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Antiochian Archdiocese Mourns Mr. Khalid Jabara

The Antiochian Archdiocese continues to mourn the murder of Mr. Khalid Jabara, a faithful parishioner of St. Antony the Great Antiochian Orthodox Church of Tulsa, Oklahoma. News coverage of his passing has been extensive. In his letter to the Jabara family, His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph said: “We live in a material world that is encouraged to commit evil all the time. ‘Sin no more!’ are the words of Christ’s warning that should be the principle, founding motto, of our human existence.”

Sayidna Joseph has asked the clergy and laity to remember Mr. Jabara in their prayers for the departed for his eternal life, and to remember his loved ones in their prayers for the living, especially within the first 40 days of his falling asleep in the Lord. May God receive Mr. Jabara in His Heavenly Kingdom and may his memory be eternal.

His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph's Letter to the Jabara family:

August 17, 2016

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Jabara.

I am deeply saddened by the murder of your beloved Son Khalid. St. John of Damascus described life as a "shadow and a dream". One moment only and death shall supplant all the material things of this life. The most difficult thing in our human experience is departure from this life at an early age, but death is painful whether it comes in youth or old age. Although death leaves in its wake sorrow and tears, we are exhorted by our Lord not to mourn as those who have no hope. Christians have no fear from death since we believe firmly what Christ said "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die."

May our gracious Lord, touch your hearts to cope with this tragic loss in the shadow of the Cross and in the unfading light of the glorious Resurrection. "And the Word became flesh!... in order to make us earthly beings into heavenly ones, in order to make sinners into saints; in order to raise us up... from earth to heaven... into the glorious freedom of children of God; from death – into immortality, in order to make us sons of God and to seat us together with Him upon the Throne as His royal children."+ (St. John of Kronstadt, Sermon on the Nativity of Jesus Christ)

We live in a material world that is encouraged to commit evil all the time. "Sin no more!" are the words of Christ's warning that should be the principle, founding motto, of our human existence. He who forgets this great God-given truth will have vainly wasted his efforts in making his own life as well as the lives of other people peaceful, joyous, prosperous, and happy. However, we follow Christ's command to pray for our enemies and neighbors. St. Silouan the Athonite writes, "I ask you to try something. If someone grieves you, dishonors you, or takes something of yours, then pray like this: "Lord, we are all your creatures. Pity your servants, and turn them to repentance."

Khalid was a young man with a good heart who cared for others and he will be missed, not only by his family, but also by all who knew and loved him.

I am unable to be personally with you during this time. On behalf of myself, our hierarchs, and clergy, we extend to Mounah, Haifa, Vicky, and Ramy our deepest sympathy, trusting that this earth has no sorrow which heaven cannot heal. May his soul rest in peace and may his memory be eternal.

Your Father in Christ,

Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of all North America

Letter to the Jabara Family 8-17-16 (PDF)277.1 KB