VERBUM CARO FACTUM EST
Over the Christmas period you will see these Latin words in red on the cloth on the High Altar – “Verbum caro factum est” which means, “The Word was made flesh.” It comes from the Gospel of Christmas Day where St John tells us that “the Word became flesh and lived among us.” This means God truly became one of us. God is not just some force holding things together or a mere idea. He is a personal God Who has become visible to us in JESUS. JESUS is the human face of God which means we can now see Him, hear Him and touch Him. Pope Benedict XVI once said, “We still have wars. We still get sick. People still suffer. We still die. So what did JESUS bring?” His answer? “JESUS brings us God.”
This little baby lying in the manger at Bethlehem is God stretching down His hand from Heaven to rescue our fallen human race. And that same little voice crying there in the manger is the same Eternal “Word” who called everything into existence out of nothing. We cannot even begin to comprehend the magnitude of this. There is a thought provoking text we sometimes use in the Mass of Our Lady which says, “He Whom the whole world cannot hold enclosed Himself in your womb, and became man.” How can He Whom the Heavens cannot contain and Who created everything out of nothing enter the womb of Our Lady? How can the Infinite enter the finite? This is one of the great mysteries of our Faith and we can only kneel in silent adoration and wonder before it. Do take a few minutes over the next week to contemplate the mystery of the Incarnation, of God becoming man.
Finally, on behalf of Deacon David, Fr Simon and myself, I wish you all a very blessed and peaceful Christmas. May the love of the Christ Child shine on you and all your family in this holy season.
Fr Paul Gillham IC