Christ is born! Glorify Him!

25 Dec

Icon of the Nativity of Jesus Christ

Dear Friends,

As we celebrate this season of what the Orthodox Church calls the “Nativity in the Flesh of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ,” let me extend to you the traditional greeting: “Christ is born! Glorify Him!” Let me also offer to you some words for reflection, which came to my mind as we commemorated this glorious feast.

Gifts of the Wise Men: gold, frankincense, and myrrh

On Christmas Day the prescribed scriptural reading (Matthew 2:1–12) is the story of the three Wise Men who visit the Christ Child and offer Him gifts suitable for royalty. To illustrate this Gospel passage during my sermon to the children of our parish on that special day, I displayed three beautiful boxes filled with the treasures brought by the Wise Men—gold, frankincense, and myrrh—and I spoke about how each of these gifts had been fitting for the newborn King, Jesus.

I also delivered a Nativity message from His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, primate of the Orthodox Church in America, who currently serves as the archpastor of our New England Diocese. In his message His Beatitude focuses on the unique ways in which both the Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist witnessed to the Coming of Christ—Mary by silent meditation within her heart, and John by public proclamation—and asks us to imitate their efforts (read His Beatitude’s message or listen to it here).

Fr John Jillions illustrates the Gospel message to the children of the parish

During this Nativity season, let us honor the King of Kings, as did the Wise Men; let us meditate upon the astounding news that “God is with us” (Matthew 1:23), as did the Virgin Mary; and let us proclaim this wonder, as did St. John the Baptist.

With warm wishes to you and your loved ones, Fr. John Jillions, Pastor

P.S. View a photo gallery of our Christmas week at Holy Ghost Church;

view a photo gallery of our Divine Liturgy and Coffee Hour with St. George Albanian Orthodox Church, on the Feast of the Holy Forefathers, just prior to Christmas;

and…listen to the combined choirs of both churches.

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