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Patriarch Sako’s Homily at the Synod Today

“How to reconcile love and justice? If love does not surpass justice, the Gospel is emptied”

Here is a translation of the text of the homily delivered this morning during Tierce by His Beatitude Louis Raphael I Sako, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans (Iraq), and Head of the Synod of the Chaldean Church.

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Romans 1:16 ”For I am not ashamed of the Gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek; Romans 1:17 “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, ‘He who through faith is righteous shall live.’”

This text is a true synthesis of the Gospel and of the way of a Pastor. For a long time Paul cherished the desire to visit the Christian community of Rome, to be present among them to give them the Gospel. It is a mission that involved his whole life, his whole heart and thought. It cannot be a career. To live the faith in communion gives comfort “through the faith that we have in common.”

Paul is an Apostle who feels that he has been sent by God. For him the Gospel is an act of worship and, therefore, to pray, to be in communion with God, to love, obey, live and witness the joy of the proclamation of the Gospel in everyday life; hence, he is not ashamed of the Gospel.

Therefore, he does not subordinate his proclamation to human opportunities or hypocritical respect, but regards the Gospel as a gift of incalculable importance, which reveals the justice and grace of God. Faith is the basic condition to be justified and rendered children of God, because it is faith that gives meaning to life. “The righteous shall live through faith.”

Faith is not a static fact or speculation, but an interior vision, a profound mystical relation, lived in the details of difficult daily life. Like love, faith is a commitment and must grow day after day in the long journey of life: through faith for faith.

How to reconcile love and justice? If love does not surpass justice, the Gospel is emptied.

The experience of Iraqi Christians must be heard: one night they left everything to remain faithful to their faith.

[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]

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