“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2: 14)
Your Graces Arch-pastors of our Holy Orthodox Church of Moldova,
Honourable priests and deacons,
Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, loving peace and truth,
The Feast of the Nativity of the Saving Infant brings to the Church and entire world unfathomable joy and fulfilment of the promised peace with God. This holy and great joy that overcomes every personal gladness was proclaimed in a very pure manner by St. Gregory the Theologian, in the 4th century:
“Let the heaven rejoice and the earth be joyful for the Heavenly One Who is coming today on earth! Christ in body, rejoice with trembling and gladness…”
Coming to the world of our Lord Jesus Christ brings peace, silence, and forgiveness – all sought with so much eagerness by the people of God, faithful and loving. At the same time, this meeting of the people with God-Logos, here, on earth, destroys sin and fear. The Lord’s Angel says: “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2: 10-11).
Together with the Church, the entire breathing is rejoicing today and partakes in the Feast of the Embodiment of the Word-Logos: the shepherds and the magi, earth and heaven, multitudes of angels, and even the speechless.
The birth of the Godly Infant from the pure Virgin is fulfilment of the prophecy: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7: 14).
Son of God becomes Son of the Virgin in order to release the human being from death and decay of the sin, in order to give him back the image of God and primordial beauty.
Nativity of our Lord and God means birth of life, birth of holiness, our own birth as children of God, birth of peace and salvation.
Born, the Lord of Peace brought to us and continuously gives us the peace and reconciliation between people and nations. Peace, craved for not only by Christians, but also by all people on earth, is one of the greatest news of the Nativity of the Lord. Christ came not to die, but to defeat death and grand life to people.
Christ is born for our salvation, that is, in order to give us eternal life and happiness, in communion of merciful love with God and His saints.
The angelic singing that resounded above the cave in which the Lord was born announces us that Christ’s coming means peace and love between people, while life and happiness are cultivated in peace, not in strife and war. That is why we are called to pray incessantly to God: “Lord, You will establish peace for us…” (Isaiah 26: 12).
Beloved in Christ brothers and sisters,
In this year of the Lord’s goodness, our Holy Orthodox Church of Moldova continued to fulfil its sanctifying, catechetic, missionary, and philanthropic activity. Like a mother loving its children, the Church prays for her children from within the country and abroad. Refugees from the neighbouring country Ukraine are also in the care of our Church: they have been received, provided consultation and support, with much fraternal love.
At the end of the year 2022, with the blessing and will of God, together with a group of pilgrims made of hierarchs, priests, and lay Christians, we visited the Holy Land, celebrating the Divine Liturgy at the Tomb of the Lord and in the Cave of Bethlehem. In these holy lands, in the cradle of Christianity, we prayed for the Church, Country, and nation.
My dear spiritual sons and daughters,
Overcame by the beauty and significance of the Nativity of the Lord, I cordially wish you that “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4: 7), and I also call you to “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12: 14).
May you have peaceful and blessed holidays!
Many Happy Returns!
With arch-pastoral and paternal blessings,
METROPOLITAN OF CHISINAU AND ALL MOLDOVA
Nativity of the Lord
Year of salvation 2022/2023,