of the Patriarchate will always remain open to the people of our parish and to the general Palestinian and Jordanian peoples, Muslims and Christians.
In addition to our effective local role and conveying the voice of Jerusalem to the world, the Greek Orthodox Jerusalem Patriarchate is playing its historical role on the international Orthodox level as well, so our patriarch opened its doors to host our brothers, heads of international Orthodox Churches to meet in our second home in Amman under the shadow of the Hashemite Custodian of Islamic and Christian holy sites. Your brother, Your Excellency, the President, His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein, to discuss the issues of global Orthodox unity that we believe in strengthening our faith, and in losing it, a decrease in our faith.
Christ became flesh, was born, and dwelt among us, as the Gospel of John 14: 1 says, so let us rejoice, rejoice and worship the great mystery of God according to Ephesians 5: 32 that appeared among us. The message of Christmas is a message of love, humility, peace and a convergence of hearts. The living and fruits of love endure through a sincere relationship and reconciliation between man and his Creator, and between man and his fellow man, through a relationship of reconciliation and frankness between man and himself. This reconciliation, in its three dimensions, fills the human heart with peace, the peace of God that comes from above, which helps the person deal with the daily living pressures and life’s difficulties to meet the challenges of the age with wisdom and love. The sublime peace, which we all seek, enables the believer, with the support of divine grace, to deal properly with economic, political and social crises.
Christmas is the feast of joy, and joy is to find strength through forgiveness and love in tears, to reap success from the fall, and to achieve the ascension from humility and holiness, as Christmas is the feast of joy based on the rock of faith.
In the name of the Mother of Churches and their Children, we wish your Excellency a glorious Christmas full of holiness and love, and a blessed New Year full of goodness, blessing and peace. We thank your Excellency for the glorious Christmas message that had a great impact on our souls and hearts.
In conclusion, we cannot but extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to the Chairman of the Supreme Presidential Committee for Churches Affairs and its Chairman, His Excellency Minister Dr. Ramzi Khoury. And the President of the Presidential Office, Mrs. Intisar Amara, the presidential protocol, ceremonies, leaders of the brigades and members of the security services, without exception, for their fatigue, watchfulness, and their contribution to the success of this year’s glorious birthdays.
With the angels we sing and praise God, saying: “Glory be to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good people” (Luke 2:14. For his part, the Jordanian guest conveyed the congratulations of His Majesty King Abdullah II, stressing Jordan’s role in defending and preserving the Christian and Islamic holy places in the Holy Land. ” Through all legal means, he affirmed His Majesty’s support for the establishment of the Palestinian state and for the Palestinian people to obtain their legitimate rights, and he extended congratulations on the occasion of Christmas holidays to all the parishes.
His Beatitude presented a random gift from the work of the people of this holy city to His Excellency the President, and another gift to His Majesty the King, His Excellency Sami Al-Daoud and his country the Prime Minister and Mr. Ramzi Khoury.
For the Greek Orthodox Church of the Nativity office 1/6/2020