Malankara World

Weekly Devotional

The Birth of Jesus Christ

by Fr. Dmitri, New Zealand

Saturday 2 January 2010 (24 Kiahk; 24 Koiahk)
Righteous John of Kronstadt, Ignatius of Antioch.

"Where is he born king of the Jews? We have observed
His star at its rising and have come to pay Him tribute."


"Hail, thou art full of grace."(Lk.1:28). This absolute birth is grace,
for in it was completed the unity of man and God, the body and the
Word; and it was not the worthiness of the good works that achieved it.
(Augustine of Hippo)

Let us count everything as second to listening to the Word of God,
since their is no unsuitable time for it, but all times are suitable.
(S. John Chrysostom)

We live by faith, not by sight.
(2 Cor.5:7)

Whoever wishes to understand fully the words of Christ must try
to pattern his whole life on that of Christ.
(Imitation of Christ)

Demons leave us alone to make us careless, then pounce on our miserable souls.
(John Climacus)

The unceasing prayer to Our Lord Jesus Christ, is but the offering of the heart to Christ.
(Jesus Prayer)

Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
(Psalm 2:11)

Indeed to obey is, with all deliberateness, to put aside the
capacity to make ones own judgement.
(John Climacus)

And of Zion it will be said, 'this one and that one were born to
her; And the Most High Himself shall establish her.
(Psalm 86:5)


God's grace is a seed that we must not snuff out. We must co-operate
with it. This is especially true of those inspirations that lead us to
make acts of virtue on some occasion. Such co-operation in grace
is sometimes the very essence of our happiness.

Heavenly Father, let us imitate the astrologers and be ever ready to
co-operate with your grace -- whether it comes from outside
or from our inner selves.
(Claude de la Colombiere)


"Hail Thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women."
(Luke 1:28)

The Story of the announcement of the Birth of Jesus is similar to the
Prophecy of the Birth of John the Forerunner; but this time, the interest is
centered on the mother of the child. Mary was engaged to Joseph, but their
marriage had not yet taken place.

Like Zechariah, she was filled with fear by the angelic salutation, and no
doubt perplexed by being addressed as 'favored'.

The angel said she was favored by God, for she was to bear a son who was to
be called Jesus (Isa.7:14).

Her question 'how can this be; seeing that I know not a man.'? has caused
much difficulty down through the ages. There are those even today who deny
the Virgin Birth (Theologians, Church Leaders as well as Lay People). His
birth would be due to the Power of the Holy Ghost coming upon her, so that
her child would truly be the Son of God, the Most High.

In confirmation of his word the angel spoke of the miracle already
experienced by Elizabeth, and Mary quietly accepted her high honor. The
emphasis of the narrative is not so much upon the negative fact that Mary
was a Virgin, as upon the positive fact that her child was born of God. Of
the House of David, refers to Joseph; as his adopted son, Jesus was legally a
descendant of David, like the Children of Joseph by his first marriage.

The story of the Virgin Birth is one of a miraculous, supernatural
occurrence. The fact that the Virgin Birth is scarcely mentioned by New
Testament writers, is not a strong objection to its historicity. Critics of
it have adduced stories of great heroes being the offspring of the gods, so
Hellenistic myth creeps in.

It was not proclaimed aloud as detractors would count up the months and
declare Him to be illegitimate. But as usual, these people chose to ignore
the prophets and their prophecies, as it would upset their cozy lives to
read and learn of them.

According to one Commentator, flocks were kept out in the fields at night
from April to October. One thought is that the Birth may have been on 29
September 3 BC. Holy Scripture does not give us an actual date. It certainly
would not have been December as flocks would not have been kept outside on
the hills from November on. Anyway, 25 December is the pagan Feast of
Saturnalia. The Apostolic Church did not keep the Feast of the Nativity.

To Thee be glory and praise; now and ever, unto Ages of Ages.


Today's Readings:

Evening: Psalm 18:1&4; Gospel John 15:7-16.

Morning: Psalm 44:1-2; Gospel John 1:1-17.

Liturgy: Rom.10:4-18; 1 John 1:1-2:6; Acts 3:1-16;
Psalm 138:16-17; Gospel John 21:15-25.

Copyright DR

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