Epistle reading: Galatians 4:4-7
Gospel reading: Matthew 2:1-12
Glory to Thee, O God! Once again we have seen the bright feast days of Christmas. Now let us be glad and rejoice. Just in order to increase our joy in these days, the Holy Church has established the Advent Lent before them, some sort of restriction — so that upon reaching Christmas we savor freedom.
Yet the Church does not want us to limit our pleasures to sensual and material things. Since time immemorial, this season has received the name of "holy days", which demands that our joy is holy, just as the days are holy. And to make sure that we do not forget about it in the course of our celebration, the Church has given us that familiar short song in the glory of Christ the Incarnate God, a song which tames our flesh and exalts our spirit, moving us in the direction proper for these holy days:
Christ is born — glorify Him!
Christ from the heavens — meet Him!
Christ on earth — let us be exalted!
Sing praise to the Lord, the entire world!
(by St. Gregory the Theologian, 4th century)
(To be continued)