SOUTH AMERICAN DIOCESE: January 9, 2017
Nativity Epistle of His Grace Bishop John of Caracas and South America
Beloved brothers and sisters, faithful sons and daughters of Christ's Church, my dear Christians,
yet again we celebrate the coming in the flesh of the Word of God. We glorify this divine and salvific event when the very Son of God descended from heaven and became man to save fallen humanity and raise it from the earth to heaven.
We celebrate the Divine Incarnation not only to commemorate the cause of man’s salvation, the Nativity of our Lord and Saviour, but to partake in it and live it, for this event, God’s becoming Man, is an abiding, everlasting and eternal present which ever continues in Christ’s Church.
Christ’s Church is an eternal Grotto of Bethlehem, wherein the Lord is ever born, lives, teaches, is sacrificed and rises, gathering and saving humanity.
The whole life of the Church is a Nativity, it is redemption, it is salvation, it is the body of Christ on this earth, seeking to raise us from the earthly to the heavenly.
How truly blessed were the shepherds, receiving the good tidings from the angels and hastening to worship the Divine Infant!
How truly blessed were the Magi, after their arduous trek finding the newly born, long promised Heavenly King!
How truly blessed is every believing Orthodox Christian, who abides in the eternal Grotto of Bethlehem, Christ’s Church, which is illumined not by a star, but by the very Sun of righteousness, Christ the Lord, Who transfigures and sanctifies all who believe and abide in Him!
Let us strive, dear brothers and sisters, to abide without wavering in this saving Grotto, and not follow the wretched example of the inhabitants of Bethlehem who, closing their doors and their hearts, remained forever outside.
Christ is born! Glorify Him!
Bishop of Caracas and South America