The Incarnation

I’m combining Teaching Tuesday and Wondrous Wednesday today. Because I can. And because the teachings of the Church evoke awe and wonder.

isaiah

What does the catechism say about the Incarnation, the Son of God made man? Here is a beautiful quote from St. Gregory of Nyssa (#457):

“Sick, our nature demanded to be healed; fallen, to be raised up; dead, to rise again. We had lost the possession of the good; it was necessary for it to be given back to us. Closed in the darkness, it was necessary to bring us the light; captives, we awaited a Savior; prisoners, help; slaves, a liberator. Are these things minor or insignificant? Did they not move God to descend to human nature and visit it, since humanity was in so miserable and unhappy a state?” 

It’s a little bit of a downer, reminding us of our misery, but it also points to the compassion and love of God, who descended to our lowliness to raise us out of our misery. It was necessary, because He is an all-loving God, Who couldn’t leave us to wallow in our misery. These things aren’t minor, because we are God’s children, and He loves so deeply. This ties in nicely to one of my favorite Scripture passages:

Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  – Philippians 2: 5-11

The beauty of this passage is the encouragement St. Paul gives for us to have the same attitude as Christ. Not to fancy ourselves a king, a miracle worker, a preacher, or even a child of God, but that we should not consider ourselves equal to God. Only in humility should we empty ourselves and obey. And the promise when we do this is eternal salvation.

Christ’s Incarnation was the hope for all ages, demonstrating how the Great I AM cares so tenderly for His little ones. It brings to mind the words of a song:

What wondrous love is this O my soul, O my soul? What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul?

When I ponder the Incarnation, I am immediately brought to thoughts of God’s omnipotence. His plan is so complete and flawless, so far beyond anything imaginable! A small seed, sprung from Jesse’s line, burst forth through the power of the Holy Spirit to bring Light to the world as the Son of a Virgin. The Light, designed to reign forever, is brought to each one willing to receive it, day after day in a small wafer of bread, to strengthen the weak, to distribute God’s loving graces, so we, in our human misery, may have a foretaste of the eternal banquet awaiting us in Heaven. And THEN, by God’s grace, we have the desire to share this Light with those in darkness, bringing all to Him who draws them to Himself.

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