“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Dear beloved brothers and sister in Christ!
On the great feast day of the Nativity of Christ, we direct our gaze to the cave in the city of Bethlehem, where the meeting of the Creator and His creation occurred in that Nativity manger. There, fulfilling the prophesy of the Psalms, mercy and truth joined together, truth and peace embraced, truth emerged from the earth, and the truth stepped down from heaven. (Psalm 84:11-12) The long-awaited Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, became the new Adam made of love, to raise the fallen Adam of old. “King Jesus, wanting to heal, healed the sick, girded by the band of humanity. The perfected teacher of children was a child with the children with babies, to make the wise the unwise. The bread of heaven descended to earth in order to sate the hungry ,” so said St. Cyril of Jerusalem of the Incarnation of Christ (12th Catechetical Homily). “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
The Nativity of Christ transformed humanity for eternity; it reconciled man with God. That is why we, Orthodox Christians, celebrate and rejoice, understanding that this event presages our salvation from sin, damnation and death, and together with the inhabitants of heaven and angels we sing this marvelous gospel song, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!” (Luke 2:14).
On this joyous day, I heartily congratulate you, dear fathers, brothers and sisters, children of the church, on the feast of the Nativity of Christ! May the peace of Christ and His grace fill our hearts, so that, “The Nativity of Christ is celebrated faithfully, our thoughts turned to Bethlehem, accepting the law of love and brotherly love, and bringing the gifts of the virtuous: faith – instead of gold, love – like myrrh, an act – as frankincense. For every kind of joy is fulfilled, Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
With the love of the newborn Christ,
Bishop of Bolgrad and Belgorod-Dnestrovsk
Nativity of Christ
December 25January 7, 20092010