З Різдвом Христовим (Z Rizdvom Khrystovym)
Щасливого Різдва Христового (Shchaslyvoho rizdva Hrystovoho)
Vesele Božične Praznike
ميلاد مجيد (Miilaad Majiid)
My dearest Brothers and Sisters,
A great portion of the Christian world rejoices with us today as we celebrate the profound mystery of God becoming man in the Person known to us as Jesus, the Christ. We celebrate this “manifestation” of God because we believe that through His Incarnation He truly revealed to us that
- we are made in His image and likeness;
- we are loved by Him beyond all measure; and
- we are immortal since we are the temples of His Holy Spirit.
The Nativity of our Lord is only one of several “theophanies,” that is God manifestations, that we celebrate. Because of the very profound nature of these winter feasts, we must do all within our power to celebrate them in a real spiritual manner. This, I know, is difficult in a society that has so destroyed the spiritual content of Christmas through the rampant commercialization of the day and the secularization of this time of the year. The spiritual nature of this day can be diminished if we don’t intentionally make an effort to reclaim the day as sacred.
It is my hope and prayer, if you are reading this Bulletin, that you will make every effort to pause amidst your celebration and focus your mind and heart on the true meaning of this day. Today is a day, more than any others, upon which we should truly offer a prayer of deep gratitude to God for the gift of life.
It is my priestly prayer that God will be profoundly present to you as you celebrate His Incarnation. May you embrace the mystery of this manifestation, knowing and feeling the love that this feast heralds and, knowing this, may you, with gratitude, thank God and share love with others. May this holy season be one of spiritual growth for you and yours as you reflect upon the meaning of this sacred feast.
As a fellow traveler in life, your brother, your pastor and your friend, I extend to you my love and wishes for a very merry and truly blessed Christmas.