In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One God, Amen.
Happy New Year and Merry Christmas. I congratulate you for the glorious birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Celebrating Christmas as celebrated by the whole world on December 25th is extended through the beginning of the calendar year and then celebrated by us according to the Eastern Coptic calendar on January 7th. Christmas is a renewal of our joy and happiness. In the story of Christmas, we see many events and figures but I would like to point out two events.
The wise men came from a distant land, followed the star until they came to Bethlehem, worshipped the baby, and then offered their gifts. This was the end of their trip. On the opposite end, the shepherds saw the angel who gave them the good news. They came to the manger and saw the baby Jesus with His mother, and this was the beginning of their trip. One group was the end, and the other group was the beginning. The beginning of joy was accomplished by the name of “Emmanuel, God is with us.” That is why we became glad. In a few words I would like to meditate with you about one of the main objectives of the Birth of Christ, that is, giving joy to mankind. All details and figures of the story are provided to give happiness and joy. We praise with the angels saying: “Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, and goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14). The phrase “goodwill toward men” means happiness and joy to mankind. Our Lord Jesus Christ came to give joy to every heart. The question now is: What are the elements of giving joy? Let me talk with you about the elements of joy.
The story of the Nativity and Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ is for our salvation. It is so unique that our Christ would provide the answer to the question, “How do we gladden others?” You may meditate on the details of this event to find more figures and spiritual exercises on how to gladden others.
In the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, I congratulate all our Coptic Orthodox Churches, all bishops and priests, the fathers the monks, and the mothers the nuns. I congratulate all Christian people, all boards of churches, all servants, all youth, all children, and all families. I congratulate all of you on behalf of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Holy Synod, and all organizations in Egypt. I congratulate you, my beloved children, and wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year. May Christ bless your lives with all goodness, joy, love, and peace. Glory be to God, Amen.
H.H. Pope Tawadros II
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II is the 118th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the Apostolic See of St. Mark the Evangelist. By definition of his post he is the head of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria.