“And when they beheld the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.”
Dear brothers and sisters,
Two thousand years ago, wise men from the East rejoiced beholding the star which led them to Bethlehem in Judea. Who knows how many days they travelled to behold the newborn King of the Jews? When they saw Him, they bowed down to Him and gave Him gold, frankincense and myrrh (Mt. 2:11).They gave Him the very best that they had. And it is our belief that they exerted themselves to obtain the gold, frankincense and myrrh. And we also, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, do today what they did then whenever we give to His Church. We give the best, that most precious, from our treasure. For when we give to our brothers and sisters, we give to Him. Instead of decorating our homes, let us decorate our souls. Instead of buying expensive gifts for the coming holidays, let us purchase something for the poor. Let us not forget His words: And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, hi shall by no means lose his reward (Mt 10:42). Let us remember all the poor and orphans in our prayers and works, especially our brothers and sisters in Kosovo and Metohija.
Let us not forget the words of Christ: It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts20:35). In other words: He who gives receives more than he who receives. The joy of giving is greater than the joy of receiving. It is by the grace of God that we are able to give (1 Cor 8:1).Besides this, we rejoice in that we celebrate this Christmas in complete ecclesiastical unity. For the Lord heard our prayers, especially the prayers of our holy forefathers and our recently departed His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of blessed memory. Let us strive to spread this unity more and more among ourselves, as well as in all of the churches and parishes of our God protected Diocese. In this He who is the source of all joy, heaven and earth, the entire Church of Christ and our entire Serbian Orthodox people, rejoice.
In the name of all of those whom you have helped, from the depth of our heart and soul we thank you warmly. Likewise, thank you for helping your churches, monasteries and Diocese. May God grant that you continue to do so! May God grant your hearts and homes the angelic joy of the first Christmas.
With all of our hearts we great you exclaiming:
C H R I S T I S B O R N ! I N D E E D H E I S B O R N!
Your intercessor before Christ-child:
THE BISHOP OF EASTERN AMERICA