My Beloved the Benevolent January 2022
I would like to congratulate you all on the Feast of Nativity of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ and the beginning of a new year. May the Lord bless us with the blessings of the Nativity and grant us a happy, a holy, and a blessed year.
Our celebration of the Nativity is a celebration of the mystery of the divine incarnation which is the mystery of divine no reputation for our salvation. St. Paul the Apostle wrote to the people of Philippi about the mystery of the divine no reputation “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil. 2:5-11
The mystery of divine no reputation is that the Son of God the Word, who is one with the Father in essence, accepted in the fullness of time to be incarnate and become man by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary for our salvation. Before He became a man, the true God, He is perfect in His divinity and complete in His humanity. We praise and glorify God for His incarnation for our salvation as mentioned in Thursday Theotokia from the midnight praise; praising and saying:
He did not cease to be divine He came and became the Son of Man
for He is the true God who came and saved us
For our salvation, God emptied the Word Himself and accepted:
1-To be poor and He is the rich and the source of richness, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” 2 Cro. 8:9
2-To become sin and He is the Holiest of the holy, the only one without sin, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor 5:21
3-To become a curse and He is the source of all blessings to redeem us from the curse of the law, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)” Gal. 3:13
4.To allow the devil to tempt Him and He is the holy one of whom the demons are terrified, in order to lead us on the path of victory over the temptations, “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” Heb. 2:18
5. To give us an example of true service, as He knelt down, being the Teacher and Lord, and washed His disciples’ feet, “So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” Jn. 13:12-15. He also said about Himself, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for Many.” Mark 10:45
Our true celebration of the mystery of incarnation, which is the mystery of divine emptiness, is to empty ourselves and take example of our Good Lord in serving others. We must realize that true greatness is in self-denial and exertion in serving others. When the disciples argued among themselves, who is the greatest? Christ led them to the path of true greatness by saying that “if anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” Mr.9:35
The Richman lived a life of luxury. “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.” Lu. 16:19 The rich man did not try to get out of the circle of caring for himself to pay attention to the poor Lazarus “But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table.” Lu. 16:20-21 The rich man died and went to the place of torment and the life of luxury did not benefit him because it is a temporary life.
The good Samaritan offered us the example of service in his care for the man, who “fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.” Lu. 10:30 The priest saw him and passed by him and did nothing for him, as well as the Levy, but the Samaritan followed Christ’s example and he emptied himself of the enmity that was between the Jews and the Samaritans.
We pray that God grant us to take example from our Good Lord and serve each other with humbleness and empty our ego and may the Lord bless your offerings to support Santa Verena’s charity program with many happy returns.