By Rev. Deacon Eugenios Kalafatis
of the Sacred Patriarchal Monastery
Once again the time brought me near a church event so special and salutary. The wheel of time, which most generously gave me the Providence of God, rolls and almost every one of us reminisce the goods of last year, while we gather at a family gathering. I never forget the day of the Nativity of my Christ, when it comes to prim myself and to make gifts to various relatives and acquaintances –because this is what I learned so far- at the festive days, which differentiate the daily routine giving temporary salt in my life. I ignore though intentionally or unintentionally the basic lack of the strong ecclesiastical message of the incarnation of God. It is not enough simply to abide by the letter to all the traditions of my ancestors for Christmas without being left in me the marc of joy and renewal I was offered by the Birth of our Lord.
This day should remind me that my God was born for me and I betray Him every day. That the giant turned into a mosquito to save it and the mosquito hurt him. That His love is so great that even to me, the small and last, will smile, without an interest, without anybody to impose it on him, just because He made me and loves me. That my Father lowers to embrace me and save me, while I continually prefer to avoid Him with several small and childish excuses. By this perspective and this Christmas will be spent anonymously, typically and without benefit. Some experiences will be added and then I will return to the routine that strains me so.
The biblical description of Christmas has very good ideas about my life. Let’s take for example the “Flight from Egypt”. Until now I was calm and content in some data, but now they changed and are no longer beneficial to me. I must make the decision to change everything! To gather whatever valuable I have –my family, my values- and go on. To change place, home, even life. Do not mildew somewhere where I don’t benefit and just compromise. To see if I can find the church of the heart, as says the Saint Dionysius the Areopagite. To pamper the manger of my heart. God lives in me sufficient to allow Him to alter me and overwhelm me according to my own free will.
This Christmas let’s not abstain from Holy Communion, because we need His divine help. So for the first time consciously let’s allow small Jesus to nestle in our little corner.
This great lesson called life of Christ is not far from me, but is next to me in order to teach me and to admonish me for a life which I haven’t lived before, for a life in which I need a companion. First and available for this purpose is Christ.