• on December 24, 2021

Christmas Encyclical of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia 2021


by the mercy of God, Archbishop of the Most Holy Archdiocese of Australia, Primate and Exarch of All Oceania, to the God-loving Bishops, the gracious clergy and monastic brotherhoods, to the Presidents of the honourable Administrative Committees and Philoptochos Associations, to the teachers and students in the Schools, to those who work in the philanthropic institutions and to all the Christ-loving plenitude of the Orthodox Church in Australia, grace and peace from our Saviour Jesus Christ born in Bethlehem.


Venerable Brother fellow Bishops and my beloved children,

Within human history, there are accounts of supernatural births of human ‘gods’, but what humanity experienced with the birth of Christ is entirely new and unique. While there are human beings who, to this day claim to be ‘gods’ and go about demonstrating their supernatural powers and rely on them, Christ came humbly and quietly. With the birth of Christ, weakness is conclusively sanctified! A weakness which establishes the omnipotence of the true God; the only God who was revealed “in the flesh” within human history. It is a weakness which is not only seen in the humble nature of His Birth but also in the fact that His coming invites people to the knowledge of God and to deification, a condition despised by many religions.

Your Graces, my brother fellow Bishops and my beloved children,

We do not need to be exceptional personalities to live beautifully; and also, for those next to us, to live humanely as well. It is enough to admit our mistakes, to resign from the deceptions of “beauty”, to break the fence of our “ego”, and to reconcile with the “weakness” of our almighty God. Success, for the human person is ultimately to accept weakness as a way of life. That cold “holy night” of the Birth of our Lord refers to our lost hopes, to our forgotten dreams, and to our abandoned prospects. This darkness reminds us of the pain of the human soul which seeks meaning and courage. In all this darkness, the weakness of an almighty God comes to overturn everything, giving light and hope. In this way, humbly and quietly lost hopes return, forgotten dreams become a reality, and abandoned prospects are renewed. And all this, simply because we begin to live differently. We find rest in the weakness of the almighty God, we are liberated from createdness and then a new spring dawns in our souls.

A blessed Christmas and a happy new year!

In Sydney, on the 25th of December 2021,
Your Shepherd


† Archbishop MAKARIOS
Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia

31st Encyclical, 25 December 2021.

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