Nativity Epistle Vladyka Andronik
Русская Православная Церковь Заграницей Сиракузско-Никольская Епархия
Russian Orthodox Church Abroad Syracuse-St.Nicholas Diocese
2781 Route 145, Schoharie, New York, 12157 Tel 518.827.7555; Cell: 646.300.2300
Dear Fathers, monastics and laypeople! Brothers and sisters!
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.” (Luke 2:14)
May we be filled with the joy of the Lord and that everlasting peace promised to us by the Savior Himself, the Lord our Jesus Christ, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.” (John 14:27)
The Lord came unto this world and was incarnate for one sole reason, to reconcile us with Him, our God. For the first time in all the history of the world and its centuries-old human race, the long-awaited encounter occurred between God Incarnate, the One All Holy, the One All Pure, and fallen corrupt humankind. Just as the light of the sun illuminates not only the very depths of the ocean, every crevice and even the dust in the air, the Light of Day shines forth laying bare the sin of Adam. To fulfill His promise and grant us His Holy gift of this world, the Lord awaits from us only one thing, true repentance from the heart of our sinfulness, and thereby cleansing our hearts, our souls, for we see ourselves as the Prophet Isaiah describes, “From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds; they are not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil.” (Isaiah 1:6), and so it is from the days of our youth to this very day, this very minute. Our very life is an utter affront to the truth of God, the eternal Truth – Christ. If we approach repentance on this basis, then the Lord will send us the gift of tears, which like the waters of baptism will wash away all our sins. Then we will see much that is wondrous and glorious in our soul, for it is then that the Lord will send His Godly gifts of spiritual peace and blessed stillness, a stillness that will enable us to be as one with the stillness of God’s spirit.
I cannot grant you any greater gift to all of you in these holy days of Nativity than this, for I know not any other greater gift in this world!
Syracuse and St. Nicholas