On the eve of the Glorious Birth and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ, our hearts are overcome with joy and wonder at the “Great and Marvelous Mystery” of the Birth of our Savior as we exchange well wishes and pray for the good tidings and praise of the angels proclaiming “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” to guide us and illuminate and uplift our individual and collective lives.
The Glorious Birth and incarnation of the Son of God as man is the greatest gift bestowed to mankind by our Heavenly Father, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15). Mankind, from creation and on, has enjoyed the abundant divine blessings of God; however God revealed His undying love through the manifestation of Jesus Christ as man, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). This promise of eternal life was made possible by the Birth of Christ as the Lord said, “I came that they may have life” (John 10:10).
There are many miracles associated with the Birth of the Baby Jesus. The first was the announcement of the Immaculate Conception by the angel and the response of the Virgin Mary, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Another was the good tidings of the angels to the shepherds and the Star of Bethlehem which shone brightly on the day of His Birth and led the magi to the humble manger.
Thereafter, the earthly life of Jesus Christ was characterized by goodness, humility, and obedience to the will of God until His death. The grace of our Lord became the greatest gift for mortal men, “that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). For centuries we continue to celebrate His Birth by exchanging gifts with our loved ones following the instruction of Apostle Paul, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Giving is a humble act; it humbles and brings joy to the heart and soul of the giver in the same manner that it brought joy and humility to the magi who presented the Baby Jesus with gifts in the manger.
It is with these sentimen’s that today we pray and give glory to Almighty God for granting us yet another year to serve and give to one another. We give thanks and praise for His abundant blessings and pray for His Watchful Eye to safeguard us in our individual and collective lives, “But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves” (John 17:13).
As in previous years, we reached new heights this year as well, culminating in the General Assembly of the Catholicosate of Cilicia during which our future religious, national, and cultural endeavors were drafted. In the coming year, through our church, the Christian education of our youth will receive new impetus, our educational institutions will be revitalized, and our quest to secure our nationals deman’s will continue with renewed vigor until our dreams are realized.
On the blessed occasion of the New Year and the glorious Birth and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ, with filial love we salute His Holiness Catholicos Aram I, wishing him many more fruitful years, and we pray for prosperity and a bright future for the leaders and compatriots of our Homeland. We congratulate and extend our well wishes to our Clergy, Religious and Executive Councils, Delegates, Boards of Trustees, Board of Regents, principals, educators, community organizations, and our faithful parishioners.
May the tidings of love, harmony, and goodwill spread throughout the world and restore mankind. May the virtues of faith, hope, love, and peace permeate throughout Armenia, Artsakh, and the Diaspora, and may the Armenian people be enlivened by the manifold blessings granted to us by the Birth of our Savior.
Happy New Year
Christ is Born and Revealed
Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian
Prelate, Western United States