The Emmanuel — God with us

Holy Gospel according to Saint John 1:1-14 (extracts)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

It was the true Light which enlightens every man who comes into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world knew Him not. He came into His own domain, and His own received Him not.

But to all those who received Him, He gave the power to become sons of God; He gave this power to all who believe in His Name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. And we saw His glory, His glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father; we saw Him full of grace and truth.

The Incarnation of the Word

Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke 1:26-38 (extracts)

God sent the Angel Gabriel to a Virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the House of David. The Vir gin’s name was Mary.

When the Angel had entered Her house, he said to Her, “Behold, Thou shalt conceive in Thy womb, and shalt bring forth a Son, and Thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High; the Lord God will give Him the throne of David His father. He shall be King over the House of Jacob forever. And of His Kingdom there shall be no end.”

“But since I have resolved to remain a virgin,” said Mary, “how shall this be done?”
“The Holy Spirit shall come upon Thee; the Power of the Most High shall overshadow Thee. Therefore, the Holy One to be born of Thee shall be called the Son of God.”

Then Mary replied, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to Me according to thy word.”

The Nativity of Our Lord

Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke 2:1-21

In those days, a decree was issued by Caesar  Augustus commanding a universal census of the nations. This first census was conducted by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria; and all were going to register, each in his own birthplace.

Joseph, who was of the house and family of David, therefore went from Galilee out of the town of Nazareth into the land of Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, to register there, together with Mary his espoused wife, who was about to give birth.

And while they were there, the time came for Mary to be delivered, and She gave birth to Her firstborn Son.

She wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

There were shepherds in the same district living in the fields and keeping watch over their flocks by night. And behold, an Angel of the Lord stood by them and the glory of God shone round about them, and they feared exceedingly.

“Do not be afraid,” the Angel said to them, “for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which shall be to you and to all the people. Today in the city of David, a Saviour has been born to you: He is Christ the Lord! And this is the sign I give you by which to recognize Him: You will find an Infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will!”

And when the Angels had departed from them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this wonder that has now come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”

They went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in the manger. When they saw this, they understood what had been told them concerning the Child. And all who heard them marvelled at the things they said.

As for Mary, She kept in mind all these things and pondered them in Her heart.

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, even as it had been announced to them.

Eight days later, when the Child was to be circumcised, He was called Jesus, the name given to Him by the Angel even before He was conceived in His Mother’s womb.