“…that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.” – John 17:13

Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord,

A recent study found that 40% of Americans say that autumn is their favorite season.  Something about leaves changing color, the weather cooling while we dress cozier and visit family gives us a great sense of joy. Truly, there is a sense of indescribable joy that comes with the holiday season, as we begin to focus more on gratitude, generosity, and our many blessings.

Before His passion, Jesus prayed to the Father asking that His followers might “have My joy fulfilled in themselves.” Indeed, it is easy to be joyous when we reflect on how much the Lord loves us! His abundant love for us in coming to earth, “taking the form of a servant” (Phil 2:7) was because He could no longer be separated from us through sin.  Saint Paul says “rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say rejoice!” (Phil 4:4)
In the Nicene Creed, we affirm that “for us men and for our salvation, He came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man.” If we believe that He did all these things for our benefit and out of love, saving us from destruction, we have great cause to celebrate, to rejoice! 

As we move from autumn into this Christmas season, let us reflect on our many blessings which the Lord has given out of His love for each of us and “rejoice in the Lord, always.”

Merry Christmas!  Καλα Χριστουγεννα! 

With love in Christ,

Fr. Niko Bekris