“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Lk. 2: 14
“The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Mt. 20: 24

 

Dear Friends,

The first verse is the song of the angels on the night of the Nativity of our Lord, Jesus Christ. It’s the programme of heaven for us, the inhabitants of earth.

The second verse is the programme of Jesus, who “for us humans and for our salvation, took flesh and became human” as we state in the Nicene Creed.

The Church Fathers expressed the meaning of these verses – the incarnation, salvation, the passion, the resurrection – in the expression “the economy (or plan) of salvation.”

These salutary verses are the answer to the question that theologians and we ask ourselves, “Cur Deus homo?”

It is also our question about the mystery of the incarnation, the cross and salvation, about the mystery of our life, problems, sicknesses, wars, catastrophes, earthquakes and Coronavirus epidemics.

We shall all continue for ever asking these questions, and the real answer is always that of Jesus and the Gospel. My life has meaning when I realise in my life the angels’ song and Jesus’ word. That means that my life consists of glorifying God and being an agent of peace and joy among human beings. And I shall also act in solidarity with men and women on this earth, together to build a better world, based on the values of faith, hope and charity.

That is Christmas. Happy Feast! Holy year 2021!

Gregorios III


Christ is Risen!

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and to those in the tombs bestowing life! (Troparion)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Although You descended into the tomb, O Immortal One, * You destroyed the power of Hades; * You arose as the victor, O Christ God, * proclaiming to the myrrh-bearing women: “Rejoice!” * And granting peace to Your Apostles, * O, You, Who gives resurrection to the fallen. (Kontakion)

Teachings of Christ

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?" (Mark 8:34-37 ESV)

Entry into Jerusalem

As we were buried with You through Baptism, O Christ our God, * we were made worthy of immortal life by Your Resurrection, * and we praise You in song, crying out: * “Hosanna in the highest! * Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord.” (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

As you were carried upon a throne in heaven and upon a colt on earth, * O Christ God, you accepted the praise of angels and the songs of children who cry out to You: * “Blessed are You Who has come to to call back Adam!” (Kontakion, Tone 6)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The work of prayer belongs to the angels, and is, therefore, the special concern of the Church. Every other work, i.e., charity, nursing the brethren, visiting the sick, caring for prisoners, releasing captives, and other similar things, is done by the brethren in love and offered by them to God. Similarly, poverty, fasting, sleeping on the ground, prostrations, vigils, etc., are good and like a sacrifice to God, because they aim to subdue and humble the body so that we may be purified and approach God and become friends of God -- yet these things do not present us directly to God, whereas prayer does so and unites us with Him. A person praying acts towards God like a friend -- conversing, confiding, requesting -- and through this becomes one with our Maker Himself.

St. Symeon of Thessalonica