Peace of God! Christ is Born! Truly He is Born!
Our Savior, the dayspring from the East, has visited us from on high, and we, who were in darkness and shadow, have found the Truth, for the Lord is born from the Virgin. (Exapostellarion of the Nativity of Christ)
The Lord has once again visited us this year, dear brothers and sisters, bringing to us His peace and fulfilling His promise of returning us from death to life. In the economy of our salvation, the Lord planned to come to this world out of love for His creation—mankind—to save us from the world; to save us from eternal death and suffering. He comes to us in order to grant us life in abundance. The life that comes from Life Himself is what lifts us up to the heavens, making our connection with God direct and strong, with no place for a weak bond. With His coming, the only place for disturbance in that connection is when our weaknesses and sinfulness are what divide us from Him. He has poured out all of His mercy on to us, and is only asking that we receive Him, give Him a place, and give Him a roof to be under, as the place He received through the manger. If we are willing, then our hearts become a temple with the entrance of His Divine Body and Blood at the Holy Mystery of Communion.
Let us take the opportunity of this season to prepare ourselves for the coming of the God-Child. Let us cleanse our hearts and souls of evil! Let us sweep away the sins and passions staining the floor of our hearts! Let us prepare a cradle out of good deeds so that He may have place to lay His head! This is the purpose of this time of year, which is God-inspired, preserved by our holy customs throughout the centuries and past down to us from our forefathers.
I greet all of you, my spiritual children in Christ, asking God to bless your families, homes, work and efforts for our Holy Church and your salvation. May the God-Man, our Lord Jesus Christ, protect us from all evil, sickness and distress, both now as we approach the Nativity, in the New Year and always.
Christ is Born! Happy and Blessed New Year 2022!
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His Grace Bishop Longin of New Gracanica-Midwestern America.