When we prepare for a birthday
celebration, we dress well and prepare the house, removing
everything that is unsightly. So, when we prepare to celebrate
Christ's birthday, let us do the same. Clothe yourself with the
light of charity, pearls of justice and mercy, kindness and
Remove, then, all the dirt of
avarice, anger, pride and dissipation. This way, when we receive the
Body and Blood of Christ, it will be a remedy; otherwise, it might
be unto our condemnation, "My friend, how is it you came in
here not having a wedding garment?" You have approached the
Lord's festival banquet without the white garment of repentance.
We are invited to Christ's
nuptials; and if we live holy lives, we are the bride. So consider
what kind of nuptials we are attending, who the Spouse is and what
kind of banquet it is.
The table is not man-made but
instead the table of angels and the food of angels is served. Let us
approach such a table with the pearls of good works.
So, give more alms during this
great feast. For, as we eat in banquets, let not the hungry be
forgotten. He could be your seatmate in heaven, so let him eat as
you eat or at least give him your old tunic. "Whenever you give
a lunch or dinner...invite the beggars and the lame." You must
be pleased they cannot repay you. This way you shall be repaid in
the resurrection of the just. Don't prepare lavish fare for your
relations and friends that you may have some left for the poor.
Then, come and hear the words of
Christ. "Come. . .inherit the kingdom..." "Well done.
. .industrious and reliable servant. Since you were dependable in a
small matter. . .come share your master's glory."
So, here is the way to prepare for
a) remove dissipations and be
adorned with good works
b) give alms
c) repel anger and hatred from your
hearts like the devil's poison
d) faithfully observe chastity
e) feed the poor
f) attend vigils
g) pray and chant psalms in church
h) do not utter idle or worldly
words, and rebuke those who have freely spoken them
i) observe peace with all men
j) recall to harmony those who are
Do these and you will approach the
Lord's altar worthily and, in the future, live life happily in