We now find ourselves just a few days from our celebration of Christmas and I’d like to include a reflection from St. Alphonsus Liguori as we enter these final days of preparation for Christmas.
“Our Lord sent St. Augustine to write upon the heart of St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi the words, ‘and the Word was made flesh’ Oh, let us also pray the Lord to enlighten our minds, and to make us understand what an excess and what a miracle of love this is, that the eternal Word, the Son of God, should have become man for the love of us.
The holy Church is struck with awe at the contemplation of this great mystery: ‘I considered Thy works and was afraid.’ If God had created a thousand other worlds, a thousand times greater and more beautiful than the present, it is certain that this work would be infinitely less grand than the incarnation of the Word: ‘He hath showed might in His arm.’ To execute the great work of the Incarnation, it required all the omnipotence and infinite wisdom of God, in order to unite human nature to a divine person, and that a divine person should so humble himself as to take upon him human nature. Thus God became man, and man became God; and hence, the divinity of the Word being united to the soul and body of Jesus Christ, all the action of this Man-God became divine: his prayers were divine, his sufferings divine, his infant cries divine, his tears divine, his steps divine, his members divine, his very blood divine, which became, as it were, a fountain of health to wash out all our sins, and a sacrifice of infinite value to appease the justice of the Father, who was justly offended with men.
And who, then, are these men? Miserable, ungrateful, and rebellious creatures. And yet for these God becomes man; subjects himself to human miseries; suffers and dies to save these unworthy sinners: ‘He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to death of the cross’ (Philippians 2.8). O holy faith! If faith did not assure us of it, who would believe that a God of infinite majesty should abase himself so far as to become a worm like us, in order to save us at the cost of so much suffering and disgrace, and of so cruel and shameful a death?
‘O grace! O power of love!’ cries St. Bernard. O grace, which men could not even have imagined, if God himself had not thought of granting it to us! O divine love which can never be fathomed! O mercy! O infinite Charity, worthy only of an infinite bounty!”
On behalf of myself, Fr. Gibson and the entire parish staff may these final days of Advent be days of grace and a joyful and Merry Christmas to all of you!