Orthodox Thought for the Day


Saturday, December 28, 2013

More on the 12 Holy Days

“This is our festival, this is the feast we celebrate today, in which God comes to live with human beings, that we may journey towards God, or return – for to speak thus is more exact – that laying aside the old human being we may be clothed with the new, and that as in Adam all have died so we may live in Christ, born with Christ and crucified with him, buried with him, and rising with him. For it is necessary for me to undergo the good turnaround, and as painful things came from more pleasant things, so out of painful things more pleasant things must return. “For where sin abounded, grace super-abounded,” and if the taste [of the forbidden fruit] condemned, how much more does the passion of Christ justify? Therefore we celebrate the feast not like a pagan festival, but in a godly manner, not in a worldly way, but in a manner above the world... 
Now welcome for me his conception and leap for joy, if not indeed like John in the womb, then like David when the ark came to rest. Be awed at the census record through which you have been recorded in heaven, and revere the birth through which you have been released from the bonds of birth, and honor little Bethlehem, which has brought you back to paradise, and bow before the manger through which you who were without reason have been fed by the Word.  Know, like the ox, your owner – Isaiah exhorts you – and like the donkey know your master’s crib, whether you are among those who are pure and under the law and chew the cud of the Word and are prepared for sacrifice, or whether up till now you are among the impure and unfit for food or sacrifice and belong to the Gentiles. Run after the star, and bring gifts with the magi, gold and frankincense and myrrh, as to a king and a God and one dead for your sake. With the shepherds give glory, with the angels sing hymns, with the archangels dance. Let there be a common celebration of the heavenly and earthly powersFor I am persuaded that they rejoice and celebrate with us today, if indeed they love humankind and love God, just as David represents them ascending with Christ after his Passion as they come to meet him and exhort each other to lift the gates.” 

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