change language
you are in: home - ecumenis...dialogue - internat...or peace - antwerp ...e future contact usnewsletterlink

Support the Community

  

Pope Francis in the basilica St. Bartholomew prays with the Community of Sant'Egidio in memory of the New Martyrs

Liturgy of the Resurrection of the Lord


 
printable version
September 7 2014 10:00 | Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal

HOMILY



Ignatius Aphrem II


Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East

Two disciples were walking on the road to Emmaus when a stranger met them. They were talking about the Lord. After walking together for some distance, they sat together and broke bread. From the way that this stranger broke bread with them, they recognized him: He was the Lord (cf. Luke 24: 13-35). 

He was present with them all along, but they were not able to see His true identity. His presence among them illustrated what we have heard in today’s gospel: “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18: 20). 

Indeed, our Lord is a god who is not distant; He is among us when we gather in His name. His very name “Emanuel” which was declared by Angel that is “God is with us”, reflects His presence among us and describes His relationship with us. It is a relationship of being with and not for or above. 

It shows us, dear brothers and sisters, that our Lord desires to be among us. It shows that He wants to mingle with us in order to enable us to return to the state of glory in which we once were. A fifth century church father, St. Jacob of Sarough, “the Harp of the Holy Spirit” and a great doctor of the Syriac Orthodox Church, depicts this idea as such: 

(..................)

which can be translated as: 

“Compassion mingled you with humans who had gone astray; 
With such mingling, You found them in order to bring them back:
You became [one] of us and here You are, our fellow;
Emanuel who came to liberate the slaves of His Father.”

Today, it has become difficult to be aware of God’s presence among us, in the midst of all the trouble and difficulties of life. In reality, our daily lives are congested with eventful experiences such that we become sometimes blinded to the tiny things that clearly show that God is present among us and with His divine providence is looking after us. 

To avoid such ‘spiritual blindness’, the Psalmist chanted: “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” (Psalms 119: 18) . Once our minds’ eyes are opened, we can see the presence of God among us in the small events of our lives and appreciate the grandeur and majesty of our Creator. 

God is present among us, my brothers and sisters, when we see hope in the eyes of a child forced to become homeless and leave his city Mosul in Iraq to an unknown fate. Such hope which this child holds because he believes that Jesus Christ is with him and will not let him down, just like God went ahead of the people of Israel in a pillar of cloud and fire during their exodus from Egypt (cf. Exodus 13: 21). 

God is present among us, when we see a father who lost his whole family – a father, mother, wife and two children – to barbaric acts of killings in Sadad, Syria and still able to peacefully smile and happily submit to the will of God Whom he knows is near him in his distress. 

For, what are these examples but the power of the Holy Spirit that strengthens and gives inner peace in the midst of a troubled world?

And what happens when we are able to see that God is with us?

We can harvest the fruits of the Holy Spirit: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5: 22-23). I truly tell you: we are able to celebrate despite the misery that we may encounter and the despair that might surround us. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are sweet-tasting and life-affirming. Indeed, they enable us to reveal the true meaning of our lives, which is to celebrate God and His presence among us.

May our Lord Jesus Christ, present among us who gathered in His name, bless us with His grace and grant us to experience again and again His presence among us, Amen.

 

PROGRAMMA
PDF

LIVE STREAMING



RELATED NEWS
October 24 2011

The Spirit of Assisi: 25 Years of Prayer for Peace

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | NL | RU
March 21 2011

Jos (Nigeria): a Conference on peace, the service to the poor and the intereligious dialogue

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | NL
all related news

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
May 27 2017

The month of Ramatam has just started. A time of fast and prayer for all muslims. Our wish of peace

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR
May 24 2017 | ROME, ITALY

Ivanka Trump to Sant'Egidio: ''Thanks for your work for women redemption and against human trafficking''


US President's Advisor visited the Community in Rome
IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | RU
May 23 2017
Press release

Attack in Manchester, Sant'Egidio: striking children and teenagers means killing the future

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | ID | HU

ASSOCIATED PRESS
May 21 2017
Deutsche Welle
Bundesregierung will Religionen stärker in die Pflicht nehmen
May 14 2017

Die "Uno von Trastevere" wirkt auch in Berlin
May 14 2017
Domradio.de
Die "Uno von Trastevere" wirkt auch in Berlin
April 11 2017
Vatican Insider
Eta, Sant’Egidio: la consegna delle armi un punto di non ritorno nel processo di riconciliazione
April 8 2017
SIR
Colombia: trattativa di pace governo-Eln. La Bella (Sant’Egidio), “la strada è ancora lunga”
all press-related