Advent Day 4 ~ Our God becomes flesh (and Day 3 of Hanukkah)
Wednesday of the First Week of Advent
If you’re new to this Advent blog, I recommend reading Welcome to Advent.Click here to get an overview of the Advent season.
Today, let’s reflect on the mystery of the Incarnation ~ the Christmas portion of our faith. (Again if you don’t accept this as an article of faith, then just consider it as a beautiful story; it still has power and it still can have tremendous meaning for you.)
St. John says “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). Jesus saves us as man. If you look at the word “Incarnation” you’ll recognize the word “carnal” ~ meat, flesh. Our God became flesh.
“He emptied himself of his equality with God and became as humans are” (Philippians 2).The Father sent his Son into our world to identify with us. To become one of us and with us. God likes us ~ the human race! In Jesus, a marriage is made between God and the human race.
But this article of our Christian faith often doesn’t dawn on folks. Many think he was just play-acting ~ pretending to be human.
I offer this passage (excerpted) from St. Gregory Nazianzen, bishop and doctor of the church in the fourth century from the Advent Office of Readings:
(Please take a few moments to read over this a couple of times to get the full import of what St. Gregory is saying in his poetry.)
He [Jesus] takes to himself all that is human, except sin; i.e. unfaithfulness).
He comes forth as God, in the human nature he has taken, one being, made of two contrary elements, flesh and spirit.
Spirit gave divinity, flesh receives it.
He who makes me rich is made poor;
he takes on the poverty of my flesh, that I may gain the riches of divinity.
He who was full is made empty;
he is emptied for a brief space of glory, that I may share in his fullness.
We need God to become one of us and with us.
To help us like and love ourselves.
To realize that Love and Beauty and all good things are our destiny.
To invite us to our future instead of destroying ourselves.
If only we believed.
If only we believed.
Take time today to allow this story of God’s love affair with the human race to touch you, embrace you, heal your heart and transform your life as it has mine. And continues to do so, day after day after day because, if you’re like me, I really, really, really like being caught up in Love!
The season of Advent is about preparing our hearts once again for a deeper experience of Christ at Christmas. We want to keep Christ in Christmas. This goes contrary to our world that insists that it’s a “Holiday” season. Here’s a great Christmas song that illustrates the point from a group that calls themselves (get this) ACLU. You’ll want to turn up your speakers and enter full screen for this one! Click here.
And here are today’s Mass readings, if you’d care to reflect on them. Click here.