Saturday, January 10, 2009

Can't Say It Any Better!

Last year I signed up at Daily Gospel to receive an e-mail with the day's gospel reading and commentary. And this morning, this is what I found, a reflection on Jesus' Incarnation:

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Sermon 194, 11th sermon on the Nativity of the Lord

"This joy of mine has been made complete"
Listen, children of light: you who have been adopted for the Kingdom of God; listen, my dearest brethren; listen and exult for joy in the Lord, you just, for «praise from the upright is fitting» (Ps 33,1). Listen to what you already know; reflect on what you have heard; love what you believe; proclaim what you love!...

Christ is born, God from his Father, man through his mother. He was born from his Father's immortality and his mother's virginity. From the Father without the aid of a mother; from the mother without that of a father. From his Father without time; from his mother without seed. According to his Father he is the principle of life; according to his mother, the ending of death. According to his Father he was born to determine the order of days; according to his mother, to consecrate the day that is here.

He sent John the Baptist before him, causing him to be born when the days were beginning to decrease, while he himself was born when the days began to grow in length, thus prefiguring John's own words: «He must increase, I must decrease». For indeed, human life must grow weaker in itself but stronger in Jesus Christ «so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised» (2Cor 5,15), and so that each one of us might repeat those words of the apostle Paul: «Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me» (Gal 2,20).

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