If we love God, we love everyone—our father and mother, our neighbor and fatherland, as well as other peoples. If we do not love God, we will never be able to love anyone; we will always be prone to committing a sin.
Jesus’s flight into Egypt at the instructions of an angel of the Lord to preserve Him from the death that Herod had devised for Him gives us also an example to follow on the paths of our own lives. We can also encounter in various forms something similar to what happened with our Savior—that is, danger and persecution.
In these festive days we remember with love and reverent wonder the blessed Bethlehem night, under the mysterious cover of which was carried out the great mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16). The Son of God was born at night to dispel the spiritual night by which sin had encompassed mankind and to remind us that He, our Savior and Lord, is the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world (Jn. 1:9) and that He is the Light of Truth with which the night becomes day and without which the day becomes night.
The meaning of this feast day for us, who are constrained by the passions and sin, lies in the obtainment of freedom, which the Lord has given us through His birth; to be freed from slavery to sin and the darkness of our falling away from God, and also to again be able to experience rejoicing in life as true children of God.
Brothers and sisters, observing world events, let us not fall into despair, alarm and fear, but hasten in a spiritual sense “up the mountain,” so that, girding ourselves with humble gratitude for everything that God sends us, with staff in hand, begin our ascent “to the mountain of the Lord.”