for the feast of the Nativity of our Lord
Is 9:2-7 - Tt 2:11-14 - Lk 2:1-14
by Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen
The birth of the Son of God
Is 9:2-3 & 6-7
Is 9:2, The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. 3, Thou hast multiplied the nation, thou hast increased its joy; they rejoice before thee as with joy at the harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 6, For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called «Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.» 7, Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
"To us a child is born, to us a son is given!" Isaiah, and the Church after him, have proclaimed this for centuries! It is a historical reality, and we believe it with a simply human faith. But this does not only concern a child, a son of man. He who was born two thousand years ago is not only a man, but also, and first, God! This too we believe, but with a supernatural and divine faith. "His name will be called «Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.» "
"His name will be called «Prince of Peace»!" For the Son of God came to earth in order to pacify our hearts, the hearts of all men and women. Already Isaiah felt within him the peace of the Son of God, a peace still distant, a peace in hope, but peace nonetheless! For Isaiah and all others who lived before the coming of Christ were not able to see the newborn Child-God: Isaiah could not, through his simply hopeful faith, break the Bread of Life which came down from Heaven (cf. Jn 6:51).
Thanks to God, thanks to Mary, our Mediatrix before the unique Mediator, we can, today, break the Bread of Life! That is to say, the Child, that Son of man who came into the world in the House of Bread (which is what "Bethlehem" means), is but a simple envelope of flesh allowing the Son of God to communicate with us, with all the men and women of the earth. And this envelope of flesh must be broken, through faith, a strong devoted faith, in order of attain, through grace, the Word of Life, the Word of God, the beloved Son of the Father! "This is the bread which came down from heaven." (Jn 6:58)
Tt 2:11, For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, 12, training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, 13, awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.
Saint Paul, in the second reading, summarizes quite well the economy of Salvation in Jesus Christ. "The grace of God has appeared!" In coming into the world, through Mary, the Child Jesus brings us his grace, already present since the creation of man (cf. Gen 2:7), in order to convert us to God, in Christ: "It is training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world." "The grace of God has appeared!" It is offered to us without cease, through the Church, by means of the sacraments, by means of the Church herself, the Mystery and Sacrament of Salvation in Jesus Christ!
Lk 2:4, And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6, And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. 7, And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 8, And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9, And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10, And the angel said to them, «Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; 11, for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.»
Mary, the Mother of God and of Christ, gives birth to her only son, and thus her first-born. Through Her, the Grace of graces is given to the entire world, which is represented by her human Spouse, Saint Joseph. Since then, according to a continuous Tradition, all the faithful of Christ have recourse to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, against winds and storms, in order to be rescued at the opportune time. In virtue of this childbirth, nothing can be entrusted to the Virgin Mary without her using all of her power to bring about a happy result!
Mary, mystical Spouse of the Holy Spirit, even receives from God the help of Angels, whom She sends to the shepherds near Bethlehem: "I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Let us listen to the voice of the Angels, let us listen to the murmur of the grace of God, which, through Mary, calls us to the service of the Most High, through faith, hope, and charity!