Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Nativity as the eternal joy of human existence

(Pemptousia) With His incarnation, His humanization, God entered the innermost core of our lives in the most obvious way. He entered our circulatory system, our heart, the centre of everything, the centre of the universe. After He’d been expelled from our world, our body and our soul through our voluntary sin, He returned, through His incarnation, to our world, our body and our soul, becoming completely human and working for us as a human being. He dwells in the world, and from the creation provides for the creation, sanctifying, saving, transforming it. The incarnation of God is the most earth-shattering event and the most radical upheaval on the earthly world and on all other worlds, because through it the wonder of wonders became reality.

If, until then, the creation of the world from nothing was the greatest miracle, God’s incarnation as a human being surpasses its miraculousness. Then, at the creation of the world, the words of God were clothed in matter. Now, at the incarnation, God Himself is clothed in matter, the flesh. This is precisely the reason why God’s incarnation is the most momentous event in all worlds, for each person, for each being, for everything created.

The whole mystery of our holy faith, the whole gift of Christmas to us people, the whole of the Gospel from Heaven to Earth is contained in the good news of the New Testament ‘God appeared in the flesh’ (I Tim. 3, 16). God became human. This means that everything His became ours. His eternal love and His eternal life also became ours. What else do we need for our perfection? All we have to do is boldly follow the only Lord and Saviour of the human race, and He, being most merciful, will pluck us from whatever hell of Satan’s we find ourselves in and place us in the Paradise of His eternal life. How? Through the holy sacraments and the holy virtues. Among these, the first is faith and, through it prayer, fasting, love, hope, humility, charity, and repentance, as well as all the Gospel virtues. All these will gradually unite you spiritually with the Lord and everything that’s His will pass into your possession, And then, even in this world, you’ll feel immortal and eternal and you’ll become more powerful than any sin, than any death, than any demon. The whole of your being will feel that you, ‘together with all the saints’ are growing into ‘mature personhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ’ (Eph. 3, 18; 4, 13). Christmas is the good news of the Gospels, the overall Gospel message. And within this message are all the joys, the eternal joy of human existence in all the worlds, visible and invisible.

Our Most Holy Lady the Mother of God

She it is who gave birth to the Saviour and so she herself became the salvation of the world. She it is who is the ‘restitution of Adam’ and the ‘mortification of Hades’. She it is who is the Paradise containing the Lord Jesus, the Tree of Life. Through her we’ve been raised from our fall. She’s our purification, our glorification. Because she gave birth to the one and only Saviour, she became our totally complete salvation. She’s the salvation of the race of Christians. She’s the salvation of the world. She’s the intercessor for our salvation. She’s the saviour of the faithful. She’s the fulfilment of the Creator’s providence. She’s the Mother of God and therefore the Mother of all things divine, holy, heavenly and beautiful. Of everything good. She’s the pinnacle, more holy than any saint, more pure than anything else pure, more complete than any perfection. Given that God entered the world and the human race through her, how is it possible that everything divine, heavenly, immortal and blessed shouldn’t enter each of us through her? This is why Our Most Holy Lady the Mother of God is more honourable than the Cherubim and incomparably more glorious than the Seraphim.

There can be no doubt that Our Most Holy Lady the Mother of God is the greatest benefactor of the human race. She bore God as a human person and gave Him to us. And with Him: eternal love eternal beauty, eternal life. She gave us everything needed in all worlds: salvation, the possibility of growing into the likeness of Christ, of God, of the Trinity, all the holy sacraments and the holy virtues. And, through all of this and with all of this, she gave us the most beloved miracle of Christ, her Son and Our Lord God, as a human being.

From Alexandros Christodoulou, based on texts by Saint Justin Popović

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