My Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Happy New Year! On January 6, our Church celebrates the Feast of the Epiphany (Denha), marking the end of the Christmas season and honoring the manifestation of Jesus’ divinity at his Baptism in the Jordan River.
At the end of 2020, a challenging year for our Church and nation, the revelation of Christ as the Son of God at His baptism brings perspective. That is, no matter what happens on this Earth, regardless of who governs over us, and despite the pain of loss and suffering, we have hope in the kingdom of Heaven to come and in Jesus Christ—the one True King and the “ruler of the kings of the earth.”
That is an encouraging thought is it not? That the Lord of the universe, the King of Kings, became a man and our brother. He took the form of a slave in order to accomplish our salvation. The Word became flesh so that we might know God’s love.
As we begin 2021, let us be renewed in this love. Let us renew our love for our families and neighbors. Let us renew our love for our enemies. Let us renew ourselves internally and ask, “What did I do wrong in 2020? Where can I improve? What opportunities should I have taken to serve others, but didn’t?”
Whatever the Lord reveals to us, let us recognize them and ask for His help moving forward. Our Father is eager to comfort us, we just need to ask Him. It was Christ himself who said, “Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.” -John 16:24
I pray that your joy be complete in 2021. That it be a time of renewal for you and your families. I pray also that you experience Christ’s presence in a new, deep, and profound way.
Have a blessed new year and may the Almighty God Bless you and your families.
Yours in Christ,
Mar Francis Y. Kalabat
Bishop of the Chaldean Diocese
of St. Thomas the Apostle U.S.A.