Encyclical for the Feasts of the Nativity of Christ And the New Year

No. Prot. 103/10
Amfilochios by the mercy of God, Metropolitan Archbishop of New Zealand and Exarch of Oceana
To our reverend Clergy and our pious Orthodox Christians.

Beloved “off spring” in the Lord,
The Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ is a great feast that shows the love of God toward man.
God so loved the world, we read in the Holy Gospel, that He sent to it His Only-begotten Son to become man and to save man - all men in general, regardless of colour, race and language.
Our Christ humbled Himself to an unimaginable degree by leaving the great glory which He had near His Father in order to become a simple man – without, however, ceasing to be God. He was born in a meagre and insignificant cave in Bethlehem from the pure Virgin Mary who received the Divine Child in one of the mangers where the dumb animals ate their food so that on that cold winter night they could warm the Baby with their breath.
Our Christ did all of these things out of love and desiring only to raise man up to the original beauty he had in Paradise before the disobedience of the “First-created,” Adam and Eve.
It is worth the effort for us too, to show the Saviour of the world our love by striving to apply all that His Holy Gospel tells us and the things our holy Church teaches us.
The new year 2011 is a good opportunity for us tο sort out our spiritual strengths; to repent for all the evil deeds we did and for all the good deeds we did not do, that we kneel down under the “epitrachileion” (stole) of the Spiritual Father and confess with sincerity and a change of heart whatever weighs us down and in this way preparedly, with repentance and confession, the fasting and the prayers, draw near to the Chalice of Life to receive the Body and the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ unto the remission of sins and to life everlasting. Amen.

« Χρόνια πολλά » (many years) to all of you.
With paternal love
Christmas 2010

your Metropolitan,

+Archbishop Amfilochios of
New Zealand

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