December 2019 Letter
The gospel of St. John begins by saying about Christ that: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1: 1), meaning that our Lord Jesus Christ was existing before His incarnation and birth from St. Mary in the fullness of time. The Bible, from as early as the Book of Genesis, refers to Christ. In some instances it does so with hints, and in others with more evident examples. As we approach the Nativity Fast, we would like to mention some characters from the Book of Genesis that point to Christ:
- First character is Adam, the first man. Adam was a clear symbol of Christ, thus many church fathers call him the first Adam, in comparison with Christ the second Adam:
- Adam was the beginning of the human race, while Christ was the beginning of the new humanity after the corruption of the human race.
- God put Adam into a deep sleep and took a rib from him and made Eve. Likewise, Christ died on the Cross and blood and water came out of His side, through which He bought His church.
- Then Abel the righteous, who also was a symbol of Christ in some aspects:
- Abel loved his brother yet his brother killed him, so Christ came to His own but they did not accept Him.
- God the Father accepted the offerings of Abel, and also The Father accepted the sacrifice of His only Son on behalf of mankind.
- Another character is Melchizedek, who resembled Christ in the following regards:
- The name: Melchizedek means the king of righteousness.
- Occupation: King of Salem, a city whose name means peace.
- Was king and priest at the same time.
- Offered bread and wine, which was a peculiar offering.
- We do not know about his father or mother, nothing mentioned about the start or end of his reign.
- Also Isaac was a symbol of Christ:
- Isaac was born miraculously from the dead womb of Sarah, while Christ was born miraculously from a virgin without the seed of a man.
- Then we see the obedience of Isaac to his father up to slaughter, compared to the obedience of Christ to The Father up to death on the Cross.
- Isaac carried the wood and walked 3 days, while Christ carried the cross and was buried 3 days.
- Lastly, Joseph the righteous, who resembled Christ in many aspects, some of which are:
- Joseph was the beloved son of his father but then became a slave in Egypt, and Christ who was the Only Begotten Son who pleased the Father came to the world as a slave.
- Joseph was sold by his brothers for twenty shekels of silver and they threw him into the well yet he came out alive, and Christ went down to Hades after He was sold for thirty pieces of silver yet resurrected alive from the dead.
- Joseph was named by Pharaoh Zaphnath-Paaneah which means savior of the world, while Christ is the one who carries the title of “Savior of the world”.
The blessings of St. Mary mother of God, and the Nativity fast be with us always, Amen.
Belleville, December 1, 2019