Christmas Fast by His
Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas
Christmas fast is practiced in preparation for welcoming the
commemorative day of Lord Jesusí birth in the flesh and in
memory of the grief brought by sin, which we experienced before
the Lordís birth. The darkness of ignorance, Satanís enslavement
of us, and the infliction of the created world, in expectation
of salvation accomplished through the birth of the savior, who
redeemed us by His incarnation. ...
Advent-Christmas Season in Orthodox Church
The pre-Christmas Cycle has six Sundays, which all focus on the unfolding
revelation of the Birth of the Messiah. This is done in the context of the
immediate family of Jesus, centering on Mary and Joseph (Matthew 1, 2; Luke 1,
2). This is certainly in line with the Antiochene emphasis on the humanity of
Jesus and its appreciation of the historical aspect of Scripture. The greatest
Announcement, of course, is that of the angels on Christmas. ...
Season by Pope Benedict XVI
In Advent, Christians relive a dual impulse of the
spirit: on the one hand, they raise their eyes
towards the final destination of their pilgrimage
through history, which is the glorious return of the
Lord Jesus; on the other, remembering with emotion
his birth in Bethlehem, they kneel before the Crib.
Advent - A Season of Hope
by Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
Faith, hope, and love. St. Paul, in I Corinthians 13:13, says these three are
the bottom line. They are called the theological virtues, the qualities that
make us most like God.
We hear plenty about faith and love. But when is the last time you heard a
rousing homily on hope? Why is hope important? And what is it precisely? ...
Self-Revelation in Christ Corresponds to Our Deepest Human Hopes
and Aspirations by Pope Benedict XVI
St. Paul helps us to understand how all creation and, in
particular, man and woman are not the result of chance, but are part of
a loving plan of God's eternal mind, who with the creative and
redemptive power of his Word creates the world. This reminds us that our
purpose is being chosen by God, even before the creation
of the world, in His Son, Jesus Christ. In him we exist,
from always. God contemplates us in Christ...
Advent Is Upon Us by Dr. Jacob Mathew, Malankara World
We make elaborate preparations for Christmas. However, on every
Sunday, we encounter Jesus in the Holy Qurbano. We partake on the
Living Sacrifice; we receive him into our lives when we eat his
body and drink his blood. Are we doing that without any second
thoughts? Are we prepared? Advent is a season to reflect on it.
Pitfalls by Gary Zimak
As we look back on past Advents most of us have done a poor job
preparing to welcome Christ. Sure, we've prepared for Christmas by buying gifts,
decorating and baking and we've probably reflected on the Lord's birth, but have
we honestly followed the Church's instructions to "Prepare the way of the Lord"?
Why did Jesus Christ
The word savior literally means "rescuer." So why did Jesus come? Jesus came to
give you salvation. He came to rescue you.
It is important to realize this salvation, this rescue, has individual and
corporate implications. Let us look at this rescue, this salvation, in a
three-step, time progressional perspective. ...
Fallen-away Relations Back to Church During Advent by Rev. John
Each Christmas, our churches are thronged with people who come to pray, join in the singing of carols, and feel the warmth of the Saviour's
love. Some of these men and women do not practice the
Some are estranged from the Church, angry at her teachings, hurt by her
representatives; a larger number simply live their lives as if the Church had no
place in their world, no bearing on their lifestyles, careers, and choices. . .
except at Christmas. ...
Embarking on a Voyage
of the Dawn Treader: Four Virtues of Advent by Dr. Gina Burkart
The Season of Advent naturally personifies each of these
virtues. And, the Advent wreath provides us with a chance to
learn and share with each other what these virtues really
represent. For example, each week of Advent could be devoted to
one of the virtues. And, the Christmas story could be used to
personify the significance of that virtue. ...
Journey To Bethlehem is Not Comfortable! by Gary
During the season of Advent, we are all invited to travel our own personal
to Bethlehem". When we arrive at our destination on Christmas Day, we will
hopefully be closer to the Lord than when we began
Advent Season - a Season of Preparation
"Advent" is simply the Latin word for "coming." We can think about two
comings or visits. The first is the arrival of the
Christmas Season and the arrival of baby Jesus on
Christmas Day. It celebrates the incarnation of God,
the chosen messiah.
We Prepare Well for the Coming of the Lord
By Receiving The Eucharist In A State Of Grace And By Praying Daily In
Preparation For receiving The Sacraments.
an Antidote to Christian Boredom by Mike Pohlman
Years ago a pastor convinced me that one of the most tragic consequences of the
fall of mankind into sin is that we cease to wonder. Things that at one time
would amaze and astound us can become ordinary. This tendency to no longer wonder -- to cease to marvel at these incredible
aspects of life -- reaches its most grotesque form when we cease to wonder at
the Gospel. ...
Awaiting the King
Christmas is a time to celebrate the truth of Jesusí
birth. But that birth, for it to truly be the
special thing that we long for it to be, needs to be
seen in a bigger picture. You see, the people of
Jesusí day had been waiting for a Messiah for
centuries. They had been expecting, longing,
trusting that God would send a savior. What
Christmas really is is a celebration of the fact
that God keeps his promises.
Night: An Interpretation of Christmas by James H.
This classic book treats the various events and steps that
led to the central wonder on the night that heard angels
sing, and was starred with the Birth of Bethlehem. It
interprets the story in terms of its significance today and
invests it with poetic light.
Jesus - The Gift That Keeps On Giving
The story of Jesus' birth is interesting because it shows us how to
receive all the promises of God. I know people like to put
everything on God, but you have a part to play in receiving the
promises of God. There's a spiritual exchange that has to take
God's Justice by Pope Benedict XVI
Advent watchfulness means living in God's presence and according to
his criteria in order to prepare a worthy dwelling-place for the
A Season of Hope by
Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.
Faith, hope, and love. St. Paul, in I Corinthians 13:13, says these
three are the bottom line. They are called the theological virtues,
the qualities that make us most like God.
Must We Believe the Virgin Birth? by Albert Mohler
Even if the Virgin Birth was taught by only one biblical passage, that would be
sufficient to obligate all Christians to the belief. We have no right to weigh
the relative truthfulness of biblical teachings by their repetition in
Scripture. We cannot claim to believe that the Bible is the Word of God and then
turn around and cast suspicion on its teaching.
Christmas is about God coming down to earth to demonstrate how we should
live. For many years his children had been guided by written instructions. The Law
of Moses, epitomized by the 10 Commandments, was a divinely inspired record of
do's and don'ts. The law taught that we should love our neighbor as ourselves and
love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Those were the
written instructions. But it took God becoming man to demonstrate what it means
to love our neighbor.
Love, and Angels
In a world torn and ragged, Christ alone offers true peace. Let us soak in this
peace as we remember the night he lay as an infant in a tumultuous world he
would soon change forever. Let us soak in this peace as we partake of the Lord's
Supper and remember that his body was broken out of love for us. Let us become
this peace, in a world so full of violence, abuse, and ignorance. For we cannot
change the world; but we can open up our own hearts to be transformed through
An Advent Challenge: Love
One of the most difficult aspects of being a Christian is dealing
with people. Especially challenging is Jesusí command to love one
another. Even more difficult is the Lordís command not just to love
those who love us back, but to love those who annoy us and to love
those who (gulp!) hate usÖour enemies!