Nativity Epistle of Bishop John of Caracas and South America

 

Bishop John of Caracus and South AmericaBrothers and sisters, beloved children in Christ, my dear Christians, yet again we are able to celebrate the radiant feast of the Lord’s incarnation, to honour this divine event, when the pre-eternal Son of God descended upon this earth and became man, so as to lift up fallen humanity and raise it from the earthly to the heavenly.

When we celebrate the Nativity of Christ, we are not merely commemorating an historical event, the beginning of the earthly ministry of the Son of God, but above all we must bear witness by our lives of His real and continuing presence in our midst, in His holy Church, which is an eternal type of the cave of Bethlehem, in which Christ is ever born, lives, teaches, suffers, dies, rises and raises, and saves man. The incarnation of the Lord is not merely an historical fact, but an eternal truth, an eternal mystery,ever continuing, without end, within His holy Church.

The whole life of the Church is in fact a Nativity of Christ, His work of redemption, salvation – Christ on earth seeking to raise us to heaven. If we are truly living partakers of her life we will be blessed to stand as the shepherds of Bethlehem at the manger of the divine Infant, but if we do not partake in the life of Christ’s Church, if we remove ourselves from her, our lot will be with the wretched inhabitants of Bethlehem who closed their doors. They were right next to the Saviour, but never knew him.
Christ is born! Glorify Him!

+John, Bishop of Caracas and South America

Link: http://www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws/synod/eng2010/1enbpjohnepistle.html

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