And the angel said unto them, Fear not!
For behold, preach the gospel to you great joy,
which will be all the people
you born in the city of David a Saviour,
Which is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:10-11).
Saint Luke the Evangelist, giving birth to the world his only Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, tells us how to Holy Family, for a “census of the universe” that is, throughout the Roman Empire, arranged by Caesar Augustus, went from the Galilean town of Nazareth in the Jewish town of Bethlehem, also known as the “City of David,” because it was the birthplace of St. Joseph the Betrothed – the descendant of the inspired prophet – King David, whom God had promised to erect a kind of his King-Christ, whose kingdom will be established forever (2 Samuel 7:12-16). Traveling is not been arranged by comfort, which is now provided to pilgrims visiting the Holy Land.
The Evangelist says further that, because it is time the Blessed Virgin Mary to give birth to the Divine Child, “… She gave birth to her firstborn Son, and swaddled him and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the hotel” (Luke 2:6-7). So, in a place where shepherds kept flocks, there was a great mystery of the Incarnation.
We see that the Prince of Peace, Father of the century (Isaiah 9:6) comes to mir this not as one of its rulers, but as a poor outcast, giving us to understand that giving mercy to the poor and miserable, we take him – which is able to save us from eternal death. Because even in his glory Christ the Savior say to those who walked in His commandments and inherited the kingdom prepared for Him from the foundation of the world: “Verily I say unto you, making for one of these my brethren, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40).
And then, in Bethlehem, an angel appeared to shepherds in a blaze of glory of the Lord, plunged them into the holy fear. Angel of them were written the words that we heard and that now, even for us, hear the gospel: Do not be afraid!
The word inspiration of our glorious predecessors – the witness of faith, more than eight decades ago and later thrown in their lot with our True-Orthodox Church. They were not afraid nor unprecedented persecution or inhuman suffering or painful death for the sake of Christ and His eternal inheritance of the kingdom. Their prayers and now we are strengthened in the same salvation of the Orthodox faith, that by abiding by it, always be ready – in the words of the Apostle, – an answer to everyone who asks a report to our hope (1 Peter 3:15).
The past year has been for us another year of creative work in the vineyard of Christ. Church of Our National, now as a two-year gained its new dioceses in Latin America, established last year a complete prayer-canonical communion with the True-Orthodox Church in Greece and North America. Day Saints Cathedral and the famous Twelve Apostles vsehvalnyh (30 iyunya/13 July), when in our Stavropigialny St. John the Baptist monastery was signing Tomos of communion between the sister Churches, is now included in our church calendar as a memorable date. It was truly a joyous day of fraternal union local churches, true believers of Christ. This brings to mind the words of the Psalmist: “How good and pleasant to meet with the brothers” (Psalm 132:1).
And now, bless the Lord’s crown of summer goodness (Ps. 64, 12), we pray to our Savior, He stablish His Church in the vast suffering of our Fatherland and “to limit the earth” (Acts 1:8), so as to be her salvation as a beacon for all seeking God and His holy name calling.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen (2 Cor 13:13).
† humble Raphael
Grace of God Archbishop of Moscow,
The Primate of the True Orthodox Church
City of Moscow,
Christmas 2011/2012 year