Nativity Fast is a period of preparation before the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus. A friend of mine told me yesterday: “I am so happy because the Christmas Fast will begin soon – time for my teeths and my stomach to get a rest”. And I told him: “It’s time for your soul to get a rest as well”.Before heading on this road it is very important to know the reason of doing this and the significance of Nativity Fast. Everything that happened regarding the Nativity of Jesus was miraculous and hard to believe, but true.Moreover, I will list all the uncommon things related to this great event in human history:
1.Virgin Mary became pregnant through God’s direct intervention, without union with a man, a thing that never happened before in this world nor will it happen again.
2.The child embodied in her was not a common child, but the Son of God, the Second person of the Holy Trinity, True God from True God: “The holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35 )
The presence of an embryo in a woman’s womb marks the coming of a new and unique person, that slowly begins to grow both physically and mentally.What is special about the presence of the embryo in Virgin Mary’s womb isthat the Person of the Child already existed. The Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity decided to embody and become man.Through the embodiment He has two natures – the divine nature and the human nature and two wills – the divine will and the human will, but he remains one person, the same from all eternity.
Although hard to believe, Virgin Mary’s child was truly God. Virgin Mary was to give birth to the Unborn One, to the One without age, to the One that gave life to her.
3.When Joseph, Mary’s fiance, found out she was pregnant and took the decision to leave her believing she has been unfaithful, God sent His angel to Joseph assuring him that what happened to Mary is beyond human understanding:
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:19-21)
4.From the statements above it is to be understood the Child’s special mission: to save the world from its sins. A mission that is important and hard at the same time. How can you convince people to give up their bad habits, their attraction towards selfish pleasure, how to change their will? It is easier to win a war or to break free from a regime of tyranny than to change people’s conscience.
Nevertheless, Jesus Christ, the awaited Messiah promised by God to Adam and Eve, came to earth to save the wolrd, to overcome death, to liberate us from sin and to unite us all within Him and through Him.
5.The Saints tell us that Virgin Mary was always a virgin – before the birth of Jesus, during the birth and after His birth. This proves that Virgin Marygave birth in a way that we cannot understand. In this respect, the Saints recommend us to avoid trying to solve the mistery. Virgin Mary gave birth without pain as the child she bore in her womb wasn’t the result of a union with a man (a union tarnished by the original sin), but a consequence of the Holy Spirit’s direct intervention upon her.
6.After Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus, three wiseman, who were foreigners to Israel, who couldn’t have known the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob came and knelt before Him as to an emperor.
7.Herod, after finding about Jesus birth started looking for Him thinking his throne was endangered. Therefore, he decided to kill all the newborn baby boys under 2 years old. There was no coincidence that Jesus was born in a period when thousands of babies were killed at Herod’s command.
Everything that happened at Jesus birth was miraculous and influences all mankind.It is not easy to grasp the depth and the greatness of God’s incarnation and His coming to earth.Jesus’ birth, 2011 years ago is strongely connected to my present and my future life.
The Nativity Fast is a period of preparation that helps us understand clearly what happened then. Jesus birth concerns me and my family and we have to understand what happened then and the consequences of that upon our lives nowadays.
A man gorged with food and drinks is more prone towards the material side of life neglecting the divine and spiritual aspects.A person like that will never understand the birth of God from a virgin and he will always hold on things like: Christmas tree, presents or a rich dinner ignoring the fact that all these things will not cure their frustrations and dissatisfactions.
A person that fasts (abstains from eating, drinking, partying and cursing), a person that shares, forgives and loves will more easily understand Nativity’s meaning and the change brought by God through His incarnation in our world.
A person that always prays and communicates with God will get into the warm Christmas atmosphere even earlier, during the Nativity Fast.
Why do we fast?
To find solutions to our life’s problems.