Monday, December 23, 2013



Today the Virgin gives birth to Christ the Godman. 
What we can experience if we also give birth to Him.

      The shepherds were watching their flock by night, when suddenly standing still, they  looked up, as  heaven was suddenly filled with radiant light, and standing there was  an even brighter shining Archangel. Struck with great fear, the shepherds trembled  seeing such a sight, for  the heavens with the glory of God had opened up just for them. The angel spoke to calm them, saying:

  “Do not fear, for behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born upon this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with him a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace good will among men”   (Luke 2: 10-14).

  What the shepherds witnessed and we  all witness is a new and world-shaking event, announced with glorious light and angelic song!  This song is still sung in the Church and we will hear it again and again: “Glory to God in the highest, peace and good will among men!”As we, the church,  gather together to celebrate this joyful Feast, our souls become filled with  blessedness as we join the shepherds welcoming the New Child who is born, he is the Logos God who has chosen to descend and become one of us.  His purpose for becoming like us should fill our hearts with joy, for it His great desire and plan to raise everyone one of us from earth to heaven to a more perfect life where there is neither pain no sorrow nor the threat of death, but eternal life. 

Nothing in this world can even appear to be  comparable, for the Godman has come with the Good News and this will continually be preached to the end of time, adding more and more believers to the heavenly kingdom.

   In becoming incarnate, the God Logos invested His eternal substance with our nature and essence, becoming a human being like us.  God dwelt in the Virgin’s womb and was then was born without sin. Being  eternal God, in the glory of His Father, He humbled himself and became man, subjecting himself to the infirmities of man, preparing from the very beginning, to suffer and endure pain and sorrow, crucifixion and death on the Cross.  Although a human babe, He is also God and He clearly foresees the suffering He will endure, but He also sees the jubilation of His certain victory to free mankind from the captivity of Satan and the trap of sin. In the incarnation we see the natural laws set aside, and we bare our heads and bow down before the awesome power and authority of Almighty God has, out of His extreme and great love for mankind, has chosen to unite himself to the sinful human race, as a helpless infant, needing to be fed and carried about by His holy Mother, yet He is the one who feeds the entire world.

 St. John the Evangelist describes the incarnation of the Logos, saying: “He is the true Light that lightens every man that comes into the world . . . And the Logos became flesh and dwelt among us filled with grace and truth.”    (John 1: 9, 14).

Why did the Logos dwell among us?
Why did He permit himself to be seen among men?
What was the final reason of His incarnation as a man?
What was the object of His becoming a partaker of our nature and essence?

 The Church hymn teaches: “God became a man in order that He might render Adam a god”; also “in order that by partaking of what was worse, the Logos might impart to me of what is better.”

 There are two sonships predicated of the God Logos, the first being natural and eternal, the second being human is limited in time and temporal. In the first case He is the Son of God and in the second case, He became what He was not, the Son of the Virgin, but He remains one person.

 As two sonships are predicable of the Son of God, so two sonships are predicable of those who believe in the divine word, and who through faith come into communion with God. We are first born of the flesh from a woman, and we are secondly born of God, and are children of God’s will.


   We would do well to keep our attention on why the Godman has come and what is the meaning of the virginal birth to each of us. There is much more to Christmas than beholding the new born Child, because the event speaks to us clearly, especially standing before the majesty of the new born 

 According to the law of birth, we who are born of a father and mother, necessarily partake of the nature and essence of our parents, and since we are also born of God, we necessarily partake of the nature and essence of God, as St. Peter the Apostle says: “As His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain to life and piety, through full knowledge of Him who has called us by glory and virtue: whereby are given to us precious and exceedingly great promises, in order that through these you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through desire” (2Peter 1: 3-4).

   He became man so that we could be perfected spiritually.  Those who believe and keep the commandments of Christ, while voluntarily apply all of His teaching,  gradually partake of the divine nature.  In the fertile souls of true believers, where the words of Christ are sown, they will gestate and mature,  blossoming into the fruit of virtue.  Impregnated by the words of Christ, the soul by ascetic work, struggle, pain and tribulation, gradually acquires and brings forth all the virtues: faith, hope and love in relation to God; humility, meekness and holiness in regard to the inner man; justice, kindness and honesty with respect to men in general; hatred of vice, bravery and prudence with respect to the Devil. When these virtues mature in the soul, the opposite vices are soon eradicated.

