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December 27, 2020

Homily for the Sunday after Christmas (Archimandrite George Kapsanis)


 Homily for the Sunday after Christmas

Delivered on December 26, 2008

By Archimandrite George Kapsanis

We are still in the feast of Christmas, because even today, the second day of the feast, we have Christmas. But the Church especially honors today the Most Holy Theotokos, that is, the person who more than any other person collaborated in the Birth of our Savior Christ. That is why our Church today conducts a Synaxis, that is, it brings together the faithful. Christians gather to offer the divine Eucharist and to celebrate in honor of our Panagia and out of gratitude to the Most Holy Theotokos.

But because today coincides with the Sunday after Christmas, the memory of three persons, who also had a direct relationship with our Lord, is celebrated.

First, David the King and Prophet, who not only prophesied the coming of the Lord, but was also one of the forefathers of our Lord in the flesh. And as foretold, the Messiah would come from the house and kingdom of King David.

Second, Righteous Joseph, who protected the Most Holy Theotokos and was the instrument of divine Providence, to save the all-pure Theotokos and protect her from the social consequences of a strict and conservative society, as society was in those years, against the birth-giving of the Virgin. Because of course the people did not know the mystery and the supernatural nature of the Nativity of the Lord, and therefore of the Lady Theotokos, if she was without a man, she would be in danger. And, as it seems, Saint Joseph was a man of great virtue, most meek, peaceful, kind, and he helped a lot in protecting both the Lady Theotokos and the Divine Infant. He was also obedient to the will of God, and when, by apparition, the angel commanded this or that, with sincerity of heart Saint Joseph accepted it.

And thirdly, Saint James the Brother of God, who belongs to the relatives according to the flesh of the Lord. For the Lord, as we know and as is mentioned in the holy Gospels, also had four brothers. But these were not brothers from the Most Holy Theotokos - God forbid, for the Lady Theotokos was ever-virgin - but they were either cousins of the Lord or children of Joseph by a wife he had before he was betrothed to the Lady Theotokos.

From these three persons, whom we celebrate today, it seems that the Lord became a complete man and had relatives. He was indeed the Son of man. Not only the Son of God but also the Son of man. And if he were not the Son of man, he could not save us. But he was also the Son of God. And if he were not also the Son of God, he could not save us. He saves us, because he is the Son of man and the Son of God. This Mystery of the God-man Christ is the Mystery of our salvation, which is performed in our holy Church and which today - aspects of this Mystery - we celebrate, celebrating both the Lady Theotokos, the Mother of Christ, and these three righteous and holy men.

Let us pray that they may intercede for us to the Lord with their powerful intercessions, and especially Saint Joseph. Because there is a tradition and revelations on this subject, that Saint Joseph has great boldness before the Lord. May they intercede, so that we too may be witnesses of His divine Incarnation from spiritual experience. May Christ not be for us an idea, an ideology, but be the living God-man, with whom we have daily kinship, spiritual intimacy, a sense of His presence and His love and His Grace, and this will be the meaning of our life but also the true joy of our life.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.