by Rev. Fr. V.V. Paulose
"For a child is born to us, a son is given us…and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:5)
Christmas is when we remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the great God and Saviour of the universe. "It has brought great joy to all the people” (Luke 2:10). "The word, (the God) became human and lived among us (John 1:14). “So that whoever believes in Him, may not be lost but have eternal life” (John 3:16). "To all who did accept Him and believe Him, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). Those who believe Him should follow his commandments. His commandment is that we should be simple. “So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content” (1 Timothy 6:8).
We are polluted spiritually and physically with excessive materialistic desires leading to violation of the eternal laws. What are we going to do? Wait for doomsday or save ourselves? The word became flesh, the God who spins the universe, sent his only son to be born as a man. This was the only way to save mankind, and shame Satan whose sole aim is to sit on the throne of God.
By being born in a manger from the womb of a village girl, living a simple life on the streets, praying and sleeping on the hills and sea shore, dying on the cross and being buried in others' burial chamber, he has put the world of greed and accumulation to shame. How do we live with this mess of morality? It can't be stopped or wiped out completely, but we can definitely minimize its effects. Jesus made his life very simple, but we are making it very complicated by our extreme materialistic way of life.
We have already polluted our moral and spiritual realm very badly, and like the environmental pollution, we see no permanent solution in sight. The insatiable greed for material goods and collection of sins pollute our souls, minds, bodies, and environment. Putting a sudden brake is the only solution to mitigate and disinfect this pollution, and its consequences like war, genocide, lawlessness, hatred, unrest, natural calamities, and ultimately, the eternal doom.
One evening after school, my daughter who is in grade one came to me and said, “I want to get reusable containers to pack food for lunch to school, as this will result in less pollution to the environment." This is a great lesson for all of us to apply in our daily lives. Christmas is not a day to accumulate gifts for our loved ones, but to think and act as to how many existing items we can donate, re-use, minimize or discard. A second thought should be given before you step out to buy more items.
The organizers of Salvation Army invites mothers in need to fill out ‘Little Angel” requests to help put some Christmas in their children’s life. This year the moms are asking for coats and shoes not toys. They need necessities nor comforts or luxuries .The billionaires in the world like Bill Gates , Warren Buffets, Zuckerberg of face book put a good example by donating 90% of their incomes to charities. By their actions and words that they say that they are more happier than before. So it is a challenging question to we Christians, where do we stand ?
The soul eating lifestyles of adding more sins like openly permitting gay life in the military in US, should be stopped. We should turn towards Jesus like the shepherds and wise men turned to see the Babe in the manger at Bethlehem. Otherwise, we are doing great injustice and harm to our souls, bodies, our spiritual and physical universe.
Let us save our souls and our environment by not buying sin, by buying less, and by buying only what we really need. Let us also remember to recycle and reuse whatever is possible. This will help us to bring down the pollution levels considerably. Wish you all a peaceful and merry Christmas.
Christmas Sermon - 2010
by Archbishop Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan
Homily on Gal. 4:4-7 for the Nativity of Christ
Sermons on the Feast of the Nativity of Christ
by St. Leo the Great
The festival of Christ's birthday
by St. Gregory Nazianzos
Malankara World Supplement on Christmas (includes articles and sermons on Christmas)
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