In a message considered vital to a divided society, the Metropolitan of Banat referred to the adoration of Baby Jesus by the Magi as an impetus for unity, communion, and cooperation.
“The Nativity of the Lord is an event that has blessed the history of the human race. The coming and the adoration of the Magi, as messengers of all humankind, in front of the Infant in the manger of Bethlehem, is a call to unity, communion and cooperation – a message so necessary in a divided society,” wrote Metropolitan Ioan of Banat in a pastoral message at the beginning of the Christmas Fast.
Metropolitan Ioan urged clean fasting, with peace and joy, combined with good deeds.
“Let us not forget, especially in these days of trial, the good deed and let us take care, with brotherly love, of those in suffering, of the lonely, sick and helpless, and especially of our brothers and sisters in hospitals,” he added.
The Metropolitan of Banat remembered the doctors who take care of patients in hospitals.
“I also urge you to pray for the medical staff who, with much love and sacrifice, care for those on the bed of suffering,” said the metropolitan, who recalled the words of the Prophet Isaiah about the fast that God appreciates:
“Fasting that pleases God involves, in addition to prayer and personal labour, the renunciation of selfishness and the inclination towards our fellows who face many material shortcomings: Share your bread with the hungry, bring to your house the poor, cover the naked and do not hide from your own flesh (Isaiah 58: 7).”
During the fasting season, all churches and monasteries within the Archdiocese of Timisoara will raise funds for people in a delicate financial situation.
In his message, Metropolitan Ioan recalls that the Nativity Fast was mentioned in the writings of the Holy Fathers of the Church beginning with the fourth century.
“From Blessed Augustine and Saint Leo the Great, we are left with a few sermons dedicated to this fast and to the spiritual preparation for the feast of the Nativity of the Lord, sermons mentioning the tenth month’s fast.”
“The Church Fathers teach us that this less severe fast is a fast of joy and reminds us of Old Testament patriarchs and righteous who spent a long time in fasting and prayer, waiting and hoping for the coming of the Messiah – the Saviour.”
The Nativity Fast began on Sunday, November 15.
Photo source: Tion.ro
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