Monday, December 24, 2018

Met Ephrem (Kyriakos): Nativity Message

Arabic original here.

Nativity Message

"When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons" (Galatians 4:4-5).

When Christ came, He perfected time and the universe came to be without spans of time. This is because every span of tie became full of the presence of Christ, who exists eternally. Every moment of our life became full of the person of Christ.

The God-Man, life, all life came to us born under the law (as a man) so that we may be liberated from the law of this dying world and receive sonship-- that is, to become children of God by grace.

All of this is because God is now not only with us, but also in us, by His presence, His light, His commandments and all of His commands are light, peace, joy and love. Now we say in Christ that God is our Father. Thus we call God "our Father who art in heaven..." That is, we have familiarity with Him:

I am with Christ in one house. We die with Christ because we, like children are meek, humble like lambs, rising with Him in a foretaste of the kingdom.

The new man in Christ, who is born for a second time in Him, no longer knows anything but love. He goes even to the point of love for enemies. He transcends discipline, order, authority and politics.

He is no longer only a material man who buys and sells and keeps account. He only knows gratuitous giving, the giving of limitless love. And so the Lord was born in a manger for beasts in order to liberate us from our beastliness and as a child so that He may say to us, "Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3).

Beloved, we faithful Christians shall remain in the world that is oppressive in its rebelliousness as a leaven for God's love and mercy.

The Lord consoles us when He says, "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms..." (Luke 12:32-33).

The fullness of time: we do not await another savior or another message. Yes, the fullness of time has arrived with the coming of Christ, so nothing in this world has meaning without Him.

If we belong the Christ, the Son of God, then we are inheritors of God in Christ (cf. Galatians 4:7).

That is, if you, O beloved, are truly with Christ today, loving God and everyone, "Do not fear," says the Apostle Paul, do not despair from everything that is happening in this world today: atheism, deviancies, wars, direct and indirect oppression. Do not fear, O little flock, if you are one with the Lord Jesus, with His suffering and resurrection.

You are already victorious: sincere love is stronger than death.

Metropolitan of Tripoli, al-Koura and their Dependencies 

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