Arrival In Port!

+Samir Nassar
Maronite Archbishop of Damascus

Our Church in Damascus celebrated the evening of Palm Sunday liturgy.  The arrival at Port on the boat of the Church traveling in time to Lent, arriving at Holy Week, a haven of salvation.
The faithful gather in front of the closed door of the church, lighted lamps in hand as Wise Virgins (Mt.25 1-13) awaiting the Bridegroom. The door of the church is struck three times before it is open to let in the faithful of the Paschal Lamb who will live the sufferings of Holy Week which culminate in the Empty Tomb.
This holy week was introduced by the murder of Father Franz Homs in the fourth year of war and violence.
Shells raining down on our neighborhoods, schools closed, we can not give an account of the victims. We are abandoned to Providence.
This small Syrian people, so kind, generous and patient, become accustom to suffering and die in silence.  It is in this spirit that we live Holy Week and Easter holidays, knowing that the Way of the Cross that has marked our lives for three years, accompanies the fourth year … the end of the tunnel is invisible.
At the opening of the door of the Church the congregation implores:
“O Lord, Gate of Mercy, open to those who knock and ask your saving grace, bring us into the light of your kingdom, we are the children of your Church come to our port of welcome, our lamps lit to anchor at your house. ”
Our eyes fixed on the Risen Jesus Christ, haven of peace; we entrust ourselves to Our Lady of Martyrs.
Easter 2014.
+Samir Nassar
Maronite Archbishop of Damascus