Every year when Christmas arrives, when we try to grasp the meaning of this event, we can feel that we’re approaching a mystery. The mystery of God’s birth… the mystery of God’s entry into human history. St John Chrysostom wrote, “God became man, without any diminution of His Godhead. Therefore, He became flesh, so that He Whom the heavens couldn’t contain was received on this day in a lowly manger”. Indeed, the Creator of all that’s around us became equal to us; he became flesh and blood in human history.
From the beginning, people received this unfathomable event differently. Some greeted Him joyfully, with hope and with love. Such were the shepherds of Bethlehem, the Eastern Magi, those who were around the Saviour… Mary and Joseph the Betrothed. Probably, there were those with open minds and pure hearts who looked at the babe miraculously born in a cave in Bethlehem. However, there were those who, from the beginning, didn’t accept Christ… those who denied shelter to Mary and Joseph the Betrothed, those who had no place for them. They didn’t want to let in these people off the street, they didn’t want to disturb any other of their guests, they didn’t want any problems, and they didn’t want to put anyone out of place. For others, the birth of the Saviour was a challenge, not only their well-being, but to their power and position, and, most importantly, their sinful way of life.
Pass over the next 2,000 years… almost nothing’s changed. The world is divided into those who gladly accept the Saviour, who do their best to take upon themselves His point of view, who give their hearts and minds to Him, and find peace, serenity, joy, and meaning in Him. However, some people can’t accept the Saviour, because for them it means reconsidering their way of life, it means that they must reject things that are very dear to them. Nevertheless, accepting Christ requires not only speculative agreement with the fact of His Incarnation, but also a change of life, therefore, many people aren’t prepared for such a change. Throughout its history, the Church dealt with this. Those who don’t accept Christ aren’t the Church’s enemies. They are brothers and sisters, too; Christ was born for their sake. The task of the Church is to help nonbelievers accept Christ, to believe in Him with all their hearts, to realise that the Lord came for them.
However, here’s what you can learn from the whole story of Christmas, the events surrounding the Nativity. If the Lord was received by shepherds, by ordinary people, therefore, doesn’t that mean that, today, we have to look for Him not where there’s glitter and gold, not where there’s power and force, but rather in weakness and need? That’s why the Lord turned to His followers and said that if they wished to achieve the Kingdom of God, they must aid the sick, visit prisoners, and share whatever they had with those who need our help (see the Gospel according to St Matthew 25.34-40). Primarily, today, this means the disabled, the elderly, and children.
Of course, orphans are a most significant priority for the Church these days. We have many children who lack parents, including those abandoned by their parents. It’s important that our people take orphans into their families with joy and with special gratitude to God, giving them not only a home and education, but most of all, their love. Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me (the Gospel according to St Matthew 19.14). These words should make us all aware of how meaningful children are in God’s eyes. On the holy feast of Christmas, my request is that all who’re capable of taking the important step of adopting children or helping orphans… do it, take this step! There should be no orphans in our country. Those who have no parents should find them among sympathetic, upright, and open people.
May God’s blessings surround all of you, strengthening every one of you on your Christian path. For those who are only just coming closer to understanding the mystery of the Nativity, I wish success in this difficult but soul-saving journey toward the true essence of life, which is revealed to us in the Nativity of Christ the Saviour. Once again, I give you my holiday greetings and ask that God’s blessings be upon all of us.
7 January 2013
Voice of Russia World Service
Official MP Website
HH, after services, as is his tradition and wont, visited Maternity Home nr 3 in Moscow. He didn’t visit a rich clinic… he went to a home serving ordinary people. HH is a firm supporter of universal health coverage and a firm defender of the state social safety net (that is, HH opposes the Culture of Death and Mammon worship espoused by the Republican Party). Politically, HH is a man of the Left, and that’s that. All the rightwing bloviation that you hear from the konvertsy is wrong and evil. You can follow oligarch-loving pied-pipers such as Rod Dreher and Terrence Mattingly… or you can follow HH. I’ve chosen. It’s your turn now… choose well.