Christ is our God and our closest neighbor

Taken from the 2010 Christmas Encyclical delivered by Patriarch Irinej of Serbia:

“It (the genealogy of Jesus) witnesses the truth about the only two-fold Genealogy in the history of mankind. Every genealogy lists ancestors and descendants according to one line, a human line. Only this genealogy makes an unrepeatable exception. It represents not only a human Genealogy, but also a Divine one. It contains the genealogy of the Son of God and the Son of Man, that is, of the God-Man Christ. This Descendant of the royal lineage of David, springing forth from Abraham’s root, is given the name of Jesus, that is Savior, and the name Christ, which means God’s Anointed One – He is given to the chosen People of God and to all mankind, God’s promised Messiah, Redeemer and Savior from sin, death and demonic powers. This, then, is at the same time both the Genealogy of the Only-begotten Son of God and of the Son of Man, born of the Holy Spirit and of the Most Holy Virgin Theotokos.

So in Jesus of Nazareth the perfect God and perfect Man is revealed and given to us. Therefore, whoever loves Him fulfills the first commandment of God, the commandment to love God with all one’s heart and soul, but he also fulfills God’s second commandment about love towards one’s neighbor. For He is at once our God and Lord, and our closest neighbor. In Him we recognize true God, but also true Man, and in that Man we recognize true humanity in its totality: we learn how and what we are to love in every human being, every bearer of same unique God-like human nature.”

Read full Christmas Encyclical here.

Also, I thought Islam made claims to being the fastest growing religion. George Patsourakos says that isn’t so on his blog here.


One thought on “Christ is our God and our closest neighbor

  1. True Christians love Christ more than they love their parents, their spouses, their children — even themselves.

    In fact, love was Christ’s most important attribute when He lived on earth.

    Christ also emphasized that man should love his neighbor, and that neighbors should help each other whenever possible.

    Another important attribute of Christ was humility, since Christ emphasized that man should be humble, and not arrogant.

    If mankind adhered to these three critical attributes of Christ — Divine love, neighborly love, and humility — the world would be a nicer place in which to live.

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