2nd Street Cathedral
59 East Second Street
(Between First & Second Avenue)
New York, NY 10003
December 20, 2013
12/20: Nativity Greeting & Appeal
Beloved Friends and Supporters of the Second Street Cathedral,
We thank you for your generous support over the years and lovingly greet you:
Christ is born! Glorify Him!
As Christians we bear witness of these glad tidings of the Gospel to all people on earth.
Our entire being, every breath and movement, is wholly united to God and humanity through the Incarnation of His Only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ. The significance of the self-emptying (kenosis) of our infinite God must not be limited by the inability of our finite minds to grasp this world changing event. The Incarnation of Christ, the birth of the eternal Word of God, made flesh in the womb of the holy Virgin Mary, which we celebrate on Christmas, initiates an ongoing and progressive illumination of our hearts and minds. By the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, Christ's healing work continues in the Church, which is herself His very body, through which flows his very blood, and wherein we hear His voice, and touch His wounded, yet risen and glorified body. Out of love, He fully took our humanity upon Himself and endured hate, poverty, suffering and death; and He participates and is fully present with all who face suffering, affliction, want, hate or persecution.
By the Incarnation, we are "reconciled to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end (Ephesians 2)" and God is present personally in the midst of all human tragedy, sorrow and loss. Conversely, every form of hate, prejudice, persecution or inequity is a direct attack on the very body of our Lord, and God, and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is never justified, nor acceptable, but is a sin against God the Holy Spirit, Who enlivens, sanctifies, renews and fully abides in limitless love for every person, even those who hate Him, without discrimination or prejudice.
This year we bear in our hearts and minds all who suffer persecution, imprisonment and death for Christ in the Middle East and Africa, all who suffer loss and hardships from natural and man-made-disasters, all who are oppressed by economic or civil inequality which inflicts hardship, illness and deprivation, all who are robbed of justice, liberty and dignity. It is in them and with them that we will find the newborn child, the Lamb of God, the Savior of the World - Christ. His co-suffering love for all is the good news -- the Gospel of Christmas, and of true Christian faith. May it continue to be made manifest to us and through us, and as the blinders of fear, hatred, prejudice, greed and ambition continue to slowly fall from our eyes, as we work toward a more just society for all, may God help us adjust to the new realities that come with that enhanced vision. It is the manifestation in the world of his heavenly Kingdom, where we "are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone (Ephesians 2)," Whom we bless and glorify forever. Rejoice in the birth of our Lord!
With love and best wishes from the Clergy and Members of the Second Street Cathedral