Christmas – The Gift of Union

 The feast of Christmas is the feast of the mystical Body, for it is through the Incarnation that men have become members of Christ. Whatever theological interpretation we give to this great scriptural and patristic affirmation of our incorporation into Christ, we must believe that with the Incarnation, an ineffable union – that passes all understanding – began, in human flesh, between Jesus Christ and … Continue reading Christmas – The Gift of Union

Irenaeus and the Purpose of the Incarnation

How could the human race go to God if God had not come to us? How should we free ourselves from our birth into death if we had not been born again according to faith by a new birth generously given by God, thanks to that which came about from the Virgin’s womb? – Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies, IV.33.4. This is the reason why … Continue reading Irenaeus and the Purpose of the Incarnation

The Manger Is Not In Bethlehem – A Christmas Sermon On Luke 2:1-20

The collect and readings for Christmas may be found here. Every one of us could probably tell the Christmas story. We know it well. A young virgin named Mary conceives a child by the Holy Spirit. She and her betrothed, Joseph, travel to Bethlehem by order of the emperor. There Mary gives birth in a manger because there is no room in the inn. Heavenly … Continue reading The Manger Is Not In Bethlehem – A Christmas Sermon On Luke 2:1-20

A Strange Mystery

Today a strange mystery has been fulfilled; for nature has been renewed and God has become human. Yes, he remains ever the same, divine, but has now taken on to himself what he had not before, humanity. The two, divinity and humanity, exist as one neither being commingled nor separated. O Lord, you came to Bethlehem, you dwelt in a cave, and laid in a … Continue reading A Strange Mystery

The Final Work of Advent

“Now the birth of Jesus took place in this way….” (Matthew 1:18-25) Matthew’s description of how the birth happens does not mention anything that is on my to-do list. So maybe the real work, the final work of Advent, is to get out of the way and let the baby be born. Get out of the way and let the baby be born. Such difficult work. … Continue reading The Final Work of Advent

Nativity Prayer of St. Bernard of Clairvaux

“Let your goodness Lord appear to us, that we, made in your image, may conform ourselves to it. In our own strength we cannot imitate your majesty, power, and wonder nor is it fitting for us to try. But your mercy reaches from the heavens through the clouds to the earth below. You have come to us as a small child, but you have brought us the greatest of all … Continue reading Nativity Prayer of St. Bernard of Clairvaux

The Ecstasy of Christmas

The collect and readings for Christmas Day may be found here. The appointed gospel was John 1:1-14. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the … Continue reading The Ecstasy of Christmas

The Cradle of Birth and New Life – A Sermon for Christmas Eve

The collect and readings for Christmas Eve may be found here. The appointed gospel is Luke 2:1-20. In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee … Continue reading The Cradle of Birth and New Life – A Sermon for Christmas Eve