H. B. Gregorios III LAHAM, B.S., Patriarch of Antioch of the Greek-Melkites, Head of the Synod of the Greek-Melkite Church (SYRIA) Sixth General Congregation Thursday October 11 afternoon 2012

New evangelization is synonymous to updating. This Council is an update. The council documents are the prelude to our Synod.

Three points to my intervention

1. Formation or creation of frameworks We, the Christians in the Orient, we bathe in a non-Christian world: we are the small flock, ad extra in relation to Islam, and ad intra because of the decrease of religious practice.

The Realpolitik imposes upon us to work in keeping in mind this dual reality ad extra and ad intra. This means to concentrate our pastoral work of the New Evangelization on this small flock, without excluding the whole of our faithful that practice to a lesser degree.

This small flock must be excellent, to form through it the team of agents of New Evangelization.

Even if the Church grows to huge dimensions, she must maintain the strategy of the small flock.

This is the meaning, the essence, the motivation, the reason for being of the Eastern small flock and everywhere. This is the apostolic strategy: to form the small flock to being with and for the large flock.

2. Vademecum of the Christian faith

Our faith is beautiful. However its content and its statements are very difficult.

The proclamation of the faith in Islam can be summarized by this dual witness: “There is no other god but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet”.

For the Jews, the substance of the Faith is expressed by the double commandment: “I am your God! You have no other but me. You will love your God with all your heart, and your neighbour as yourself!”

Our beautiful Christian faith is too complicated: the terms, their content and their explanation. We bathe in an ensemble of dogmas, of mysteries: the Holy Trinity, the Incarnation, Redemption, the Sacraments (called mysteries by the Greeks).

These dogmas must be interpreted in a form capable of touching upon daily life, human aspirations, happiness and prosperity, the daily realities of our faithful.

From this, we can see the great importance and need for the New Evangelization to create a concise, precise and clear text on our Faith. This is important for our faithful ad intra, as well as for our fellow non-Christian citizens ad extra.

I hope that this proposition can find its path, and that theologians will be charged with it at the end of our Synod.

3. Practical programme

The New Evangelization is necessarily conditioned by the specificity of the local Church; in time, the context of Tradition, customs, culture, needs. For this reason, I have also presented an essay from an Eastern point of view, Melkite Greek-Catholic, Arabic, of the New Evangelization with practical propositions.
See the list in the complete text of my intervention.

[Original text: English] Source:http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/sinodo/documents/bollettino_25_xiii-ordinaria-2012/02_inglese/b11_02.html#-_H._B._Grégoire_III_LAHAM,_B.S.,_Patriarch_of_Antiochia_of_the_Greek-Melkites,_Head_of_the_Synod_of_the_Greek-Melkite_Church_(SYRIA)_


Teachings of Christ

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18 ESV)

Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple

Today is the prelude of the goodwill of God * and the heralding of the salvation of mankind; * the Virgin appears clearly in the temple of God * and foretells Christ to all. * Let us also with a mighty voice cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator’s divine plan.” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

The most pure Temple of the Savior, * the most precious Bridal-Chamber and Virgin, the sacred Treasury of the glory of God, * is brought today into the house of the Lord, * bringing with her the grace that is in the Divine Spirit. * The angels of God praise her in song: * “She is the heavenly tabernacle.” (Kontakion - Tone 4)

(November 21st)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When the holy Abba Anthony lived in the desert he was beset by boredom, and attacked by many sinful thoughts. He said to God, 'Lord, I want to be saved but these thoughts do not leave me alone; what shall I do in my affliction? How can I be saved?'

A short while afterwards, when he got up to go out, Anthony saw a man like himself sitting at his work, getting up from his work to pray, then sitting down and plaiting a rope, then getting up again to pray. It was an angel of the Lord sent to correct and reassure him: 'Do this and you will be saved.' At these words, Anthony was filled with joy and courage. He did this, and he was saved.


The Desert Fathers