Nativity Epistle 2011/2012: RTOC

His Eminence Tikhon, Archbishop of Omsk and Siberia.

President of the Synod of Bishops

True, the Russian Orthodox Church

Dear in the Lord, Father, Brothers and Sisters!

Christ is born, glorify him!

In these holy days, the Church proclaims to the whole universe, through holy angelic hymn: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will.” These words express the spiritual essence of this great universal holiday, all its significance. Since the beginning of the world has been most amazing event that the Nativity of Christ. Is a great wonder and mystery, incomprehensible, not only for humans but also for the higher hierarchies of the angelic hosts What the Lord has come to earth? The answer can only be one – to save man, to carry out, the only purpose of Divine Providence – the salvation of humanity, nothing more. But that the Lord has done for man, proves that man has some sort of special value, as was done in a way, which would seem impossible to attain salvation.

What is man? Man is the image of the invisible God, who has in himself a “particle” of Divinity. The man was perfect before his fall, and even more – after their redemption by the Lord, to the point that saints of God, to whom were revealed heavenly mysteries, such as Macarius of Egypt, who said “There is nothing perfect on earth or in heaven, that the human soul.” Man was destined for eternal bliss, but murderous envy of the devil, has fallen, has betrayed God, to go voluntarily to the side of the slanderer – the devil, having wanted to know not only what is good, who knew in paradise, but also bad, did not know. And God is departed from, it was subjected to pre-announced by God: “surely die.” Killed the souls of Adam and Eve, their minds were darkened, their wills are corrupt, they have hardened their hearts, instead of heavenly bodies have received a gross meat, like that of irrational animals. The land and themselves have been cursed because of him, and in them, all his descendants, the whole human race was doomed to sadness. And then, to proliferate humanity has darkened even more men, and because of that, the dark sin grew most in the world.

Now, to find yet, under the imprint of the Nativity services, have been raised, temporarily, in the thoughts of the divine in us and there is no desire to return to petty, evil world that surrounds us everywhere where everything has been created to separate us from Christ.

But if this world around us and repels, is as distasteful to us Do you how much more then, it has been for Him, the Divine Christ Child, by coming to this world? In fact, he has come to this world, in which, as we have known, also lying and stealing, violence was exercised and killed. And, as we know, a few hours after the Nativity of the Divine Christ Child, the madman Herod, hoping to free the King of Kings, which has been announced by the prophets, commits the killing of innocent children multitude of in Bethlehem! When Christ came into the world, all was this petty and immoral, there was no preparation for his coming. And so, that the shepherds, who were anxious only for the small things of everyday life, simple everyday things they talked about a fire, possibly, in those moments did not think at all, in divine things, were the first to come to greet God on earth.

How could he not mourn in diapers and have no regrets, no pain for his creation, which has fallen so low? How could he not then exclaim, “Oh faithless and perverse generation! How long will I be with you? “What will happen to him, then in the Garden of Gethsemane, when the best of the best – his disciples – will leave you crying just because of his creation?

And what is, in this case, his love, if you knew all this, if your eyes seeing-seeing, all lies, all meanness, all the moral filth of the human soul, has accepted his martyrdom on the Cross for each of us ? What will your heart that forgives and has compassion on this world? How do you know our thoughts, what we do in secret, and see us in the moments when we fall into sin, in the minutes of anger and malice, in moments of irritation and pride presumption – and to love more than anyone is capable of among the living?

How will we respond to His love? On his decision to come to this world and accept for themselves, human death, by reason of the people love what we feed, educate ourselves, that can resemble, even slightly, his magnanimous love? How necessary is to look for us, that He comes into our hearts, where there is so much pain and grief, as it has existed for two thousand years in this world, with their habits of cynicism and corruption, lies and betrayal.

Let us be vigilant, brothers and sisters, remember Him, Who has been here for us and died for us. Let us keep always in your heart, it is necessary to dwell in our hearts, which are often closed to him hasten to prepare our hearts, purifiquémoslos with fasting, confession and Holy Communion, as a house as a temple, as the refuge for the dispossessed Divine Christ Child, for whom a place has been found only in a lowly cave. For that to come, find your home neat, clean and do not be sad because of his creation.

I urge you all to resemble the Magi from the East, who have come from afar, only to see it. I urge you, to save the heart and understanding, this great event of the Nativity, the memory of this do not stop ever, and that the coming of God to the world, and the goal of this coming – the salvation of human – to become the starting point for all your thoughts and deeds, in making decisions in your judgments and emotions. May the memory of the Nativity, and because of it, the Crucifixion and Resurrection future, whether as a rudder along your Christian lives, purify your souls and prepare for the understanding of God in its essence.


+ Archbishop Tikhon of Omsk and Siberia

President of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church-True

Nativity of Christ 2011/2012