To the clergy, religious and the faithful of the Eparchy of Ss. Peter and Paul Melbourne,

Christ is Born, Glorify Him.

 At this time of year, we remember our friends and those that are dear to us and do our Christmas shopping.  Ultimately, the most important gift we can give is our love throughout the year.  To the clergy, religious and the faithful of the Eparchy of Ss. Peter and Paul Melbourne,

Christ is Born, Glorify Him.

 At this time of year, we remember our friends and those that are dear to us and do our Christmas shopping.  Ultimately, the most important gift we can give is our love throughout the year. 

The whole concept of giving of gifts began with St Nicholas, and his generosity.  He regarded being a generous caring person as a basic Christian principal.  For him the gifts that he gave, were not trivialities.  They were things that saved people’s lives.  He was consistently so generous that people remembered him for this.  That why we regard St Nicholas as the patron saint of social Justice.    We are all able to give things, but are we able to give of ourselves in order to make other people’s lives a bit easier?  We do this so that people who are better off can help those that are in poverty.  The church has constantly preached about this, and we call it distributive justice.  The church has taught that there should be a more equal distribution of incomes. Since the pontificate of Pope Leo X111 and his encyclical Rerum Novarum in 1891 till now, popes have been constantly talking about this especially around Christmas. On Friday December the 16th noting a “rising sense of frustration” at the worldwide economic recession, Pope Benedict XVI said that a more just and peaceful world requires “adequate mechanisms for the redistribution of wealth.” His Beatitude, Patriarch Sviatoslav said in his recent pastoral letter, The Vibrant Parish-A Place To Encounter The Living Christ said, “An important element which expresses the inner nature of the church and reveals the vibrancy of a parish is diakonia, which means serving in love or performing charitable activity.   This service to our neighbour flows from our rootedness in Christ.”  In other words, our parish community is as strong as our generosity is.

Whenever there are extremely rich people, and extremely poor people, who simply cannot manage, social inequality follows.  Governments can and do fall because of this.  If we wish to live in a stable society, we must do what we can to make society more equal.  We may well ask what can I do?    We can do a lot.  In all cities around Australia, there are Vinnies Vans that bring an evening meal to poor and homeless people.  The people that give their time for efforts like this give presents all year round.  The present they give are not things, but rather their love.  When people do any volunteer work, they give of themselves all year round.  This is the spirit of giving.

The reason why this is so important, to be a distributionist?  It is important because we are all created in the image and likeness of God.

 As Christians, we must understand that we must look for what is Godly in everyone whom we meet.  It is all well and good to be a critic and look for other people’s faults.  It requires a good person to naturally look for what is good in everybody we meet.

The nativity scene is very important to us.  St John Chrysostom got very excited when he spoke about Christmas.

    “Come, then, let us observe the Feast. Truly wondrous is the whole chronicle of the Nativity. For this day the ancient slavery is ended, the devil confounded, the demons take to flight, the power of death is broken, paradise is unlocked, the curse is taken away, sin is removed from us, error driven out, truth has been brought back, the speech of kindliness diffused, and spreads on every side, a heavenly way of life has been in planted on the earth, angels communicate with men without fear, and men now hold speech with angels.”  This is a small excerpt from his Christmas sermon.  He tells us that with the birth of Jesus, everything fell back into place.  He says what happens when we lead a Godly life.  He does not tell us we will be driving expensive cars, but he does say we will be happy.   

When celebrating the birth of Christ this year, let us really consider how we have made life easier for somebody poorer than ourselves.  May the Christmas season this year bring us all closer as a Christian community that attracts people to it because we are just that, a loving Christ centred community.

 +Peter

Bishop of the Eparchy of Ss. Peter and Paul , Australia

 

 

The whole concept of giving of gifts began with St Nicholas, and his generosity.  He regarded being a generous caring person as a basic Christian principal.  For him the gifts that he gave, were not trivialities.  They were things that saved people’s lives.  He was consistently so generous that people remembered him for this.  That why we regard St Nicholas as the patron saint of social Justice.    We are all able to give things, but are we able to give of ourselves in order to make other people’s lives a bit easier?  We do this so that people who are better off can help those that are in poverty.  The church has constantly preached about this, and we call it distributive justice.  The church has taught that there should be a more equal distribution of incomes. Since the pontificate of Pope Leo X111 and his encyclical Rerum Novarum in 1891 till now, popes have been constantly talking about this especially around Christmas. On Friday December the 16th noting a “rising sense of frustration” at the worldwide economic recession, Pope Benedict XVI said that a more just and peaceful world requires “adequate mechanisms for the redistribution of wealth.” His Beatitude, Patriarch Sviatoslav said in his recent pastoral letter, The Vibrant Parish-A Place To Encounter The Living Christ said, “An important element which expresses the inner nature of the church and reveals the vibrancy of a parish is diakonia, which means serving in love or performing charitable activity.   This service to our neighbour flows from our rootedness in Christ.”  In other words, our parish community is as strong as our generosity is.

Whenever there are extremely rich people, and extremely poor people, who simply cannot manage, social inequality follows.  Governments can and do fall because of this.  If we wish to live in a stable society, we must do what we can to make society more equal.  We may well ask what can I do?    We can do a lot.  In all cities around Australia, there are Vinnies Vans that bring an evening meal to poor and homeless people.  The people that give their time for efforts like this give presents all year round.  The present they give are not things, but rather their love.  When people do any volunteer work, they give of themselves all year round.  This is the spirit of giving.

The reason why this is so important, to be a distributionist?  It is important because we are all created in the image and likeness of God.

 As Christians, we must understand that we must look for what is Godly in everyone whom we meet.  It is all well and good to be a critic and look for other people’s faults.  It requires a good person to naturally look for what is good in everybody we meet.

The nativity scene is very important to us.  St John Chrysostom got very excited when he spoke about Christmas.

    “Come, then, let us observe the Feast. Truly wondrous is the whole chronicle of the Nativity. For this day the ancient slavery is ended, the devil confounded, the demons take to flight, the power of death is broken, paradise is unlocked, the curse is taken away, sin is removed from us, error driven out, truth has been brought back, the speech of kindliness diffused, and spreads on every side, a heavenly way of life has been in planted on the earth, angels communicate with men without fear, and men now hold speech with angels.”  This is a small excerpt from his Christmas sermon.  He tells us that with the birth of Jesus, everything fell back into place.  He says what happens when we lead a Godly life.  He does not tell us we will be driving expensive cars, but he does say we will be happy.   

When celebrating the birth of Christ this year, let us really consider how we have made life easier for somebody poorer than ourselves.  May the Christmas season this year bring us all closer as a Christian community that attracts people to it because we are just that, a loving Christ centred community.

 +Peter

Bishop of the Eparchy of Ss. Peter and Paul , Australia

 

 

This post is also available in: Ukrainian