Nativity Epistle of John, Bishop of Caracas and South America

Sun, 12/31/2023 - 15:47

Nativity Epistle 2023


Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will among men!
  Brothers and Sisters, dear Christians,

    Over two thousand years have passed since angelic voices proclaimed these divine words over the fields of Bethlehem, announcing the glad tidings of the birth of the Saviour of mankind. Even then, some seven centuries more had already passed since the Prophet Isaiah had foretold this, the coming of the Messiah, the Prince of Peace (Is. 9:6), from the All-pure Virgin (Is 7:14). Isaiah likewise foretold in considerable detail the Saviour’s  life, particularly His suffering for the redemption of mankind. He furthermore described life in the Messianic Kingdom, the promise of the reign of Christ, that  He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more (Is 2:4).
    It should be clear even to the blind, that this in no way corresponds to present day reality, whether in the world, or in the Church, or in people’s hearts. Unbelievers may dismiss the Lord’s promise outright, others may think that He has reneged on it, but we believe and know, that the truth of the Lord abideth forever (Ps. 117:2), and that rather, this disparity proclaims how far our miserable and fleeting actuality has strayed from God’s eternal and unwavering Truth. It is not God, but humanity, that has failed to fulfil the promise.
    Brothers and sisters, if the world chooses not to accept Christ’s promised kingdom, and rejects or distorts His message, following the princes of this world rather than the Prince of Peace, we at least can allow Him to reign in our heart, and banish from it all enmity, hatred and untruth, and not call evil good, and good evil; [or] put darkness for light, and light for darkness (Is 5:20).
    If in this life we allow the Prince of Peace to reign in our hearts we can be assured of partaking of the peace of God, which passeth all understanding (Phil. 4:7) in His eternal Kingdom.
     May Christ the pre-eternal Wisdom and Word of God, the Creator of all, the Prince of Peace, who is today born of the All-Pure Virgin, enlightening the whole world, enlighten also our hearts and minds with the light of His glorious Theophany and give us peace!

    God’s peace! Christ is Born! Glorify Him!


    John, Bishop of Caracas and South America

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