Dear brothers in Christ,
“For unto you is born this day a Saviour”. With these words of joy and gladness, I would like to make you once again partakers of our long continued offering of a Christmas “meal of love” and gifts to more than five hundred children of our kindergarten and elementary school as well as of our poor neighborhood, which lacks even the basic essentials since people, especially children, live in conditions of unimaginable misery and deprivation.
The birth of the Savior and Redeemer of the world reminds us once again that He came to earth as the poorest of men, though he was to become the King and Master of the visible and the invisible world. This God incarnate came to earth to save us, but at the same time to teach us. The God of love and peace was born in a stable as a humble servant, without any grandeur or glory. He taught us from then on that we should live simply and humbly so we can resemble Him, imitate Him, communicate with Him and become one with Him. This poverty He was born in opens up new perspectives and orientations. St. Paul, the Apostle to the Nations, explains so eloquently saying: «though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich”. (2 Corinthians 8: 9)
It is in this spirit that every year here in our premises we invite for a communal meal, a love feast with us all the orphans and the poor, unprotected children to show them that our Church as well as her founder, Jesus Christ Himself, have always been a friend of the poor. It is an opportunity that is offered with genuine concern and brotherly love so that everybody can feel that we are a family and can experience the warmth of accepting this reality.
We may be poor, but we enrich ourselves with the grace of God, since we can share what we have with them. This unique love for our neighbor, the least of our brothers, who is none other than Christ Himself, fills everyone’s heart with hope, faith, affability, solidarity, acceptance, and humility.
That is why I am writing to you today, to make you partakers of this authentic love of the Orthodox Missionary Fraternity, since you so eagerly responded to our request by sending us the amount of five thousand euro for the food program of our poor and orphaned children, as well as for the Christmas love feast. So, we would like to thank you wholeheartedly and assure you that we will always keep you in our humble prayers and supplications to the Most High, so that He strengthens you richly and benevolently to His glory and to the glory of His Church. You cannot imagine how many tired and thirsty souls this love offering of yours has helped and has strengthened both materially and spiritually. We will be eternally grateful to you.
Allow me to add that I have not forgotten your irrepressible zeal for ministry to the Orthodox Mission to the nations since 1963. I would also like to add that the spiritual founder of your Fraternity, the late missionary Fr. Chrysostomos Papasarantopoulos, was the person who inspired me and lit up the missionary path of my life with his blessing.
No matter how many obstacles and difficulties occur, the work of the Evangelization will be continued under any circumstances. The power of God’s presence on this path of ours strengthens and supports us and opens new ways and prospects. What needs to be done on our part is deep and sincere repentance and prayer, humility and faith, obedience to the will of God.
Once again we wholeheartedly thank you.
Least among Bishops,
† Elder Makarios