My Beloved the benevolent January 2020
I would like to congratulate you all on the New Year and the Feast of the Nativity
The beginning of a new year is a new beginning, the church teaches us in the matins prayer at the beginning of every day to pray saying, “Preserve us and bring us to a good start”. We thank God who preserved us this past year and brought us to a new year and a new beginning in our lives; thus, we start the new year with true repentance and a willing heart that our lives be blessed. Our lives are granted from God, especially a new life in Christ as St. Paul the apostle says, “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1Cor. 6:20 Also, “And He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” 2Cor. 5:15 The new year reminds us of a new life in Christ Jesus our savior. As St. Paul says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2Cor.5:17
If our celebration for the new year is a celebration of a new beginning for each one of us at our own level, then celebrating the glorious Nativity is a celebration of a new beginning for all of humanity. Before the birth of Christ, all humanity was under the sentence of death and sin. Thus, we pray the prayer of reconciliation in the holy liturgy of St. Basil “and death which entered into the world through the envy of the devil, you have destroyed by the life-giving manifestation of Your only begotten Son, our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Death entered into the world because of Adam’s sin whom the devil envied and Adam was therefore tempted to disobey God and break the commandment. St. Paul says, “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 Death is separation from God who is the source of life, righteousness and holiness; man strayed away from the life of holiness and righteousness. The image was blemished, human nature was corrupted, and man was then under the sentence of judgment and the wrath of God. As St. Paul says, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” Rom. 1:18 “They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” Rom.3:12 Why did all fail to do good? Because death which is separation from God overcame them all. “Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.” Rom.5:14
But we thank our good God who visited us with His mercy and came into our world and took our nature for our salvation. Thus, St. Paul says, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” Rom.5:19 and “So that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Rom. 5:21 When the angel came to the shepherd, he said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Lu.2:10-11
The prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled that says, “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.” Matt. 4:16
My beloved, let us rejoice in the new year and the Nativity of our good God, and may He give us a good start as we remember what St. Paul said, “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.” Rom.6:22
May God grant us a blessed and a holy life, and grant us a spirit of giving and sacrifice for every needy and suffering person. May God bless all your lives and grant you a holy life.
May God bless your offering to support Santa Verena Charity programs with many happy and peaceful returns.