St. Gregory Nazianzen provides a beautiful meditation on Christmas and how remarkable it truly is.
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The incarnation of Jesus Christ is astonishing, though we often fail to reflect upon it at Christmas time.
Our days are often filled with planning for parties and presents, instead of quietly reflecting on the beauty of Christmas.
The Church provides a rich sermon from St. Gregory Nazianzen in the Office of Readings that can help us stand in awe at the mystery of Jesus’ incarnation.
The very Son of God, older than the ages, the invisible, the incomprehensible, the incorporeal, the beginning of beginning, the light of light, the fountain of life and immortality, the image of the archetype, the immovable seal, the perfect likeness, the definition and word of the Father: he it is who comes to his own image and takes our nature for the good of our nature, and unites himself to an intelligent soul for the good of my soul, to purify like by like.
Even St. Gregory is stupefied by such a remarkable event.
He who makes rich is made poor; he takes on the poverty of my flesh, that I may gain the riches of his divinity. He who is full is made empty; he is emptied for a brief space of his glory, that I may share in his fullness. What is this wealth of goodness? What is this mystery that surrounds me? I received the likeness of God, but failed to keep it. He takes on my flesh, to bring salvation to the image, immortality to the flesh. He enters into a second union with us, a union far more wonderful than the first.
Above all, St. Gregory recognized how we needed Christmas day to happen.
We needed God to take our flesh and die, that we might live. We have died with him, that we may be purified. We have risen again with him, because we have died with him. We have been glorified with him, because we have risen again with him.
As we prepare for the celebration of Christmas, may we always reflect on the beauty of the incarnation and how much God loves us.