Christmas Message from Mor Coorilos Geevarghese

Another Christmas has arrived. Have we lost the real meaning of Christmas in our
insatiable pursuit for consumerist pleasure and happiness? Incarnation, God becoming
human was above all a great act of Jesus identifying with the poor, especially the
victims of human rights violations. Jesus Christ, like millions of men and women
around us, was denied the fundamental rights to food, shelter, and clothing.
Christmas, to me, is the commemoration of the greatest human rights violations that
occurred in history.

Coming from the humblest of economic backgrounds, Joseph and Mary, on their way from
Nazareth to Bethlehem, in all probability would not have had any food with them. No
wonder, then, Jesus, the `bread of life' had to be born in Bethlehem, `the house of
bread'. Thus, the Son of Man identified himself completely with the poor and the

In the severe winter of Palestine, the baby Jesus had no decent cloths to cover
himself with, a sheer denial of the fundamental human right to clothing. Even on the
cross, the Son of Man was half-naked, representing those who are deprived of their
right to clothing.

The God incarnate had no place to be born. He was denied the basic right to shelter.
Jesus, thus, became the prototype of the homeless. St. John sums up his account of
the divine incarnation in just one measured verse:

The Word became flesh and pitched His tent among the people (John 1:14)

Jesus Christ pitched His tent among the tent-dwellers, the homeless people. Jesus
was also a refugee, a migrant who had to flee from his homeland for His life. King
Herod, threatened by the news that a new King of an altogether different persuasion
was born in Bethlehem, plotted to do away with the new born baby. Jesus' life was at
stake even bfore he was born, as his parents could not find a safe place for the
birth to take place. Even after the birth, the threat to his life did not recede, as
King Herod was bent on killing the baby. As King Herod cold not lay his hands
directly on the new born King, he ordered the massacre of all boys under the age of
two in Bethlehem and its neighbourhood. There was no choice for the family except to
flee home and to seek refuge elsewhere in Egypt. To `save' the Saviour, they had to
run away from the oppressor. Thus, Jesus Christ became a refugee, an alien in His
own land, also becoming one with the millions of poor, outcaste and refugees
all over the world.

If this was the true Christmas story, how far are we from the original reality of
Christmas? Can we retrieve the original meaning of the Christmas event by turning to
the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the outcaste and the refugees in our own

I wish you a meaningful Christmas, a Christmas with the poor, and an alcohol-free
Christmas and New Year.

God bless

Coorilos Geevarghese Metropolitan


Anonymous said…
Niranam Diocese of Jacobite Syrian Christian Church

Niranam diocese, although the smallest diocese of the Jacobite Syriac Christian Church (Malankara Archdiocese of Universal Syriac Orthodox Church), is historically one of the oldest dioceses. The land of Niranam had been blessed by the foot prints of St. Thomas, the apostle of India. The diocese was founded by Patriarch Peter IV of blessed memory during the Holy Father’s apostolic visit to India during 1875-1877. St. Gregorios, the first Indian saint to be canonized was appointed as the first Metropolitan of Niranam diocese by Patriarch Peter IV himself. The dioceses was also blessed by the service and leadership of such illustrious fathers as Mor Dionysius Michael, most popularly known as the “roaring lion of Malankara” and Mor Kuriakose Koorilos Metropolitan "undeclared Yacoob Burdana of southern diocese of Malankara" who toiled hard to sustain the faithful in the true apostolic faith and traditions of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church. In spite of His Grace’s il-health, Mor Koorilos Kuriakose Thirumeni worked tirelessly for welfare of the diocese, especially at a crucial time in the history of our church where we had to face several challenges from the dissident faction. The “Aramana” at Adoor had been the fruit of Thirumeni’s strenuous efforts, although Thirumeni did not have the fortune of living there.

The Late Lamented Mor Markose Coorilos Thirumeni was given independent charge of Niranam diocese. Thirumeni’s tenure was unfortunately very brief as His Grace was called to eternal rest by the Lord in 2005. His Grace will always be remembered by the faithful for his dedicated service and unflinching loyalty to the Patriarchal throne of Antioch.

After the untimely demise of Mor Coorilos Markose Thirumeni, Niranam dioceses has been left without a full time residing bishop. However, much to the joy of its people, the dioceses of Niranam has now been made an independent diocese with Dr. Mor Coorilos Geevarghese as its Metropolitan who was consecrated as bishop on 3rd July 2006 at St. Thomas Church, Paravur.

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