And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field,
keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord
shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you
good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2: 8-11
Your Graces, archpastors of our Holy Church,
Righteous priests and deacons,
The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ is a feast of encouragement and joy of the Church, that is, of the people of God, who, living in this world and being continuously exposed to multiple threats and dangers, is called to never abandon hope.
“Do not be afraid!” – the angels call us.
“Do not be afraid!” – shall we most often hear form the incarnate Son of God, the Saviour of the world.
The shepherds who were watching the flocks out in the fields near Bethlehem were the first ones to be addressed by the Lord’s angel, who announced them about the birth of the Messiah, and the first ones who were made worthy of hearing and seeing the angels sing: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Today, for us and for our salvation (the Creed) a Child is born, the preeternal God (Kontakion of the Feast).
The Saviour of the world comes down mystically into our spiritual live today.
The coming down of God-Logos into the world darkened by sin and disobedience brings light and truth, reconciliation and righteousness, for the One Who becomes man “from the Holy Spirit and Virgin Mary” is “Light of Light, True God from True God” (the Creed), and is the “Sun of Righteousness” (Troparion of the Feast).
Right-faithful Christians, spiritually united around the Cave of Bethlehem,
In this time dedicated to the Advent of the Nativity of our Lord, the clergy and the orthodox people of our Holy Church, have expected with hope, in the same manner as the prophets and the righteous people of the Old Testament, the coming into the world of Lord Christ, the Saviour.
Following the church order of the fast, we prayed in the manner we were taught by Saint John Chrysostom: “Just as you were willing to lie down in the cave and in the manger of the unspeakable, so you are welcome to enter the manger of my unspeakable soul and my defiled body”.
My spiritual sons and daughters, let us pray endlessly for the people of Moldova, utter prayers to the Orient from the high for all those contaminated by the ruthless virus, especially for all medical staff who sacrifice themselves for us and for the fast recovery of all those in sickness.
Evangelist Luke mentions that the angels said, “Do not have fear” to the shepherds who were watching the flock in the darkness of the night.
Let every bishop watch in his diocese the clergy and the people who are entrusted to him for salvation. Let every priest pastor the faithful flock in his parish “with fear of God, with faith and with love”.
Let the monks and nuns keep vigil in monasteries for the peace of the world, in the same manner as the angels did in the holy night of the Nativity of the Lord.
Let every Christian watch own soul, heart, and mind, in order to know and witness the Infant Christ.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Today the Saviour is born, Who is Lord Christ. Let us take this great joy and keep all that He ordered us, for He is with us in all days, till the end of the age. Amen!
Long live in grace of God!
With archpastoral and pastoral blessings,
METROPOLITAN OF CHISINAU AND ALL MOLDOVA
Nativity of the Lord
Year of Salvation 2020/2021