The Shepherd, December 2004
Christ is Born!
Give ye glory!
WE GREET all our readers with the Festivals of Our Saviour’s
Nativity and of His Holy Theophany, hoping that their celebration
may bring you spiritual renewal and joy.
FROM THE FATHERS
“MARY, the Mother of God, has borne unto us Emmanuel: Emmanuel, Who is God made man. For God the Word, Who in a mysterious and unspeakable manner was begotten by the Father before all ages, in these days was born of a woman (Gal. 4:4). For having perfectly assumed our nature, and uniting mankind to Himself from the moment of His conception, and making our body a temple for Himself, He came forth from the Virgin fully God, and the Same is fully man. For the meeting of two perfect natures, the Divine namely and the human, has given to us One Son, One Christ, One Lord.”
Bishop Paul of Emesia
from a Homily Preached in the Presence of St Cyril of Alexandria
“THE MAGI, falling down before the Lord, adore Him Newly-born and lying in a manger, and offering gifts they venerate the infancy of a weeping Babe. With the eyes of their body they saw one thing, another with the eyes of the mind. The lowliness of the assumed Body is before their eyes, yet the glory of the Divinity is not concealed. It is a Child that is adored, and together with It the unspeakable mystery of the Divine condescension! That invisible and eternal Nature has not disdained, for our sakes, to take to Itself the infirmities of our flesh.”
Saint John Chrysostom, + 407 A.D
“THIS NIGHT bestowed peace on the whole world; so, let no one threaten. This is the night of the Most Gentle One, let no one be cruel. This is the night of the Humble One, let no one be proud. Now is the day of joy, let us not revenge. Now is the day of good will, let us not be mean. In this day of peace, let us not be conquered by anger. Today the Bountiful One impoverished Himself for our sake; so, rich one, invite the poor to your table. Today we received a Gift, for which we did not ask; so, let us give alms to those who implore us and beg. This present day cast open the heavenly door to our prayer; let us open our door to those who ask our forgiveness. Now the Divine Being took upon Himself the seal of humanity, in order for mankind to be decorated by the seal of Divinity.”
Venerable Isaac the Syrian, seventh-eighth century