Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus! Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!
Next Sunday is Christmas Eve. It isn’t every year that Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday. Please note that the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains in tact, as does the obligation to attend Mass on Christmas Day. Please be sure to check the rest of the bulletin for our Mass schedule on both days. It will be a very busy two days, so please keep your priests in your prayers.
This week I present to you, for your reflection and meditation, the Incarnation has changed human history, and is truly the central moment in time. All time, before it and after it, point to that moment when the Son of God took on human flesh. If we want to know what God has truly done for us, we need only to meditate upon the Incarnation. During these final weeks of Advent, may we meditate upon this central mystery of the Christian Faith, and the mystery that should fill us with great hope. Our Lord became one of us, so that we could become like God. If this isn’t the greatest Christmas gift ever given, then it is hard to say what could be. Have a blessed week ahead!
“It was not enough, says St. Augustine, for the divine love to have made us to his own image in creating the first man Adam; but he must also himself be made to our image in redeeming us. Adam partook of the forbidden fruit, beguiled by the serpent, which suggested to Eve that if she ate of that fruit she should become like to God, acquiring the knowledge of good and evil; and therefore the Lord then said, Behold, Adam is become one of us God said this ironically, and to upbraid Adam for his rash presumption; but after the Incarnation of the Word we can truly say, “Behold, God is become like one of us.”
“Look, then, O man,” exclaims St. Augustine, “thy God is made thy brother;” thy God is made like thee, a son of Adam, as thou art : he has put on thy selfsame flesh, has made himself passible, liable to suffer and to die as thou art. He could have assumed the nature of an angel; but no, he would take on himself thy very flesh, that thus lie might give satisfaction to God with the very same flesh (though sinless) of Adam the sinner. And he even gloried in this, oftentimes styling himself the Son of man; hence we have every right to call him our brother.
It was an immeasurably greater humiliation for God to become man than if all the princes of the earth, than if all the angels and saints of heaven, with the divine Mother herself, had been turned into a blade of grass, or into a handful of clay; yes, for grass, clay, princes, angels, saints, are all creatures ; but between the creature and God there is an infinite difference. Ah, exclaims St. Bernard, the more a God has humbled himself for us in becoming man, so much the more has he made his goodness known to us: “The smaller he has become by humility, the greater he has made himself in bounty.”
But the love which Jesus Christ bears to us, cries out the Apostle, irresistibly urges and impels us to love him: The charity of Christ pressees us!” – St. Alphonsus de Liguori