NATIVITY OF OUR LORD 2014
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called
Emmanuel which means God with us. (Isaiah 7:14)
These words of the Prophet Isaiah have their fulfillment in the birth of our Lord. In a new and most tangible way God, through the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, makes his abode within his creation. In a new and most tangible way the Pre-Eternal Word and Son of God enters history. He who dwells in the heavens dwells among us as a man. The hymnody of our Feast proclaims that the “Logos being in the bosom of the Father came forth from the Virgin without seed; He who is the unchangeable image of the Father takes on the form of a servant becoming what he was not.”
Paradoxically, because of his love for humanity, the never changing God changes. The Son of God becomes the Son of man. He takes upon himself the burden of sin and death so as to “restore (and complete) the image he created in the beginning.”
The prophetic words of Isaiah are fulfilled. But fulfillment is not bound only to the past. We who now celebrate the Feast look to the past and also to the future. All of time is being filled with the Incarnation. Indeed the child born of Mary draws to himself all of history and therefore all of humanity. It is for this reason that the Incarnation, while fulfilled in the past, continues to unfold until history runs its course, time (as we know it) is transfigured and the communion of all persons is finally established.
Nevertheless, we are presented with a persisting dilemma. On the one hand our liturgical celebration proclaims that through the Incarnation sin and death have been vanquished. Hymnody and iconography reveal Christ’s manger as a sign of his tomb and resurrection. Yet as we hear, sing and see these words sin and death prevail. Christ is born and creation remains tyrannized by the dominion of evil revealed most tragically in man’s inhumanity to man.
To overcome this dilemma our liturgical celebration offers the possibility to see that while sin and death continue restoration and renewal are also at work in creation. Emmanuel – God with us – will guide this transformation within and beyond history. Consequently, in every stage of history sin and death are being devoured by divine life. In every stage of history the victory of the Savior’s Incarnation will be revealed and proclaimed by those who love him.