Archbishop Andronik’s Nativity Epistle
“Christ is born, glorify Him!”
Dear pastors, monastics and laypeople in the Lord!
The wisdom of God, having prepared the Incarnation of God on earth, repeatedly and in many ways, was revealed to man through the lips of His Old Testament prophets and the righteous, “Children, give me your heart…” But the heart of man, created like a king’s palace and the holy altar of God on High, through the centuries became a neglected, dank and cold manger, a vessel for unspoken desires. “Either the world will perish once and for all, or God will appear on earth,” were the words often heard from the pagan philosophers not long before the Nativity of Christ. The second part, that God will appear on earth, was spoken of as something that was quite impossible.
At last, the time of the Nativity came to pass. God our Lord appeared to us! This time, as before, all the wicked subterfuge and malice of man could not stop the fulfillment of God’s destiny. God, though, did not appear in the chambers of a king, as befitting the King of all Kings, but in an abandoned and dark manger, which bore witness for all ages, with what kind of heart most of mankind greeted its Creator.
Suddenly, with the appearance of the Son of God, everything became renewed and the poor manger so forth becomes mightier than a king’s chambers. The wise kings of the East pass by the royal palaces of Herod and bring their gifts to the crèche of the Infant God.
Today, dear brothers and sisters, on the day of the Nativity of Christ in my heart and yours as in the manger, the Infant God is revealed in the Lifegiving Sacraments of Christ. With what hearts shall we greet our God and Lord today? I hope, my dear ones, that room is found for the tender Body of the Infant God, not in the manger of our hearts made of the cold stones of alienation, or the thorny crown of resentment, but in one made of tender and warm forgiveness and a spiritual peacefulness. May the cave in our hearts be transformed and illuminated and this joyous feast day can become for us the RADIANT Nativity of Christ!
I warmly great all of you upon the Great Feast Day of the Nativity of Christ and I prayerfully wish you joy, peace, good health and salvation. May the Infant God, our Lord, bestow upon you His great and abundant mercies.
Archbishop of New York and North America