12 December 2013

Advent and the Persecution of Syrian Christians

Sub Tuum.

What an interesting and sad juxtaposition it is that so many Christians are fleeing their ancient homeland of Syria amid violence and persecution. In a time in which the civilized countries of the world are quick to condemn anything seen as even an insult to Islam, I wonder where the support from the international community is now for the persecuted Christians. 

Here in America it is mostly a joyous time of year. There are the bizarre extremes to which some people go while shopping. However, we also have Christmas lights, music, parties, eggnog, and a general cheery feeling. The outward appearance at least seems far from being a people that walk in darkness. The persecuted Syrian Christians, with their world thrown into chaos, provide a much more obvious example of a people in need of deliverance like the world was over two thousand years ago. I pray that the Syrian Christians are soon delivered from their exile as the Holy Family returned to the Holy Land. More than that, I pray that the Syrian Christians do not lose their faith during their great time of trial for them. 

Our outward circumstances may be different, but it says nothing about our inward circumstances. A persecuted Syrian Christian may be at peace in side, confident and strong in his faith, while an outwardly cheery person in Europe or America or Britain might be experienced great spiritual tumult inside. 

Advent is the start of the liturgical year for a reason. It is the time of the year that we are reminded that the people that walked in darkness have seen a great light. We are reminded annually of the need for spiritual renewal, for as the darkness of the world may descend on us, the light of Christ has come and is with us if we only let it in. Remember the old saying that no amount of darkness in the universe can extinguish the light of even a single candle. 

During this Advent season, in particular remember the Syrian Christians and all persecuted Christians both at home and around the world. Let all be comforted by God and let us make straight in the barren desert of this world a highway for our Lord to come.