   The initial conception of the words and teaching of Christ, when understood and applied in our souls, continuously increase,   and are nourished by our work in harmony with the Holy Spirit.  Then they will eventually blossom forth and bear fruit, evident in our thoughts, words, and deeds. Our minds will be filled with the brilliant light of Christ, our hearts will rejoice in the calmness and peace of divine grace.  The Spirit will enlighten us to understand and apply the divine words which will be evidenced by the change in our actions. This can be seen in the lives of Sts. Peter and Paul, who did many wonders bearing much fruit, and the Holy Spirit  guarded them from enemies and guided them into all truth.

Wonderful things take place with the cooper-ation of God and man, and when this joint effort is accomplished, we  behold man formerly in the image of God,  now becomes the likeness of God, possessing power from Him. For the holy men who accomplished such wonderful works, which no physician could possibly do, were as gods who walked upon the earth!   “Peter and John looked at the man who was crippled from his mother’s womb: “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk,” and he was instantly made whole. “By the hands of the Apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people . . . they brought forth the sick into the streets and laid them on couches, that at least the shadow of  Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. There also came a multitude from the cities around Jerusalem, bringing sick people and them who were tormented by unclean spirits, and every one was healed” (Acts 5:12, 15-16).  We call ourselves, Orthodox Christians, but not living the life, neither do we heal mankind’s infirmities. This season is a good time to dedicate or rededicate ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God!


   Celebrating Christmas does not consist only of looking at the New  Child in the manger, it is much more about how we respond to why He is there.

If we do not see before our eyes, and worship with fear and love, the Creator who formed us, the God who breathed His Spirit into us, the Sacrifice who ascended the Cross for us, the Victor who defeated our enemy and set us free, then we have not really celebrated Christmas.  Entering  the celebration period of the Nativity of the Son and Logos of God,   it is necessary to bow down before the Child whose sole purpose is to recreate us into His perfect image and likeness. Recognizing and acting on this knowledge, will cause the temporary joy to be permanently imprinted in our souls, and this is of great benefit to us. 

 The most humble Virgin enthusiastically accepted the proposition of God offered by the Archangel Gabriel, to bear His Son in the flesh, and when the Holy Spirit overshadowed her, asnd after her acceptance she  became impregnated.  In her deep humility she reflected on the God and Creator of all, whom she adored and glorified,  she realized the divine grace of God who was dwelling in her womb. After the natural period of time, the All-pure one gave birth to the Logos, introducing  joy,  happiness,  and salvation to the angelic world and to all mankind.  Concerning this great event, each of us rejoice, as soon as we realize that  “this event is all about me and for my sake.”  Every person that ever existed or will exist is included and invited to freely come first to the manger, then the His baptism in the Jordan, then to witness His terrible passion and  death on the Cross.  Weeping for our Lord Cross seeing His great sacrifice for us, then suddenly, early in the morning of the third day, all those tears will be transformed from sadness to tears olf joy when we enter the joy of His resurrection!

   Without reservation, especially during this hallowed season, we all need to accept and welcome the words and teaching of Christ into our souls, repenting of  our former indiscretions and sins, then we too will be impregnated by the divine words. When the words and teaching mature in our souls, we will also give birth to Christ, not in the flesh, but by our life and deeds,  because of walking in the newness of the life in Christ.  We will be nourished and provided with strength and power, greater than all power in the world, by partaking of Christ, in the Mystery of the Eucharist. The Body and Blood of Christ wonderfully “nourishes our minds and deifies our spirits.”  This divine food, not only cleanses us from every stain of sin, but also grants us the power and ability to conquer future sins and firmly establish every virtue.

  If we desire to make this Christmas the best ever, we need to act by repenting of our sins, with the resolve to sin no more, and by confessing them, and so receive forgiveness. Then forsaking every sinful word and deed,  nourishing the desire to only think good and do good, and remaining faithful and true to Christ in all things, a wonderful change will take place. For we will see the words and teaching of Christ which we ingested, blossom forth and through His grace we will:“bring forth fruit a hundred fold.” This blessed accomplishment requires our cooperation and patient endurance, and the Lord will provide the strength and the power to achieve our victory!   “Christ is born! Glorify Him!” If we welcome Christ into our hearts and struggle to become like Him in all things, He will welcome us into His Kingdom.

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