On the Nativity of the Lord, Patriarch Daniel of Romania urged the faithful to offer Christ their most precious gifts not only at Christmas but every day of their lives.
The gifts of the faithful
During his sermon on Christmas day, the Patriarch of Romania explained that Christ does not want us to bring gold, myrrh, and frankincense, as the three wise men from the East. He asks of us for spiritual gifts, which any believer can bring.
“Let us offer to Christ, not only at Christmas but throughout our Christian life, the most precious gifts. Gold is the true faith, frankincense is the prayer united with the fervent tears of repentance, and myrrh is pure life and good works.”
“By this, we also become loved by God and humans as the Magi of the East, and become the heralds of the mystery of the love of the world by the humble and merciful love of God,” Patriarch Daniel said December 25.
The gifts of the Magi
The Patriarch of Romania presented the symbolism of the gifts the three wise men brought to the Baby Jesus.
“Gold means the Baby is King.”
“Myrrh is a very fragrant substance. At the same time, it maintains its state of cleanliness when mixed with aloe oil. Therefore, myrrh was used to embalm the dead. Myrrh, in this case, prophetically meant that the Child who is King, God, and High Priest, would pass through death but would not know corruption, for he would rise from the dead. Myrrh signifies the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection.”
“Frankincense means that He is God and High Priest because the high priest of the temple offered frankincense to God.”
A prophetic birth
The Patriarch pointed out that the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ was prophesied by Old Testament prophets, especially by Isaiah and Micah. And the Jewish people had been waiting for the coming of the Messiah, the Anointed One of God, a name which was translated into Greek as Christ.
“The Jewish people were ready for the coming of the Messiah, and the righteous of the Old Testament were eagerly awaiting the coming of the Saviour, the Redeemer. But, surprisingly, some pagan peoples were also waiting for this event.”
“These Magi from the East, when they saw an unusual star, understood that a great event was taking place and that a Great Emperor was being born. The Magi were wise men who studied the course of the stars and interpreted dreams,” Patriarch Daniel noted.
Effects on creation
In his speech at the Patriarchal Cathedral, Patriarch Daniel referred to the effects produced by the birth of the Baby Jesus on creation.
“This holiday is great and holy because it is sanctifying. Christ the Lord is the eternal Son of God through Whom and for Whom the whole universe was created, as the Holy Apostle Paul tells us in the Epistle to Colossians 1:16: “All things were made by him and for him.”
“God, in His plan of salvation, determined that Christ should descend into the world, become Man, and sanctify the world within. First, human nature is sanctified because Christ was born of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary. He sanctifies humanity from within, from the womb of His Mother, who is the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos.”
“He sanctifies the earth from within by his birth in the cave of Bethlehem. He sanctified the vegetable kingdom by laying in the manger of Bethlehem, where the animals ate.”
“By this, we see that Christ sanctifies the creation which He made, but which through sin departed from God.”
“He is approaching us so that we can draw closer to God in Heaven. This is the spiritual understanding of the Nativity.”
“Therefore, to God’s gift to us, we respond through gifts brought to the church, but also through gifts brought to children, the sick, the elderly, as well as to all people in difficulty,” Patriarch Daniel stressed.
The Patriarch of Romania prayed to Baby Jesus to bless all the children, parents, and families.
“The Nativity of the Lord is par excellence the feast of the Christian family and may it help us to be confessors, bringers of spiritual gifts to Christ, like the Magi of old.”
Patriarch Daniel wished to those who celebrate their name on Christmas (those who bear the name of Christian, Christina, and derivatives) “many years with health, joy and much help from God.”
Patriarch Daniel celebrated the Divine Lurgies at the Patriarchal Cathedral of Sts Constantine and Helen in Bucharest on Saturday, December 25, 2021. Concelebrants included Patriarchal Auxiliary Bishop Ieronim of Sinaia and Bishop Qais Sadiq of Erzurum (Antioch Patriarchate).