Christ is born! Glorify Him!
My Dear Spiritual Ohana,
As we come to celebrate our Lord’s Nativity, I share with you a most beautiful reflection on the essence of our Lord’s Holy Birth and Incarnation from His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America.
“This is the essence of the miracle of the Incarnation: God is with us. He became flesh and dwelt among us. He is in our midst, offering to our homes and families His abiding love, just as He demonstrated this love to those who witnessed Him in Bethlehem. He is with us in every moment and aspect of our accomplishments and in our struggles, in our joys and in our sorrows. Especially, He is with us as we grow in faith and offer testimony to others concerning His abundant love.
He is with us in our communities, communities of worship and ministry that serve Him who became one of us. He is with us in our parishes, which through the Holy Sacraments have incorporated each of us into Him and have made us members of His body, the very body that was born in Bethlehem. He is with us in our Church, which confesses and proclaims Him God Incarnate, full of grace and truth.”
This, in a nutshell, is what the Christmas Celebration is all about! It is about celebrating God’s Abundant Love for us and His plan of salvation for humankind. He is “with us!” This is the great miracle, His immense intimacy with each and every one of us! The mere fact that our God stoops so low (condescends) in such a way that the “Logos” Who existed before the ages and before time, takes on our human flesh, in His Love to be the Incarnate and Only Begotten Son of God our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This love for us, is a great wonder in that in the Person of Jesus Christ, Who as the Logos has made the whole universe and world, is born in the lowliest of places, a stable fit for animals. He is born as a baby and is taken care of by human parents, who feed Him while He Himself has fed every living creature and has provided everything necessary to sustain life. This is simply mind-boggling! Indeed, this is a great and magnificent Mystery!
As we come to celebrate this Holy Season of the Nativity, may you be filled with the joy and wonder that “God is with us!” He is with us in every aspect of our lives. He understands our challenges as human beings and has overcome them for us in that He ultimately destroys and has victory over our worst enemy which is “Death.”
As you open up your gifts and feast at Christmas, do not forget the Greatest of All Gifts, namely our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! He is the Only One Who can truly fulfill our deepest hunger and thirst within each of us. Let us always be aware of and recognize this deepest desire which exists in each of us in that we are formed in His Image and Likeness! He is our Messiah, our Redeemer, our All! Nothing of this temporal world can satisfy our needs as He is able to.
I wish you all a Most Blessed Nativity!
With Love in Christ,
“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Agrippina the Martyr of Rome; Holy Martyrs Aristocleus the Priest, Demetrius the Deacon and Athanasius the Reader; The Holy New Archpriest Martyrs Gerasimus of Crete, Neophytos of Knossos, Joachim of Cherronisos, Hierotheos of Lampi, Zachariah of Sitia, Joachim of Petra, Gerasimos of Rethymno, Kallinikos of Kydonia, Melchizedek of Kissamos, Kallinikos of Diopolos, and those Martyred with Them (1821-1822); Mark, Bishop of Ephesus; Etheldreda the Queen