January 2023 English Newsletter Posted September 13, 2023 by admin


My Beloved the Benevolent                                               January 2023

Grace and peace, wishing you all the goodness and blessings

I am delighted to congratulate you all on the glorious Nativity Feast of our Lord which we are celebrating on Saturday, January 7th, which is Kiahk 29th.  I wish you all a happy and blessed feast, enjoying always the grace of our God and Savior Jesus Christ, who was incarnated and gave Himself for our salvation.

The Incarnation of the Son of God, the Logos, is a sign of the great love of our God for us, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

The angel said 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 to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11 The coming of the Son of God, the Logos, to our world, his incarnation, and death on the cross revealed God’s love to us.

St. John, in his first epistle writes, “For God is love” 1 John 4:8

Man fell under the rule of death, sin, and corruption; we became dead in sin. Therefore, Christ came as a propitiation for our sins to abolish sin by sacrificing Himself and grant us to live by Him: “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10.  God loves us because He is a good God, who is beneficent and lover of mankind.  God’s love is constant love that does not change; no matter how far we are from Him, God in His deep love for us, accepts us if we return repentant.  Sin separates us from God because sin is death, as the father said about his son in the parable of the prodigal son, “for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” Lu 15:24

+Steadfastness in love and steadfastness in God:

God’s love for us draws us to Him and makes us love Him, “We love Him because He first love us” 1John 4:9 “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4: 16

How is it that abiding in love is abiding in God?

St. John writes, “Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him.” 1 John 3:24. When Jesus was asked about the first and greatest commandment, he replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40.

In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord fulfilled the commandment to love one’s neighbor, to achieve the perfection of love by loving one’s enemies. He said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy,’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.’” Matthew 5:43-44.   Christ explained the reason of giving this commandment, “that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.” Matthew 5:45. He concluded by saying, “You shall be perfect, just as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48.

The commandment of love is the commandment of perfection.

The commandment of love is the commandment of sonship to God.

The commandment of love is the discipleship relationship of our loving Christ.

Jesus said to his disciples, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

+Love of God and Love of the brethren:

St. John writes, “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1 John 3:16. Just as we have realized God’s love for us by giving Himself for us. Our hearts are kindled with His love as well as by the love of our brethren; we love them with practical love, just as God has loved us with practical love, “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:17-18.

Let us celebrate the glorious Feast of Nativity by expressing our practical love for God, keeping His commandments and loving our brethren with selfless love.

May God bless your offerings to support Saint Verena’s charitable programs.

Metropolitan Serapion