My beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Having recently experienced the joy of the 4th Official Visit to Korea of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, we praise the Lord Who, through His ineffable mercy, deemed us worthy to experience this blessed ecclesiastical event.
In a sense, this event was the preparation for and prelude to the upcoming Heavenly Visit, that is, the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, which holds our attention and grounds our hope again this year:
Our Savior has visited us from on high, from the farthest East.
We had been in the shadow of darkness,
but now we contemplate the Light of Truth:
for the Lord is born of the Virgin!
Meditating on these words, we leap with spiritual joy, because the eternal Word has visited us in fully human form in order to redeem us from the bonds of death and save us from the tyranny of sin and corruption.
The fact that the timeless God entered time, the invisible One “was seen by mortals”, the fleshless God was incarnated and dwelt among us, the rich God became poor for our sake, so that we may be enriched by His poverty ( 2 Cor. 8: 9), all these truths constitute an incomprehensible mystery, which we Orthodox Christians do not attempt to comprehend through our finite rational minds, but rather try to live experientially, so that the Mystery of the Divine Incarnation of God’s Word may become the concrete reality of our Salvation.
We pray that God’s Visit to our world may inspire each one of us to fulfill our own responsibility concerning the Salvation of the world. For by visiting those around us who are suffering, we all become the medium through which Christ, “in another form” (Mk 16: 12), will visit modern man “who has fallen among thieves,“ thus “removing his wounds by pouring on oil and wine.“ This can only be accomplished through our sacrificial love toward each of our neighbors. Let us, therefore, bring Crucified Love to the world in a personal, tangible manner. Let us become messengers of Peace, Joy, and Hope by spreading an Orthodox Witness to those who seek the Truth of Christ, so that the world may live.
My beloved Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, I pray that God’s Visit to the world, having been realized in such an unfathomable and supernatural way, may be experienced by each of us personally, becoming the most joyous, the most hopeful and the most transformative and world-saving event for more and more people in today’s society.
His Eminence Metropolitan Sotirios of Pisidia, our Clergymen and monastics, our fellow collaborators, and I wish to all of you a blessed and joyous Christmas!
With much love and honour in the Incarnate Lord,
+ Metropolitan Ambrosios of Korea