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Father Gavril Galev: On Nativity of Christ – Christmas


The Holy Church ceremonially celebrates the Nativity of Christ as one of the most defining events in the history of mankind. Because if Christ had not been incarnated and born, our salvation would not have been real. The birth of Christ gives meaning to human life. Christ was born as a Man and enabled man to be born again (through baptism), to conquer death, and to inherit eternal life. Through the birth of Christ we have been granted the opportunity to become sons of God and heirs of His kingdom.

Christ is the centre of all creation, visible and invisible. By His birth that night He made the Cave in Bethlehem the centre of the world. This was not a lavish royal palace, but a simple shepherds’ cave. Because He was a humble King and the world did not receive Him.

When the God-Newborn Christ was born, the whole universe worshiped Him.

The star from the East stood above the place where the Newborn was.

The wise men, following the star, came from Babylon to worship Him and to offer Him gifts.

The shepherds in astonishment expressed respect to Him and glorified Him.

And the angels in heaven praised Him, saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, goodwill among men.”

Let us, also, offer our heart to God and make Christ the centre of our lives. Let us purify our heart and place the manger in it. Let us open our hearts like the cave was open so that Christ may be born gracefully in it. Let our heart become His home and may peace and silence dwell in it. Then we will be filled with light and warmth, and, our life will turn into unceasing joy.

Repentance and confession purify the heart, and good thoughts and deeds are His manger, prayer is the light and love – the fire that warms Him. Let us love and respect each other. Let us not hate each other. If we have done something wrong, let us not hold on to our anger and forgive each other. Let us not gossip and not hurt each other. These are the gifts that God requires of us.

This day is God’s day. The Day of God’s benevolence to man. It is also the day of the catholicity (universality) of the Church, when the earthly and heavenly Church gathered around the God-Child Christ and His Mother. Therefore, let us leave the earthly concerns during these holy days and gather together in the Church to worship Him as the shepherds did, to offer Him (spiritual) gifts like the wise men and to glorify Him like the angels of heaven singing: “Glory to God in the heights, peace on earth and goodwill among the people.”

Congratulations on the feast of the Nativity of Christ and may we celebrate for many more years to come!

CHRIST ​​IS BORN! Truly He is born!

Fr. Gavril Galev

Abbot of the monastery “St. Clement of Ohrid”,

Kinglake, Melbourne, Australia

06 / 01 / 2019

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