Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Following the star, the Magi came from East to see Him who is the sun of righteousness, Christ our true God. They worshiped Him and offered Him their precious gifts.

The Shepherds left their daily duties to come, witness, and reverence the King of Glory.

These were gifts of different groups and individuals when Christ was born two millennia ago. What can we offer our True God today? The only gift we can offer our God is LOVE. We cannot love God if we do not love our brothers and sisters who are with us every day.

Who is your brother or your sister? Your brother and your sister is anyone who is in need of your help.

In the Gospel of Luke, in the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), we see a very learned man asking Jesus what it takes to inherit eternal life. He knows the law, which says, in verse 27, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength, and your neighbor as yourself,” but he does not know exactly who is his neighbor. Christ then tells the familiar story of the Samaritan and asks him which of the men who encountered the man on the road was a neighbor. The learned man replies, “He who showed mercy on him” (Luke 10:36).

Many people are suffering during this period of Christmas celebration. They have no hope.They are desperate and hungry.They have no peace of mind. How can they celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus when they have no peace? It’s our time to stand and pray for such people, our brothers and sisters, our neighbors, and to show them mercy.

Why was Christ born in a manger, in a place that was not appropriate for a newborn child, much less for God Himself? He accepted to be born in such a manner so that he can save humanity from sin. Saint John Chrysostom says, in his Nativity Sermon:

The Only Begotten, Who is before all ages, Who cannot be touched or be perceived, Who is simple, without body, has now put on my body, that is visible and liable to corruption. For what reason? That coming amongst us he may teach us, and teaching, lead us by the hand to the things that men cannot see. For since men believe that the eyes are more trustworthy than the ears, they doubt of that which they do not see, and so He has deigned to show Himself in bodily presence, that He may remove all doubt . . .

For this He assumed my body, that I may become capable of His Word; taking my flesh, He gives me His spirit; and so He bestowing and I receiving, He prepares for me the treasure of Life. He takes my flesh, to sanctify me; He gives me His Spirit that He may save me.

God loved us from the beginning of creation, and his love is everlasting.

Let us all be merciful to each other during this time of Christmas. Let us share what we have with our friends and neighbors, and God will bless us. Let us also remember the children at Saint Tabitha Orphanage, perhaps our smallest and neediest of brothers and sisters, remembering that Christ Himself said, “Inasmuch as you did it to the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Matthew 25:40).

Let us always glorify Christ in all things and in all situations, and he will not forsake us. Let us always rejoice and be glad in the Lord. Let us show love to others who need us during this moment.

The blessing of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Amen

+Fr. Agapios
25 December 2017

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*Scriptures quoted from the NKJV, as used in the the Orthodox Study Bible.