The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ 1/7/2013
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son (Gal. 4, 4) to redeem mankind. And when nine months had passed from the day the Archangel Michael had announced the good news to the Holy Virgin in Nazareth, saying: “Rejoice, … blessed are you among women… you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son “ – at that time the Caesar Augustus issued a decree for census of the population to be carried in the Roman Empire. According to this order everyone was to go to his native place and registered there. The righteous Joseph and the Holy Virgin went to Bethlehem, the city of David, for they both were descendants of David’s royal lineage. And because of the census there were too many people in this small city, and Joseph and Mary could not find a place to stay for the night in none of the houses, so they found shelter in a small cave, where the shepherds kept their sheep. In this cave, on the night between Saturday and Sunday, 25 December, the Most Holy Virgin brought forth the Saviour of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ. Having delivered him without any pain, as she had conceived him without committing sin, of the Holy Spirit and not of a man, she wrapped him in swaddling cloths, bowed down before Him and laid Him down in a manger. Then the righteous Joseph approached and bowed down before Him, the Divine fruit of the Virgin’s womb. Then the shepherds came from the field, directed by an angel of God and bowed before Him as the Mesiah and the Savior, exclaiming: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men “ (Luke 2, 14). At that time arrived the three wise men from the East, guided by a miraculous star, and presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They fell down and worshipped Him as the King of Kings (Matthew 2). Thus came to the world the One Whose coming was foretold by the Prophets, born as it was foretold: of a Virgin, in the city of Bethlehem, of the lineage of David according to the flesh, at the time when in Jerusalem there was no longer King of the lineage of Judas, but ruled Herod the foreigner. After all the pre-images and allusions of those sent by God and those announcing the good news, the Prophets and the righteous ones, the wise men and kings, at long last came He, the Master of the world and the King of Kings, to complete the deed of human salvation, which could not be performed by his servants. Eternal glory to Him. Amen.