Archpastoral Letter for the Nativity 2002
Prot. N. 151
To the Very Reverend and Reverend
Fathers, Monastics, Clergy and Pious Faithful of this God-Saved Diocese:
Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
Dear Fathers and Faithful,
At this special time of the Christian year, we
thrill to hear the story of the birth of Christ. St. Luke's account of the
Angel's announcement of this good news to the shepherds closes with these
words:" And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly army,
praising God, and saying: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace to
men of good will" (Luke 2:14)
This 'peace' was not a dream of the angels. It
was a real message from God to man. It was the embodiment of a divine and
providential plan for human life.
This plan was for charity and justice among all people, for as the great
apostle of Gentiles wrote to the people of Corinth, "...God is not the God of dissension
but of peace." (I Corinthians 14:33)
It was a solemn promise that God renewed when his Son appeared in the midst
of men. Only our sins could destroy that peace which never can be assured to
those who make their 'lifetime sins' a stumbling block on this divine highway
With the spectacle of warring nations before us in these present days, we
are tempted to despair; yet the day of hope is on its way. On that day, even
the greatest sinner will listen to St. Paul saying, "For the rest,
brethren, rejoice, be perfect, take exhortation, be of one mind, have peace,
and the God of peace and of love will be with you " (2 Corinthians 13:11).
This peace among men was a gift of God. It was a gift that "surpassed
all understanding". But like every gift, it could be subject to abuse. It
could also be misunderstood, sold out, broken and betrayed. In fact, peace has
been subjected to all these. There have always been men and women who were
anxious to conceal their real will and befoul this peace-gift from God. They
came, the little and the great, the leaders and the led, often without power or
influence, but also always without compassion, trying to persuade their
respective generations that peace was just a dream of the angels and of Christ.
They have come in every generation, and the present is no exception
But peace was a promise and not a dream! It was a solemn promise that God
renewed when His Son appeared in the midst of men. We read this in the Acts of
the Apostles: "God sent the word to the children of Israel preaching
peace by Jesus Christ" (Acts 10:36). Only the sins of men could destroy
it, and men have tried ever since.
There is in every person a desire for peace in his own soul. There is the
desire for peace with man; there is the desire for peace with God. To have it,
we must listen and obey, and become hopeful and courageous. We must believe
with the supreme faith of St. Paul,
"I can do all things in Him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).
It is in this strength of Christ that we find our peace. It is only in His
principles of charity and justice that it can be bought, and then men of good
will become men of God's will.
Beginning with this Christmas Day, I exhort all of you, men and women of
good will, to have peace in your hearts with God and with your fellow human
beings. Let us be reminded that millions of such hearts will make peace in the
nation and in the world. To you, men and women of good will, I give the advice
of the Blessed Augustine to the early Christians: "This peace, the very
name of which you so love and cherish, go after it, desire it, love it in your
homes, in your wives, in your children, in your servants, in your friends and
in your enemies".
Asking the new-born Saviour to be gracious to you and yours, and with my
hierarchical blessing on this most joyous, saving Feast, I remain
yours in Christ,