2006, Articles, Raiati

Love for Everyone / 03.09.2006

There are two different things with respect to their purpose: Faith and love. In faith, our purpose is to preserve God’s word as it was shown by the Church. While in love, our purpose is to embrace all people with the power of grace, the power or faith that dwells in our hearts. Those who we should love, according to the commandment of the Master, might have our doctrine or not. From this principle, I felt real sad when I was told that some Christian groups preferred to give charity only to Christian emigrants; this means that they loved some people and not all people: This is a behavioral heresy.

If someone thought that the Lord’s words, “love one another”, meant that Christians should only love Christians, he will be proven wrong if he read the other words of the Lord: “Love your enemies. Bless those who curse you. Be good with those who hate you and pray for those who persecute you… If you loved those who love you, what regard will you get?” (Matthew 5: 43–47). If our behavior with enemies should be a loving one, then what about our behavior with Muslims that believe in God and were in severe need during the last war? Didn’t the Lord say: “I was hungry, and you fed me”? This means that He is in the heart of every hungry person and every person without clothes or shelter. Christ united Himself with every person in need; He didn’t only unite Himself with those who are baptized.

The love that is a trust given to you from the Lord must be transferred from you to all human being perhaps they would feel that they are loved by God. You shouldn’t tell them that you are giving because you are Christian. They will recognize this and know that you come from Christ. You shouldn’t ask them to thank you or to give you something in exchange. You only want them to live for a small period and want their children to have milk and their women and elders to get care.

Brothers, we are not a political body and we do not have a tendency to be separated from any group of people. The circumstances of conquer and aggression on this country made most emigrants from a different color. This was an opportunity given by God to renew our hearts and make them purer and warmer; through our embracement to others, we become more embraced to God.

Apostle Paul clearly said: “Be charitable with all people”. This is what Christians in Rome did in the early centuries. We have a testimony from St. John Chrysostom, who died in 407, where he says that Rome had no hungry people (Christians and Pagans) because Christians gave food to everyone.

Our holy fathers have taught us not to reject any person that asks for food or money, because if you gave that person you would be giving Jesus that was poor Himself.

In crucial days, duty must be doubled and strengthened. Church, as an establishment, gave shelter to people during the war. However, this Christian body was acting in a way that could be at least described by being sectarian and partisan because some organizations became tribal formations that are based on loving some people and hating others because refusing to help others while having the capability is with no doubt considered hatred.

We hope not to see after today such a bad behavior in case of war or peace. Some Muslims are participating with us in building Churches or schools in order to ask for forgiveness from God through charity. I also know that some Christians help Muslims in their charity projects. This should be the standard.

Do not fall in the heresy of differentiating between Muslims and Christians in charity. You have your own faith and they have theirs, however, the Muslim must dwell in your heart if you wanted God to dwell in it too.

Translated by Mark Najjar

Original Text: “المحبة للجميع” –Raiati 36- 03.09.2006

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