Message from Father John
The Incarnate Son of God, Jesus,
Who Saves Us
An old story I have heard about a beautiful, ornate box will help us get an insight of the Holy Day’s spirit. A lover gave to his beloved a precious diamond gift. To protect it, she put it in an ornate, carved box. The next generation placed the ornate box in another more ornate box to protect it and safeguard it from the ravages of time. The following generation placed it in a more luxurious box, without knowing what was in the original, carved box. The beautiful boxes unknowingly concealed the original gift. They undermined the preciousness of the lover’s original gift. That gift expressed the desire and love of the lover to his beloved, as the Birth of Christ expresses the saving love of God for us.
God, our Father, greatly loved us even when we were sinners, even when we were drowning in our disobedience and sin. He had sent to us many Prophets to tell us what He expected from us, but we ignored them. We were worshipping idols, the unholy fruits of our sinful desires. Even His chosen people ignored Him. Finally, He sent to us His Only-begotten Son to recall and save us. The Logos became incarnate, assumed our human nature.
He cleansed it from the sin, restored it to its original beauty. Without alteration He united our nature to His divine nature. United to Him now, each one of us is invited to live with Him eternally. In our baptism, He washed us, He cleansed us, He forgave us. God bestowed on us His Holy Spirit; He sealed us as His own children. Afterwards He fed us; He invited us to eat and drink in His Eucharistic Supper.
He planted us in His Holy Church, in His spiritual garden.
They are many lights around us. They impress and blind us. But we do not enjoy the heavenly light, like the shepherds. “They were a thousand lights, but they were not the light,” exclaimed the pious poet in deep regret and inner sorrow. Man needs the Light of the Incarnate Logos, Jesus Christ, In order to find his true, Christian orientation in life.
Christ expects now fruits from all of us, to multiply His talents. His Divine Grace will give us whatever we need to grow. But He also expects our cooperation and effort to achieve what is possible. The Holy Theotokos said with humility to Archangel Gabriel, “Here is your servant! Let it be to me according to your word.”
The just Joseph conquered his human suspicions and reservations. He humbly obeyed the divine direction and saved the Holy Family from Herod’s wrath. If we would also obey with humility the message of the angels, we will also enjoy the Divine Light with the simple shepherds. The Divine Star will also guide us to the Mother and Child. In Him we will discover the Precious Treasure, the Divine Son. The Divine Light will shine in our hearts and brings us joy, as it did to the Shepherds, the Magi, righteous Joseph and the Blessed Theotokos.
With love, Fr. John P. Angelis
Herman the Wonderworker of Alaska & First Saint of America; The Holy Martyrs Eustratius, Auxentius, Eugene, Mardarius, and Orestes of Greater Armenia; Lucia the Virgin-martyr; Gabriel the Hieromartyr, Archbishop of Serbia
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