Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate – 2/4/18
His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the special service of the Nahire (Lights) on the eve of the Passion Week at the Lady of the Girdle (Zunoro) church in Homs.
All the lights of the church were turned off and the faithful, deacons and clergy held candles in a procession followed by special prayers of the rite of the Nahire.
In his sermon, His Holiness commented on the parable of the virgins, he said that the bridegroom is the Lord Jesus Christ who engaged the church when he paid His pure blood on the cross for her. “Thus”, His Holiness said, “we are no longer owners of our own selves, but are the properties of Him Who bought us by His blood.” He added “Each one of us should consider himself the property of Christ; this is not slavery but real freedom, the freedom of Christ Jesus.”
His Holiness asked “Is it too much for us to go out and meet Him Who died for us on the cross?” he then explained that there is no communion between light and darkness; “we thus should go out to meet him with lamps filled with the oil of good deeds, just as the wise virgins.” His Holiness assured that God does not differentiate between humans, for He died for all, not just for those who love Him. However, our deeds will decide on which side we shall reside, His right or left; hence, with Christ we affirm that we should watch for we know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” Finally, His Holiness asked the Lord that we may be good servants who make profit out of the talents given to them; therefore, we shall not hear that voice saying: “I do not know you” but “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
His Eminence Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nemeh, Metropolitan of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, was also present.