January 2016 English Newsletter Posted May 16, 2016 by admin


 January, 2016

My Beloved the benevolent

I would like to congratulate you all on The Nativity Feast.

The Birth of Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ was the reason for the reconciliation of the heavenly with the earthly. The angels rejoiced with the birth of Christ because they know that by the incarnation of the Son of God, the Logos, humanity is saved.  Heaven rejoices with the salvation of humans. As St. Paul the apostle said: “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” Heb.1:14 Our Lord Christ in mentioning the widow rejoicing in finding the lost coin said: “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Lu.15:10. The angels participated in rejoicing in the events of the Nativity. Archangel Gabriel appeared to Zachariah the priest, and announced the birth of John the Baptist and his role to prepare the way before Christ. He then went to St. Mary and announced to her saying: “Do not be afraid Mary for you have found favor with God, And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Lu.1: 30-33 After the birth of Christ, the angel announced the birth of Christ to the shepherds saying: “Do not be afraid for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born unto you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Lu.2:10-11. A multitude of heavenly hosts praised God saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill towards men.” Lu.2:14. Likewise the star that led the shepherds until they arrived to Bethlehem, according to some church fathers, is a heavenly power, not a regular star.

As the heavenly rejoiced in the birth of Christ, also the earthly rejoiced as the shepherds, when they heard the news from the angel, went to Bethlehem and found Jesus with His mother Mary and Joseph (and made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child) Lu.2:17. And the wise men followed the star and arrived to Bethlehem, “…they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him, and when they had opened their treasures they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” Mt.2:11-12. St. Joseph rejoiced in the birth of the Child and cared for Him and the Virgin, the Mother of Light. Joseph the Carpenter was chosen for St. Mary to be betrothed to him, and when he was suspicious regarding the Holy conception, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph , son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.  And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Mt.1:20-21

Joseph obeyed the command of the angel and cared for the Virgin during her pregnancy and because of the census registration, Joseph went with St. Mary from Galilee to Bethlehem, and there St. Mary completed her days to give birth, “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Lu.2:7. And when Herod wanted to kill the Child, after the visit of the wise men, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the you Child to destroy Him.” Mt. 2:13. When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, “…and was there until the death of Herod.” Mt. 2:15. And after Herod’s death the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph saying, “Arise take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” Mt.2:19 so he came and resided in Nazareth.

St. Mary rejoiced with the birth of the Child and watched the events of the birth with a vigilant rejoicing heart and it was said about her, “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Lu.2:19.

The birth of Christ made the heavenly and earthly rejoice because His birth marks the beginning of salvation which He ultimately accomplished on the cross. For The Son of God by His incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection liberated mankind from slavery of Satan and death and granted them hope in a holy, eternal, and joyous life. The birth of Christ reconciled the heavenly and the earthly and reconciled us with God, opened the gates of paradise and granted us to be sons of God.

Let us rejoice in the birth of our Beloved Christ and help our brethren rejoice especially the needy and suffering, who would find their joy and condolences in the birth of Christ. Let us preach the peace of Christ to all and include every soul with us in the joy of the birth of Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. May God bless your offerings to support St. Verena Charity Program and fill your hearts with the heavenly joy and the peace of Christ that exceeds every mind. With many happy returns.

Bishop Serapion