On Saturday, Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas Day, which comes about two weeks after Catholic Christmas. On Friday evening, Orthodox faithful celebrated Christmas Eve with a special evening mass at the Church of the Holy Transfiguration in Zagreb, which was led by Metropolitan of Zagreb and Ljubljana Porfirije, who called for unity and reconciliation among all religions, nations and states, reports Index.hr on January 7, 2017.
The solemn liturgy, along with many faithful, was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Davor Ivo Stier, president of the Serbian National Council in Croatia Milorad Pupovac, Member of Parliament Ivan Pernar, and other dignitaries from public life of Zagreb and Croatia.
Metropolitan of Zagreb and Ljubljana announced that, on the eve of the worship, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović had phoned him to wish him Happy Christmas with the traditional greeting “Peace from God, Christ is Born”. The President is currently visiting the United States.
Metropolitan Porfirije said during the mass that every negation of other and different people is at the same time the negation of yourself. “If you negate and shut out other people from your life, it means that you are shutting out yourself at the same time”, he said and pointed out that the community and togetherness were the true and ultimate goal of human existence, and that everybody is responsible for the community.
He warned about conflicts which pit a country against a country, a race against a race, a religion against a religion, and about, as he said, “spiritual and physical terrorism”, as well as the diseases of modern society such as individualism and consumerism.
He also commented on the vulnerability of the family as a core which should be “like miniature church, a small community of love, a place of salvation and of realization of the meaning of existence”.
Metropolitan Porfirije said that the man is protected by the love of God when he is defending against egoism, self-love and hate, and that he is then free. He wished Merry Christmas to all the faithful, urging them to open the doors of their hearts and find peace and reconciliation.