Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Ave Maria!
The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ—25 December AD 2014



Ordinary of the Mass
Mass Texts - Latin
Mass Texts - English

“The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us … full of grace and truth.”[1]

    Please let me be among the first to wish you and yours a very holy, happy, and healthy Christmas—and that your new year, 2015, may be filled with these same gifts from God.

    And thank all of you who contributed to the various preparations necessary to celebrate this most special feast.

    Six months or so ago, on the feast of Corpus Christi, someone asked me why their missal said that the Preface of Christmas was to be read in that Mass in honor of the Blessed Sacrament.  In fact it is said in all Masses of the Blessed Sacrament and on the feasts of the Purification and Transfiguration.  `The central words of the Christmas Preface are

    Because by the mystery of the Word made flesh, the light of Thy glory hath shone anew upon the eyes of our mind: that while we acknowledge Him to be God seen by men, we may be drawn by Him to the love of things unseen.[2]

    We might better call this preface the Preface of the Incarnation, for it celebrates the fact that God became man, taking on human flesh—that same body and blood, soul and divinity that we receive in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.

    The feast of the Annunciation is really the true feast of the Incarnation.  It was Mary’s acceptance of the Angel’s proposal that she was to become the mother of God—her “fiat mihi secúndum verbum tuum—be it done to me according to thy word”—that made it possible for the Incarnation to take place.  Mary’s act of obedience made the Redemption of the world possible, so the feast of the Annunciation honors Mary, and we commemorate our Lord’s part in this Incarnation today on Christmas day—the day on which our Lord arrived more visibly in the world.

    We can distinguish three important aspects of this Incarnation.

    First, we know through divine revelation that the Second Person of the Trinity existed from all eternity:  “In the beginning was the Word … In the beginning was the [Second Person of the Trinity] and the [Second Person] was with God, and the [Second Person] was God.”[3]  The three Divine Persons existed form eternity—it is only with the Incarnation (which occurred in time and place) that the Second Person took human nature to Himself, giving us the man-God Jesus Christ.  At the Offertory of the Mass we say that God “humbled Himself to become partaker of our humanity.”  On Christmas day, this great act of divine humility points out the ineffable love of God for His creatures.

    The second aspect of the Incarnation is the role of the Immaculate Virgin Mother.  Jesus Christ was truly the Son of Mary.  It is Mary who gave of herself everything that her divine Son possessed of humanity.  The flesh of Jesus was the flesh of Mary—every cell in His body came from Mary.  For nine months that body was nourished exclusively by the Blessed Virgin—everything necessary for Him to develop in the womb came through her mouth and her lungs.  And even after He was born, He nursed at her breast.  And even as a boy, it was Mary who saw to his meals, made His clothes, and tucked Him in at night.  At this point we should acknowledge to wonderful work of that most excellent man, Saint Joseph—God never gives anyone more than they can handle by them self.

    The third aspect of the Incarnation relates more personally to all of us.  Saint John tells us that “He was in the world … and the world knew Him not.  He came unto His own, but His own received Him not.”[4]  John wrote nearly a hundred years after the birth of Christ, and he knew from personal experience that many of the people for whom Jesus was born rejected Him.  John knew that some of them even crucified their Incarnate God.  But then writes something that gives us great optimism: “To as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God.”  We who believe in Jesus Christ, and strive to do His will, are the adopted sons and daughters of God!  Not those who do the will of blood, not those who do the will of the flesh, nor those who do the will of man, but those who do the will of God—those, who like Mary tell God “be it done to me according to Thy word” (those who give their own personal “fiat”) draw down God from Heaven, so that He can lead His adopted sisters and brothers to Heaven.  We “become partakers of His divinity.”

    Because we receive Him, and because we are ready to do His will:

“The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us …
full of grace and truth.”



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