Incarnation: Christian Theol. Effectuation of the hypostatic union through the conception of the Second Person of the Trinity in the womb of the Virgin Mary
Hypostasis: Christian Theol. The union of the wholly divine nature and of a wholly human nature in the one person of Jesus Christ
Kenosis: Christian Theol. The voluntary abasement of the Second person of the Trinity in becoming man
Webster’s New World Dictionary
New College Edition
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things came to be through Him and without him nothing came to be. What came to be
4 through Him was life, and this life was the light of the human race,
5 the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory of the Father’s only son full of grace and truth.
John 1:1-5, 14
God is love and all His operations proceed from love. Once He wills to manifest that goodness by sharing His love outside Himself then the Incarnation becomes the supreme manifestation of His goodness and love and glory…. Moreover this would have been the case even if Adam had not sinned.
St. Lawrence of Brindisi
All of us have a natural inborn desire to see God. But God is infinite and incomprehensible. No one can see God without being of the same infinite nature as God. We are finite and so we cannot see God. But God is love. He is also the source of our craving to know and love Him. Out of this love God took a form that is comprehensible to us mortal beings. Through this act of love we can now share in the joy of the angels by seeing and knowing God directly. This is why Jesus said: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” God became man and dwelt among us so that we might not fear Him as something terrible and foreign, but instead see that God is love.
Sadhu Sundar Singh
In Jesus, God was given a face and a heart. God became someone we could love. While God can be described as a moral force, as consciousness, and as high vibrational energy, the truth is, we don’t (or can’t) fall in love with abstractions. So God became a person “that we could hear, see with our eyes, look at, and touch with our hands” (1 John 1:1).
Father Richard Rohr, OFM
Every year we are confronted and challenged with the fact of the Incarnation, the enfleshing of our God Who in complete self-emptying love took on our fragile human nature and was like us in everything except sin. We have a tendency to emphasize His divine nature and tend to forget that He was fully human and suffered our debilities – hunger, pain, fatigue, discouragement, sadness, and perhaps even depression. We tend to focus on His miracles and not on the everyday problems He faced: the opprobrium of the scribes and Pharisees, the disbelief of His disciples, the opposition to His teachings.
Why is the Incarnation challenging? If we truly ponder it, how does is affect our journey to our true home, our participation in the life of the Trinity? We see in the Incarnation a complete subjection of Jesus to the will of the Father. We see in Jesus a person who credited all His ideas and teachings to the Father, never assuming credit for His actions. In Jesus we see a person Who was compassionate, Who forgives, Who lived every minute of His life for others. Can we say the same about ourselves? Are we willing to subject ourselves completely to the will of the Father? Do we take credit for the gifts that God has given us instead of deflecting the credit to Him, since everything we have, looks, intelligence, talents, are gifts. We did not obtain them. They were given to us freely to be used in stewardship for our good and for the good of others. The only things that are truly ours are our vices and sins. Are we compassionate and use our gifts to help the oppressed and suffering? Do we forgive and pray for those who offend us as He enjoined us to? Do we live for others or only ourselves? Yes, the Incarnation is challenging and we tend to gloss it over with parties, gifts, decorations and the like, forgetting its true implications and the example it sets for us. Our children and the children of the world are paradigms of the Incarnation. They love unconditionally, are compassionate, bear pain with equanimity, and show us the face of God. They come into the world with clean slates and their development into loving, compassionate persons depends on what we write on their slates. We must protect, foster and nurture our children to ensure a better, more humane and compassionate world.
I want to end this letter with two prayers and a reflection which mirror our hope for this Holy Season.
Lord Jesus, Master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas. We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day. We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us. We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom. We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence. We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light. To you we say, “Come Lord Jesus!”
Henri J.M. Nouwen
It is time, awaken Lord Jesus, come! O thou who has taken a heart like our hearts, to share our pain and pity, send us a world of light and peace.
As we prepare for our traditional celebrations, let us remember those who will not be looking forward to this festival. Let us remember too how Jesus identified with the oppressed and the homeless. Let the joy of the festival touch more of the people of our world this year than ever before. May God be glorified and may people of good will once again experience His peace.
As always we appreciate your support of our children. May God’s blessings and peace fill you and yours during this most holy of seasons.
Cleft Lip and Palate
Cleft Lip and Palate
Cleft Lip and Palate