“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Lk. 2: 14
“The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Mt. 20: 24

 

Dear Friends,

The first verse is the song of the angels on the night of the Nativity of our Lord, Jesus Christ. It’s the programme of heaven for us, the inhabitants of earth.

The second verse is the programme of Jesus, who “for us humans and for our salvation, took flesh and became human” as we state in the Nicene Creed.

The Church Fathers expressed the meaning of these verses – the incarnation, salvation, the passion, the resurrection – in the expression “the economy (or plan) of salvation.”

These salutary verses are the answer to the question that theologians and we ask ourselves, “Cur Deus homo?”

It is also our question about the mystery of the incarnation, the cross and salvation, about the mystery of our life, problems, sicknesses, wars, catastrophes, earthquakes and Coronavirus epidemics.

We shall all continue for ever asking these questions, and the real answer is always that of Jesus and the Gospel. My life has meaning when I realise in my life the angels’ song and Jesus’ word. That means that my life consists of glorifying God and being an agent of peace and joy among human beings. And I shall also act in solidarity with men and women on this earth, together to build a better world, based on the values of faith, hope and charity.

That is Christmas. Happy Feast! Holy year 2021!

Gregorios III


Joachim and Anna Rejoice

Today the bonds of childlessness are loosed, * for God has heard Joachim and Anna * and He promises manifestly that they, against all hope, would give birth to the Maiden of God * from whom the Uncircumscribed One Himself would be born, becoming man, * and he commanded the Angels to cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the whole world celebrates * the conception of Anne which was brought about by God, * for she gave birth to the one who, beyond understanding, * gave birth to the Word. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)