St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

January 2018

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Christ is Born!

So much of popular and common religion is self-centered, as Richard Rohr and everyday experience tells us. We have come to believe that it is about me and my salvation, my sin, my righteousness, the star in my crown, and if this is so, then there is a great distance between what we believe about Christ and who he has revealed God to be.

While we are busy filling ourelves up, God is busy emptying himself out. And this is the heart of the matter. We are called to the same kind of self-emptying that Jesus demonstated in his life. We are called to a life of service like Christ, utter emptiness and self-sacrifice for the sake of others.

In truth, the outpouring of Grace that comes through Jesus Christ means that we need never worry about ourselves and our salvation. It is a lack of faith that causes us to fear for ourselves. Christ has accomplished all things for us and thus his words so often spoken, "Do not be afraid and do not worry about your life," must not be tossed lightly aside. Fearlessness is a sign of faith and it is faith that drives out all fear.

We do, however, need to be concerned for the welfare of creation, not only the human part of it, but for all things that God has made. Our concern, if we choose to follow Christ's straight and narrow path, is a vehicle for Divine Compassion.

The more we empty ourselves of ourselves, the more the living water Jesus spoke about will flow from us into the world for it is there, deep within us, locked away under layers of selfish concerns, and needs only faith to break free.

With deep love and affection, 
 Fr. Antony