A Christmas Eve Meditation

For our meditation today, the day before the Nativity of the Lord, I suggest this excerpt from St. Augustine’s Discourses (my translation of the Italian text I read):

Awaken, O man, for God is made man for you, O you who sleep! Awaken from the dead and Christ will illuminate you! (Eph. 5:14). For you, I repeat, God is made man.

You would have been dead forever if he would not have been born in our time. He would not have freed our nature from sin if he had not assumed a nature similar to that of sin. You would have possessed a perpetual misery if he would not have handed to you such mercy. You would not have been given again new life if he had not encountered your same death. You would have become less if he would not have come to your assistance. You would have perished if he would not have come.

Prepare to celebrate with joy the coming of our salvation and redemption; to celebrate a festival in which the great and eternal day came from his great and eternal day into this our passing and so brief of a day. He has become for us justice, sanctification and redemption because, as is written, he who boasts may boast in the Lord. (cf. 1 Cor 1: 30-31).

The truth as sprouted from the earth (cf. Ps 84:12): Christ, born from the Virgin; Christ who said “I am the Truth” (cf. Jn 14: 6). Justice has shown itself from the heavens (cf. Ps 84: 12). The man who believes in Christ born for us does not receive salvation from himself but from God. Truth has sprouted from the earth because “The Word was made flesh” (Jn 1: 14). Justice has appeared from the heavens because, “Every good present and every perfect gift comes from above” (James 1: 17). Truth has sprung from the earth – ¬†flesh from Mary.¬†Justice has appeared from heaven because man receives nothing if not given to him from heaven (cf. Jn 3: 27)…….

Let us rejoice therefore in this grace that our glory may give witness to a good conscience. We do not glory in ourselves but in the Lord. It is said, “You are my glory and you raise my head” (Ps 3: 4). What greater grace of God has shown upon us? Having an only begotten Son, God made him the son of man and thus, vice versa, has rendered the son of man the son of God. Search for the merit, the cause, the justice of this and see if you find anything else but grace.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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