O man, know then that God becomes flesh
And where did this incarnation take place?
The body of a Holy Virgin!
Let us, too, burst forth with voice of joy.
Let us celebrate the mystery of the Salvation of the whole world,
The birthday of mankind.
Today the blame of Adam is revoked.
No longer: “You are dust, and to dust you will return”;
But, closely united to the celestial world,
You will be lifted even into Heaven.
No longer: in pain will you bear sons;
But, blessed is the one who has borne Emmanuel
And blessed is the womb that nourished Him.
— St. Basil the Great (d. 379) Homily on the Generation of Christ
Christ is Born!
We extend our prayers in Christmas Greeting to all the clergy, religious, and people of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh. 2013 has been a year filled with celebrations, programs, births, and the passing of friends within our churches. As we gather during the Christmas holydays, we sing in honor of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem and we lift up everyone in our prayers to the Lord.
It is always a joy to see the anticipation of a child awaiting the opening of presents left by Saint Nicholas and the exchange of gifts. Awake or asleep, dreams of
enjoyment using the gifts fill their minds. The old gifts of a sled or baseball glove have been replaced with more complicated new toys that I do not understand.
However, the gifts are part of learning of Christmas traditions of decorating and the tasting the special foods as the family and friends gather together. No matter what our age, we share the joy of our Christmas celebrations whether they are small or large.
The deeper understanding comes with time that we relive the miracle of the Son of God being born as a little child to Mary. Saint Basil the Great’s Homily on the
Generation of Christ explains that the God’s entry into the world transforms the world. The mystery of the salvation of the world is revealed through Jesus’s birth. Jesus’s birth will make it possible for him to dwell with us and to show us the way to eternal life. As we sing “God is with us,” we feel his presence in our lives and we know that no matter what happens, we will be with him at the eternal banquet in heaven. Along with all creation, we are lifted up and made new.
We give thanks for all we have received from God during the past year, and we thank you for your prayers and support. We thank in special way all who generously
helped the unfortunate in the Philippines. Our problems seem small in light of rebuilding an island nation. We pray that God will be with us and bless you and your families during this Christmas season and throughout the entire coming year of 2014.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend William C. Skurla, D.D.
Metropolitan Archbishop of Pittsburgh