Pastoral Letter 2013
Nativity of Our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ
With thee is dominion on the day of Thy birth, in the radiance of holiness: “from the womb before the morning star have I begotten Thee.” (Psalm 110)
Dearly beloved Clergy and Faithful of the True Orthodox Faith,
Christ Is Born! Glorify Him!
The most joyous event that was ever experienced by whole mankind in a greatest Divine Symphony in its mystical splendor prophesied in the Old Testament about the coming of the Messiah and fulfilled on the darkest moment, when the all mankind was lost in its own gods worshiping and immorality.
The only a tiny nation, chosen by God was selected to receive the redeemer of the world in their midst: “In the town of Bethlehem in Judea”, for this is what the prophet wrote: “But You Bethlehem Ephrata (the ancient name of Bethlehem) in the land of Judah you are by no means the least of the leading cities of Judah: from you will come a leader who will guide my people Israel.” (Matthew 2:5-6)
It Was the moment when the pure humility of mankind met the Angelic Glory of Heavens and justified the coming of the most precious child the Messiah for the salvation of all mankind.
As Saint Nicholas Velimirovich noted in his homily “The greatest mystery in time corresponds to the greatest mystery in eternity.”
Unfortunately today to give a full celebration to this holy event all mankind should shout out before the creator: we have sinned, we mocked you O Lord, we are no longer worthy to be called your chosen ones, because we ignored your commandment and we ignored your sanctity of life, the sins became honored and your name mocked.
Look around regarding the spiritual eclipse in our nation we can confirm the words of Martin Luther King: “It’s a dark day in our nation.”
The Young generation turned away from you o Lord and the sins are prevailing today before your justice and holiness. The hatred and ambitions are the priorities of the world and dwell mostly in the conscience of mankind.
This great and Divine Mystery does not bring anymore the same fulfillment of joy into the world, just resounds again the pain and sufferings as the time of Herod, in this way what the prophet Jeremiah had said came true: “A sound is heard in Ramah, the sound of bitter weeping. Rachel is crying for her children; she refuses to be comforted, for they are dead.” (Matthew 2:17-18).
It is a great invitation to all of us by a great spiritual dweller St. Theophan The Recluse regarding the Nativity of Christ: “So that we enter the festive period we might feel as though we were coming out into freedom. Since the Church has from olden times called these days holy days, they require that our very rejoicing on these days be holy, as they are holy.”
With these thoughts I would like to greet you in the Love of the New Borne Child, wishing you a Blessed and Holy Nativity of Christ, to be a turning point in our life His most Holy Celebration.
Let us cry out from the depts. of our souls with the words of the Holy Fathers: “Glory to Thee, O Lord, that Christ is Born!”
Prayerfully Yours in the New Born Child in Bethlehem,
Archbishop of Cincinnati
Metropolitan of the True Orthodox Church in America