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1963 Nativity Message of St. John Maximovitch


1963 Christmas MessageBy St. John Maximovitch

“Glory to God within the highest, and on the earth peace amongst these whom He is happy” (Luke 2:14).The angels sang in heaven when the Son of God was born in Bethlehem. “Glory to God within the highest” is heard in heaven to today, in all ages it has not calmed down and by no means stopped for a second. The angels are always praising Him. “Holy, Holy, Holy,” cry the six-winged seraphim and the many-eyed cherubim, numerous hosts of angels worship Him. Soulless creation listens to Him: the solar shines, warming the earth with its rays, the moon dispels the darkness of the night time, the celebrities shine, the fabric sky, imitating the non secular Heaven, glorifies the Creator of the universe in its power within the highest.

Is there peace on earth that the angels sang about on the night time when the Infant Christ was born in a wretched cave?

After all, when the angelic singing heard by the shepherds had not but ceased, Herod’s warriors have been already sharpening their swords for slaughtering harmless infants. Then the Jewish elders and excessive clergymen viciously persecuted the Newborn, lastly reaching the crucifixion and loss of life of the Source of life. And quickly after His Ascension, the blood of His disciples poured into heaven, starting with Archdeacon Stephen, whose reminiscence has lengthy been related to the feast of the Nativity of Christ. The blood of those that consider in Christ remains to be shed in the present day, and divisions always come up between them, typically turning into enmity. Where is the peace that the angels sang about on the night time of the Nativity of Christ?

But, though evidently there was not and isn’t peace on earth, now certainly the King of the world was born in Bethlehem, He gave peace to mankind. He proclaimed peace to folks and was the bearer of true peace.

“Peace be with you,” He always advised His disciples. He additionally had peace in the direction of His enemies, and prayed for many who crucified Him. That peace He bequeathed and left to those that adopted Him and cherished Him. This is that inside peace given from above, for which we day by day pray throughout divine companies, saying: “For peace from above and the salvation of our souls, allow us to entreat the Lord.” That is a deep inside peace, a sense of closeness to God and the purity of 1’s conscience earlier than Him. That peace doesn’t rely on exterior circumstances, however is given by the purification of 1’s coronary heart.

This peace belonged to the martyrs throughout their sufferings, the saints who fled from the world, however whom the world adopted. “Acquire inside peace and 1000’s round you’ll be saved,” stated St. Seraphim of Sarov. That peace Christ delivered to earth, which He gave and provides to those that search Him. He provides to those that aspire to it and of their hearts put together a dwelling place for Him, driving out all that’s filthy from it – to those that have good will, i.e. the desire to do the commandments of God and do good to others. Whoever not solely desires it, however directs and forces himself to it, the Lord rewards him with a grace-filled peace. Blessed is the soul that feels it, then nothing is horrible! She experiences joyful blessedness, and sows peace throughout.

Lord God, give us Your peace! Let’s break free from earthly attachments. Woe to our hearts! May the sunshine of the Star of Bethlehem shine upon them, and with pleasure allow us to cry:

Glory to God within the highest, and on the earth peace amongst these whom He is happy!

Christ is born!

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.

 

 

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