2018 Christmas Message to Our Youth
[Viktoriia Marko, Eparchial Youth and Young Adult Minister]
CHRIST IS BORN! GLORIFY HIM!
So, you are probably exchanging Christmas greetings with your friends, relatives, teachers, colleagues…and traditionally, I, as the Eparchial Youth Minister, should wish you something too…. However, what I want to wish for you is hard to put into words. It is hard to describe with words the meaning that the Nativity of Christ has for us.
I thought for a long time what I could wish for you, how to choose the best, most essential…. so, I took the icon of the Nativity of Christ and started to reflect, thinking of you, and here is what came from this…
But first, in order for you to understand my message, find 10 minutes to meditate, look at this icon and slowly read my message, contemplate it with me. Let the Lord help us with this! My words are for you, with great love and care …
I WANT YOU TO GO TO JESUS
You see, this road leads up a rocky mountain, it is not easy and you will probably stumble and fall-down painfully many times. But get up and go! Let nothing and nobody stop you! You might even get lost somewhere, far up, like these lambs. But remember that you have a shepherd in the person of your priest who can help you to go the right way. So, make good use of the sacrament of confession and spiritual conversations!
Keep your eyes to the sky, do not let them down! For only up you will see the heavenly sign – a star that points to the place of meeting with Jesus. In addition, this star will be useful to you as a flashlight, when you walk in the dark. So look up!
Listen to the angelic singing that glorifies God in the flesh. You can hear this singing at the Divine Liturgy. So run to the Liturgy! In this way you can get closer to the manger and see the miracle.
And look at the covered hands of the angels, who are ready to bear God, the Child. Do you know that God gives you more grace than He gave to the angels? The angels take His Son into their own hands, and you can take Him into your heart …. How? In the Holy Eucharist! Therefore, often and trembling, come to the Holy Eucharist!
What else will be useful to you on the way to Jesus? Of course wise kings! They are led by knowledge about the birth of the Messiah. Therefore, know Christ! How? Carefully listening to the Word of God and meditating while reading the Scriptures and other spiritual literature … After all, you know, you are entering into a relationship with a person when you are getting to know them. In the case of Jesus, by getting to know Him, you will gain the true Friend.
The community will help you on the way. On the icon, you see different communities – the community of wise men, angels, shepherds, but they all go in the same direction, albeit in different ways; they go to Christ, they want to meet Him. Join them. Become an active member of your parish community! Together, bring your gifts to Christ and serve Him with your talents! Together with others it is easier to journey to Jesus.
Look at Joseph on the right, he is tortured by the doubts about the news of the Virgin’s pregnancy. But you know that the angel dispersed all his doubts. So when you go to Jesus – do not doubt but be brave! Ask your Guardian Angel to dispel any doubts of the faith that you might have. Without this Heavenly Friend, you will not succeed in this journey, so take advantage of His constant presence near you. You are not alone!
The road to Jesus leads through Mary. She shows you the right path. On the icon the Virgin is as big as the rock that smashed Satan’s head. It reflects the greatness of her maternal love and care for you. The Virgin Mary wants to give Jesus to you as she gave Him to you on the cross. Come closer … look at her suffering glance and hear her words: “I gave you my child Jesus so that you could become my child, trust me … and I’ll open the manger for you …..”
Look at the animals. They recognized the Savior! And you? Do you recognize Him?
Jesus is as small as a mustard seed, which he will later say is the least of all seeds, but when germinated, it becomes the largest tree! Such should be your faith! Ensure your faith is always alive and growing!
Jesus is in the darkness … But remember He is the Light of the world, thrown into the world to illuminate the darkness. And He did this – He trampled death by death giving us eternal life! So never lose hope!
When you arrive at the manger, and find yourself contemplating God’s miracle, may you have the courage to touch Him and to be deified. Do not be afraid to be holy! It is from this manger, next to the Blessed One, that the newborn Christ gives you holiness. “Grow in my holiness!” – He says to you. – “and be holy!”
Christ is born! Glorify Him!
Holiness to You, dear Friends!
Youth and Young Adult Minister
Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon
306-653-0138 ext 227