Enthronization of John X, Patriarch of Antioch
The homily pronounced by patriarch John X on the occasion of his enthronization is a text that in a profoundly evangelical style
On the occasion of his enthronization in the Holy Cross Church of Damascus on Sunday, 10 February, on 17 February His Beatitude John X presided at the divine liturgy in the St Nicholas Cathedral of Beirut. This Sunday in Lebanon, in the presence of many delegates of the Churches, invited by the Holy Synod, was repeated, so to say, a ceremony that had already taken place the previous Sunday in amore modest manner in war-torn Syria, in what is the see of the Orthodox patriarchate, Damascus. As a sign of the love that our community nurtures for this Church, a witness to the Gospel in Arab culture and among the people of Islam, one of our brothers as delegate of the prior was present at the ceremony.
With joy we recall that the Lord has made us the gift some months ago of meeting metropolitan Youhanna Yazigi, at that time archbishop of the Antiochian Orthodox diocese of Central and Western Europe, who had come to Bose with the St Ireneus Catholic-Orthodox theological study group, as its co-president. In this way were strengthened our ties with the Antiochan Church, which were forged through friendship with bishops, priests, monks, and the faithful of this Church and which had their roots in a deep tie of spiritual communion with patriarch Ignatius IV (1979–2012). Our community has published a book of interviews (Un amore senza finzioni, Qiqajon, 2006) with this great spiritual man, who returned to the Father’s house on 5 December.
The homily pronounced by patriarch John X on the occasion of his enthronization is a text that in a profoundly evangelical style exhorts the flock to follow the Lord’s will in all spheres: the church community, care for the poor, the involvement of youth, dialogue with the modern world, ecumenical relations, relations with the brothers of Islam, monastic life. Below we give ample passages from this discourse:
Beloved sons and daughters,
Jesus, the Emmanuel, is always present among us and is always with us, always ready to meet us. He has joy at our joys and rejoices at our holiness. He weeps at our tragedies and our sadness. He also weeps on account of our sloth, the sloth of pastors and flock in living according to his commandments. He also weeps when our sins cover his glorious face covered with blood and when these sins impede the world to find him through us in his Church …
The Lord will not be satisfied when he sees the unity he wanted among the sons and daughters of his people become fragile and when he sees his people divided. We together compose the people of God, a charismatic people, a holy nation, a royal priesthood. Each of us realizes in practice by serving others the gifts given him by the Spirit …