Posted: 07.01.2024 11:13:00

Metropolitan Veniamin’s Christmas message

Metropolitan Veniamin of Minsk and Zaslavl, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, addressed a Christmas message to the archpastors, pastors, monastics and all parishioners of the Belarusian Orthodox Church

In particular, the message reads, “The incarnation of God reveals to us the truth, unprecedented before and incompatible with the human mind. ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life’ (John 3:16), and this ineffable love is manifested not only in the sufferings and death of the Saviour on the Cross, not only in His blessings and healings: His very coming into this world testifies to the boundless love of God for the man."

The message reveals the spiritual meaning of the greatest event, “The holy fathers point to an important consequence of the Incarnation of God: the renewed man not simply returns to the primordial good that Adam possessed, but receives much more, since – through Jesus Christ – he enters into unity with God, and this unity is even deeper than before the fall."

Metropolitan Veniamin proclaims, “It is the coming of the King and the Lord into the world that is the foundation of unceasing spiritual joy, which was inaccessible to the Old Testament man." An important question is posed for every Orthodox Christian: how should we live in order to enter into the joy of our Lord, so that Christmas is not just one of many holidays, but sanctifies all the moments of our lives with its light?

The answer follows, “It is the fulfilment of the Gospel commandments that is the key to our following Christ and unity with Him. Human life is fraught with trials and difficulties, there are still many contradictions and inconsistencies on our land, but it depends on us, Christians, whether we will fill this world with Christ's light and joy, whether we will become the spiritual leaven that will change for the better the environment in which each of us lives and works."

The message reminds Christians that everyone can work for God and their neighbour, “If we look at our life path in the Evangelical perspective, then everything there will be filled with the meaning and sanctified by God's blessing."

There also words in the message that are relevant to today's time and modern society, “A personal true meaning of life and harmonisation of social relations can be achieved by observing Divine Laws. Actually, many people do not know them or simply forget about their existence. Our genuine Christian life, as well as sincere love for our neighbours, will be a living reminder and confirmation of the goodness and wisdom of the commandments that our Lord Jesus Christ preached."

The message ends with a heartfelt congratulations on the feast of the Nativity of Christ and the New Year, “Let us follow the Gospel commandments, because it is in their fulfilment that the key to not only personal salvation, but also social well-being can be found.” A blessing then follows, “May the Lord give abundant gifts of grace to all our Fatherland, labour collectives and families, and may He bless our good beginnings in the year that has begun."