My Beloved the benevolent
I would like to congratulate you all on the Birth of Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ
By the birth of Christ, prophecies have been fulfilled. Regarding the birth of Immanuel, Isaiah the prophet prophesized, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Is. 7:14) and the words of the angel Gabriel to Virgin Mary have also been fulfilled, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Lu. 1:35) The birth of Christ is a fulfillment of a yearning of humanity which David expressed saying, “Bow Down Your heavens, O Lord, and come down; Touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.” (Ps.144:5)
The birth of Christ is the birth of our Savior; The Son of God became incarnate and took on our human nature without sin to die for us on our behalf and save us from our sins. St. Paul explains the great love of God to us, “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom.5:7-8) “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Rom 5:6)
Our Lord Christ by His incarnation and death on our behalf offers the ideal model of giving:
- The greatest giving is the giving of the soul, for He gave Himself for us. God had compassion on us for He saw how humans came under the judgment of death and corruption and lived under the darkness of evil and increasing in evil life. Thus, God wanted to save man, therefore, He became incarnate and died on our behalf as we pray in the fraction prayer, “And since death was in the way of our redemption, He desired to go through it out of His love for us. And thus, He ascended upon the Cross that He may bear the punishment of our sins.” Christ said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (Jn. 15:13)
- The greatest giving is giving based on love, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (Jn.3:16)
- The greatest giving is also the giving that gives life to others; God gave us plenty, but the greatest giving is eternal life, “In Him was life, and life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (Jn. 1:4-5)
We were under the judgment of death because of our sins, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” (Rom.5:12) Christ gave Himself up on the cross to grant us eternal life, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1Co 15:22) “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Rom 5:19)
Before the giving of Christ through His incarnation, His death, and Resurrection we kneel before His inexpressible gift and learn how to give.
We learn how to give with love, to love the needy and not judge them for their weaknesses, have compassion on them and as we pray in the Monday’s Theotokia and praise God saying, “For He has overcome, by His compassion, and sent unto us, His almighty arm.” Part 5:3
We learn that no matter how much we give of money and property, these don’t compare to the giving of oneself for others. We should not be content with sending donations to the needy, but we should visit them, serve and give our time and effort to help them.
Learn to give to save souls from eternal death, for many times material need and distress have led souls to leaving the faith and destruction.
May the Lord grant us to learn from Our God true giving. May God bless all your offerings to support St. Verena Charity Programs and fill your hearts with peace.