The Wonder of the Incarnation
In today’s readings, the Fourth Sunday of Advent, there is a great expectancy that Christ is near. In the First Reading from the Prophet Micah we hear, “You Bethlehem, Ephrathah, the least of the clans of Judah, out of you will be born for me the One who is to rule over Israel, His origin goes back to the distant past, the days of old.” This prophecy is about JESUS, the Eternal God made man. Then in the Gospel, the time has nearly arrived. Elizabeth says to Mary, “Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord?” It is JESUS Who is Lord and God, and Mary is carrying Him in her womb.
We are so familiar with the Christmas story that we can forget quite how revolutionary Our Lord’s coming was. The idea that God could become human, be born of a virgin and live with us is earth shattering! How does the infinite enter the finite? How does He, whom the very heavens cannot contain, enter the womb of the Virgin Mary? How can He, who holds all creation together in Himself, be held in Mary’s arms? These are all great mysteries for us to ponder. Our Lord’s birth is the turning point of human history because our salvation is made possible only by His coming among us as man and by His atoning death on the cross.
We can only be silent and fall to our knees in wonder and awe before these mysteries. At the Christmas Masses the Church directs us to kneel in the Creed at the words, “And by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.” Let us take to heart the words of our Father Founder, Blessed Antonio Rosmini whose final words were, “Adore, be silent and rejoice.”
Finally, on behalf of Fr Simon, Fr David and myself, I wish you all a very blessed and peaceful Christmas. May the coming of our Saviour bring great joy and many blessings to you and your families.
Fr Paul Gillham, IC