DIOCESE OF SOUTH AMERICA: January 4, 2018
Nativity Epistle of Bishop John of Caracas and South America
Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will among men!
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Over two thousand years have passed since angelic voices proclaimed these divine words over the fields of Bethlehem, announcing the glad tidings of the birth of the Saviour, awaited by all humanity throughout the ages, ever since our catastrophic fall.
Before Christ, humanity had to bear exile, suffer dishonour, groan under the burden of iniquity, be holden by the power of death. Yet, even now, as throughout the course of the two thousand years and more since the coming of the Son of God, mankind has suffered and continues to suffer no less.
How is this to be explained? Where on earth is this peace which was proclaimed? People are at enmity with each other, nations make war, even in Christ’s Church there is conflict and discord. Where do we see good will among men, even among Christians?
We do not have to search far for the answer, for it lies within our own selves.
The people of today have cast Christ out from their lives and existence. Society, like another Herod, denies Him, persecutes Him, betrays Him and crucifies Him. Instead of Christ, life, on the personal level, is ruled by selfish egotism, and on the larger scale, by chauvinistic nationalism. The place of Christ’s eternal Gospel is usurped by mere transient interests and convictions, whether personal, social, political or national.
Dear brothers and sisters, let each of us individually, and all of us collectively, as Christians that carry Christ’s name, receive the newly born King into our heart, to reign there alone and exclusively, let us direct our steps never to waver from His Gospel, then we may see that peace and that good will, which the angels proclaim on high, in ourselves and on earth.
Christ is born! Glorify Him!
Bishop of Caracas and South America