“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom His favour rests”
(Gospel Luke 2, 14)
Christ is Born! Praise Him!
Dear Beloved in Christ!
As Christians of the third millennium, we are once again preparing to meet Christ as a little child. It seems that even now we are witnessing something extraordinary. And then the whole world was preparing for something new. It was impossible for even the Blessed Virgin Mary to fully realize this. However, the example of the Mother of Jesus is astonishing because she agrees with a future she does not know.
Mary and St. Joseph knew of the special mission of the Son of God, foretold by many Old Testament prophets. The Holy Family walked to Bethlehem, full of love, faith and hope in God. But in a human way, they were worried that they would not find housing in time and would not be able to take proper care of the Child. Despite all the trials, it did not prevent them from fulfilling what God asked them to do.
Our lives can also be filled with fear of the future, of loneliness, of God’s “incomprehensible” action in our lives, etc. It is fear that is often a stumbling block in the spiritual journey. In the event of the Annunciation, the angel says to Mary: “Do not be afraid!”. These same four words are heard by St. Joseph in his sleep. After all, Christ himself, addressing the people, often said: “Do not be afraid!” Today the Child of God says to all of us: “Do not be afraid!”
We sometimes travel thousands of miles in search of God. The dream of many believers is to visit the birthplace of Christ in Bethlehem. But in order to enter the Church of the Nativity of Christ, you need to bow or kneel. That is why it is possible to notice that the cobblestones in this place are well wiped, with visible depths from the feet of millions of pilgrims. Ironically, this entrance is called the Door of Humility. God humbled Himself to become the same person we are. He agreed to come to people, loving them to the end – until his death on the Cross.
It is the mission of each of us to find God in the ways of our lives. Where is God? This is the eternal question that many people are asking today and looking for answers to modern challenges in life. Where is the God who allowed the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed several million people? Where is God, that has many people going hungry every day from lack of food? Where is God, that in different parts of the world there are armed conflicts that take human lives? Where is God when a person is faced with an incurable disease? Where is God in all of this?
God is where man is. He comes to us as the Little Child we can all know – Jesus becomes one of us. God came helpless into the world to help us. God came into the world as a man of hunger, injustice, human sorrow, and death.
Today, as we gaze upon this newborn Child, we allow Him to come into our lives. How can we respond to His coming? About the same as Mary and Joseph did. They listened, believed and loved. We should listen to the voice of God speaking to us from the pages of Scripture. We need to nurture, preserve our faith and constantly grow in it. We need to love God and our neighbour as He teaches.
May the Nativity of the Son of God bring to us the light of the Star of Bethlehem, illuminating the everyday life of our lives. May we be fill with the joy of the Holy Family, filling our hearts with hope for the future and that we may glorify the Child Jesus, singing with the angels, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favour rests.”
Christ is Born! Praise Him!
The blessing of the Lord be upon you!
MYKOLA BYCHOK, CSsR
Eparch of Mel
at our Cathedral of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul,
on the 4th day of December, in the Year of Our Lord 2021,
The Entrance of the Theotokos to the Temple.bourne
Given in Melbourne,