On 25 December every year, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas).
On this great feast, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the Patriarchal Cathedral by His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church. Besides His Beatitude, His Grace Timotei Prahoveanul, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Bucharest and His Grace Qais, Bishop of Erzurum, were also present, assisted by a group of priests and deacons.
The Church scheduled the lecture of the evangelical pericope of St Matthew 2:1-12 for this great feast.
After reading the Holy Gospel, the Patriarch of Romania delivered a sermon for those present, in which he spoke about the importance of the feast of the Nativity of the Lord.
The gifts that the magi bring show, in fact, a prophecy in history, namely that the entire universe is the gift of God and the gift of God must be answered with gifts
The Patriarch of Romania has also spoken about the symbolism of the gifts brought by the three magi from the East.
“When they saw the Infant and His mother, the three magi from the East, who were three wise men or three kings – according to tradition – they bowed down to the earth in front of the Infant Jesus. That is to say they bowed down feeling He was an emperor, although He was wrapped in diapers. Very significant is the fact that after bowing down to the earth in front of Jesus, they offered the Infant royal gifts full of spiritual significance: gold, frankincense and myrrh. The gold means the quality of the Child to be Emperor, Eternal Emperor. The frankincense showed that He is High Priest or Eternal Hierarch serving God in Heaven and on earth, while the myrrh used for embalming the dead was the sign of death, as well as the desire of victory over the decay of the body caused by death. The myrrh shows us that when Infant Jesus grows up, when adult, he will pass through death, but He will defeat death through Resurrection. These gifts the magi bring show us, in fact, a prophecy in history, namely that the entire universe is the gift of God and the gift of God must be answered with gifts”, His Beatitude said.
The Patriarch of Romania has also emphasised the fact that the star that guided the magi shows that the ultimate sense of the entire universe is Christ, our Lord, the One who comes down into the world to expiate the people of sin and death, He, the One with no sin and defeater of death.
The Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church has also spoken about the symbolism of the three magi from the East emphasising the fact that they anticipate not only the gathering of the peoples in the Church of Christ, but also the fact that while examining the universe with much attention, all researches confirm that the world is not a hazard, but a non verbal language, with no words, of God to man.
The feast of the Nativity of the Lord shows us and calls us to communion and communion is done through gifts offered to our fellow beings
This feast shows us that all our existence is a gift, His Beatitude also said: “The world, the universe is the gift of God. It was not compulsory for the heaven and earth to exist. They are the gift of God for us. This feast also shows us and calls us to communion and communion is done through gifts offered to our fellow beings. If we have nothing material or precious to give, we can offer a prayer for the salvation and good health of the dear ones and of those for whom nobody prays, to give them some good words, a helping hand to the helpless but the best gift is the desire that every human should reach salvation. This is why we pray in the Church for two great things: for good health and salvation. We need good health to be able to do good deeds and save ourselves, namely for reaching eternal life in the happiness and joy of the Kingdom of the Most Holy Trinity.
Myrrh represents the mystery of the crucifixion of selfishness
“Frankincense represents the prayers of the Church throughout the centuries and all the places of worship in which prayers are said for God, while myrrh represents the mystery of the crucifixion of selfishness, the passage through death. When we are baptised in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit we are baptised in the death and resurrection of Christ and we are waiting for the universal resurrection. Thus, myrrh symbolises for us, the Christians, the death of the sins and the resurrection to the life full of love for God shown in prayer and for our fellow beings shown in good deeds”, His Beatitude also said.
“The Gospel mentions the mood of the three magi, their lowliness – bowing down to the earth in front of Infant Jesus – their generosity – offering Him gifts – and their joy. Why did the Gospel of the day mention that the three magi from the East were very glad when they saw the Infant and His mother? That is because it wants to teach us that our encounter with God and His Church brings us a great joy, that the answer of God to all our gifts, to our faith is a great joy that God gives to those who love and honour Him for the glory of God and for our salvation”, the Patriarch of Romania also said.
To end with, His Beatitude wished all those named Cristian many years of life in good health and joy. “We pray Infant Jesus to give them the joy of the magi for the Glory of the Most Holy Trinity and for the welfare of our Church”, the Patriarch of Romania also said.