SOUTH AMERICAN DIOCESE: January 4, 2015
Nativity Epistle of Bishop John of Caracas and South America
Dear brothers and sisters, faithful sons and daughters of Christ's Church, beloved Christians,
I greet you all with the great feast of Christ's Nativity.
At this time even the non-Christian world celebrates Christmas.
Holy Church, however, calls us not only to observe and celebrate Christ's Nativity, but truly to partake in the saving mystery of the Divine Incarnation, a mystery that passes all understanding, unfathomable to the human mind, for the Beginningless takes on a beginning, the Creator becomes a creation, the Invisible becomes visible, the Word of God becomes Flesh, the Ancient of Days becomes an infant. The Lord God comes down from Heaven to earth, and taking on the fullness of human nature without sin, is born of a Virgin, and in so-doing, he blesses and sanctifies the human condition.
He comes not just to teach or improve our life, but to sanctify it.
By His Nativity He sanctified birth, by His infancy, youth and adulthood, He sanctified our infancy, our youth, our adulthood. Working with Joseph, He sanctified work. Fasting in the desert, He sanctified fasting. Eating and drinking, He sanctified food and drink. Taking on humanity in its fullness, He sanctified every aspect of human life in all its fullness from the cradle to the grave, and gives each of us, irrespective of our calling or stage of life, the possibility of sanctity, if only we abide in Him.
If our life is to be consecrated to Christ, it should bare witness that Christ is mystically born in our hearts, our hearts must become, as the fields of Bethlehem, a place where the angels praise God and proclaim His coming, and our deeds must shine like the star of Bethlehem, leading all, as the Magi, to worship the newly born Son of God.
Otherwise, having celebrated the Nativity but not partaken of it spiritually, we will remain empty as before, for we will not have the fullness of Life, that is the Living Christ, within us.
Christ is born! Glorify Him!
Bishop of Caracas and South America