Meditation of H.B. Theodoros II
Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa
“For you are all children of God, through faith in Christ Jesus. 3:27For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 3:28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus”
(Gal 3, 26-28).
(Gal 3, 26-28).
My dear brothers,
It is a crucial and urgent need of our times to achieve a new unity, according to the example set by God’s creation of the earth and of humankind. God, indeed, created the earth and humankind out of his love and in freedom, free of any obligation. He communicates and He establishes relationships with what is different from Himself, namely the earth and humankind, by means of His own personal energy. Therefore, humankind must restore life to its own true perspective: “I live” does not mean merely “I exist”, but I co-exist and share in the life of the other, the one different from me, the stranger who stands before me.
It is a crucial and urgent need of our times to overcome the arbitrariness that impairs our fellows, and to fulfill, with no limits or conditions, the respect of their freedom, following the example of the divine gift of human freedom. God has granted freedom to humankind, which enables men and women to acquire self-consciousness and the capacity to ascend to God. God does not constrain human freedom, even when humanity follows the road to perdition. Thus, humanity too is required to redefine the terms of its freedom: freedom is not only to do as one cares, rather it is to do what one truly desires. Freedom is not to make others bear the consequences of one's choices, it is rather to bear the burden of one's own responsibilities.
It is a crucial need of our times that the Cartesian axiom “I think, therefore I am” be transformed into “I love, therefore I am”, following God’s unconditional love for his creatures. Indeed, God was made flesh out of love, that humankind may be deified through freedom.
When we love, we sacrifice our freedom, even partially, for the sake of the other, for human beings attain their dignity only in the communion of love.
And our Lord Jesus Christ is master and guide to the communion of love, having restored the sanctity and greatness of human beings by removing corruption, alienation, racial discrimination and hatred from the world. Christ has taken all of humankind upon himself and restored it to its organic unity. This unity is neither static nor one-dimensional. It implies a dynamic multiplicity, for it is attained through communion among men and women, according to the model of the unity of the three Persons in the Holy Trinity.
Our Lord, "king of justice" (Heb 7:2), has rejected “the one who loves violence”, just as "the one who hates his own soul" (Ps 11:5) and he has proclaimed that there will be no place for hatred and intolerance in His Kingdom, as it is written: "The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them" (Is. 11:6).
Let us pray, then, that the world be restored to its original beauty, as it is written: "And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth" (Acts 17:26).
Let us pray, then, that all arbitrary discriminations among human beings, which intend to limit individual rights, be abolished.
Let us pray, that unity be strengthened in accepting the undeniable right of individuals to diversity.
Let us pray, that the dividing barrier of prejudice be broken down, as first did our Lord Jesus, when he answered the question "who is my neighbor?" (Lk 10:29) by telling the disarming Parable of the Good Samaritan.
Let us pray, that the tree of peace take root, bloom and bear fruit on land made fertile by the persuasion that every human being, regardless of colour, race, nationality, religion and language, in some way bears the likeness of God.
Let us pray, that life in our world may become peaceful, aware that “life” means, first and foremost, co-existence, realting to the other, who is different from me, but is nevertheless universally raised to humanity by our Lord Jesus Christ.