December 2006 letter
We congratulate you with the end of the year, and the beginning of the New Year 2007. We pray to God that this year would be filled with peace and blessing to the church and to our country as well as the whole world.
With the beginning of the New Year, we prepare for the birth of our Lord, who was born sacramentaly from Virgin Mary in a manger and only proclaimed to the poor and humble: “At that time Jesus answered and said, ‘I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes” (Matt 11:25). For that reason, our church prepared praises called “Kiahk praises”, in which we remember His birth from the Virgin, during the weeks preceding Christmas. While we praise the Virgin Mary and admire her deeds, at the same time we understand the union between the Humanity and Divinity in Jesus Christ. This concept is simply and clearly explained when we sing the famous hymn of Kiahk, “The burning bush seen by Moses”, which explains in a simplified way the unity of the Humanity (bush) and the Divinity (fire) without the fire burning the bush or being limited in it.
It is also important to remember our fathers’ sayings about the incarnation to benefit from their explanations:
v “The unity is very profound and indescribable to our understanding. We can’t comprehend it with our brain. This unity must be believed without examination” St. Cyril.
v “The Word became man to let man accept the Divinity” St. Athanasius.
v “The Word of God became man so we can know how man becomes god” St. Clement.
v “Come you weary and burdened to lay your head on your Lord’s knees. Take rest at His chest. Breathe life in you so that life might be mixed with your humanity, you are God’s image!” St. John Saba.
We will be celebrating the New Year’s Eve on Sunday the 31st at 8:30 pm till after midnight when we start the Holy Mass. Let us begin the New Year with the presence of God, asking Him to create this a joyful year for us, for our family, and for our church.
We ask you all to remember the church, its priest and it servants in your prayers. May the blessing of Saint Mary, Saint Philopateer Mercurius, and this Holy fast be with us all.
Fr. Youssef Halim
Belleville, December 18, 2006