‘By great poverty, you have filled everyone with riches’ – Wishes from Pemptousia

24 December 2021

‘In your swaddling-clothes you have loosed the bonds of transgressions

And by great poverty have filled everyone with riches, merciful one.

Laid in the manger of dumb beasts, pre-eternal Word of God,

You free mortals of irrational evil’.

(Troparion Ode 9, Sunday of the Forefathers)

The shackles fastened by the innumerable transgressions and crimes in which human history is swathed are loosed by a babe in swaddling-clothes.

Real riches, which people generally look for in the wrong places and in the wrong way, are freely granted through extreme poverty.

Absurd and destructive evil is not rooted out by rules of criminal justice, nor by seeking enemies in the faces of other people, but through the extreme humility of a manger, which prefigures the tomb of God the Word, who exists pre-eternally and without beginning.

An event which challenges reason on a number of levels, is the first-fruits of the salvation of the human race.

Of all the contradictions, that which is the most difficult to understand and accept is that this greatest blessing is given to us freely. And that the most sublime wisdom is concealed in very simple language.

All of this makes Christ’s Nativity the real ‘Metropolis of Feasts’, as Saint John Chrysostom puts it.

The editorial team of Pemptousia wishes all visitors and friends many happy years, with the senses of the heart open to the strange mystery of our uncircumscribable God, whose desire is to dwell within us and transfuse eternal life to us.