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  • The Arch-Pastoral Message on the Nativity of the Lord 2017-2018

     „The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light:

    they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined”

    (Isaiah 9, 2; Matthew 4, 16)

    Your Graces Archpastors, Honourable priests and deacons,

    Venerable monastics, Pious Faithful of the Orthodox Church of Moldova!

     

    Having quoted the words of the prophet Isaiah about the shining light to those who dwelt in darkness, I am communicating a pastoral message on the glorious feast of the Nativity of the Lord, talking analogically about the Bethlehem Cave and the Eucharistic Cup, because in the Bethlehem Cave was born our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Heavenly Father, Light from Light, who came into the world to shine to old Israel and to all people of the world; and the Cup, because this Light is arising and is in the Eucharistic Cup, in which we can partake any time when the Divine Liturgy is celebrated in the Church. We find in the Cup the One who descended from God’s Heavenly Glory and was born in a cave, bringing peace and goodwill among people.

    “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14, 6), says the Saviour in the Holy Gospel. In order to have Life, we need to follow His Way, living His Truth. However, this is not easy in this world, and the Lord Himself tells us that “in the world ye shall have tribulation” (John 16, 33), for “men loved darkness rather than light” (John 3, 19). And then, there is the devil, this ancient enemy of the human kind, who seeks to destroy as many people as possible, and to narrow the way, so that even those chosen could hardly come to “have life, …have it more abundantly” (John 10, 10) in God’s Kingdom.

    During the history of the humanity, there has been much fight against the Lord and those who believe in Him. With much difficulty din Joseph and Virgin Mary find the Bethlehem Cave in order to bring the Infant, and with much fear did they abandon it, as there were already many of those “which sought the young child’s life” (Matthew 2, 20). With fear did they escape to Egypt, and again, with fear did they return to Galilee. They had to prove much courage and bravery in order to serve for the salvation of the Infant, and the same courage and bravery need to have the Lord’s disciples, the faithful of all times and ages, in order to maintain faith in the Infant-Saviour, as there have been and still are many of those who seek to kill this faith from the caves of our souls. Difficult is also the way to the Lord’s Cup. But just as they held in their arms the Infant-Saviour, in the same manner do we have to hold Him, our Saviour, by partaking in the Liturgical Cup.

    In a fatherly manner do I encourage all our right-faithful flock from the country and abroad: fight in order to maintain your faith, as, in our days, when we, apparently, live so far away from the persecutions of the first centuries, and when it seems that the wave of the persecutions caused by the atheist revolution of the 20th century has passed, we can still see that there is much fight against the faith. This fight is induced through a variety of means, but, primarily, they seek to lure and seduces the faithful through scientific and technological discoveries and progress that is allowed by God for the man to explore the world. They seek to use them in order to deceive and determine people to “worship and serve the creature more than the Creator” (Romans 1, 25).

    How can we fight? Apostle Paul teaches us: “take unto you the whole armour of God…,  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6, 13-17). The Lord Himself teaches us to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10, 16), so that we are able to distinguish between things and understand that the times will become evil and that there will be many who will be given the power to do great wonders … that come down from heaven on the earth and deceive them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles (Revelation 13, 13-14).  

    It seems that it is hard to live and save our souls in our days. If many are tempted by the great wonders made on earth, through the appearance of so many new devices and technologies, then, how many will stand, when great wonders will be made in the heaven, through the discovery of new planets, constellations, or anything else? However, we do not have reason to lose heart and depress, as we know from the Holy Scripture that “heaven and earth shall pass away: but the Lord’s words shall not pass away” (Luke 21, 33), and the prophet Habakkuk exclaims: “The just shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2, 4), while Jesus Christ embraces us with the words, “be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16, 33).

    Beloved brothers and sisters, keep the faith in the Christ – God and Infant, be of good cheer into Him, do not be afraid of anything and anybody; commune from the Lord’s Cup, and receive thus the Christ into the warm caves of your souls, in order to live in Him.

    With archpastoral congratulations and wishes for good,

    May the Lord replenish your lives with joy,

                                                           

    VLADIMIR

    METROPOLITAN OF CHISINAU AND ALL MOLDOVA

     

     

     

    Nativity of the Lord

    Year of salvation 2017/2018,

    Chisinau