Monday, December 08, 2014

Immaculate Conception 2014

1)      Colossians 1, 16: “All things have been created through and unto him, and he is before all creatures, and in him all things hold together… For it has pleased God the Father that in him all his fullness should dwell, and that through him he should reconcile to himself all things whether on earth or in heaven. By making peace through the blood of his cross.”
2)      Robert Barron comments: “In this Jesus, all things have come to be; he is the prototype of all finite existence, even of those great powers that transcend the world and govern human affairs. … Individuals, societies, cultures, animals, plants, planets and the stars – all will be drawn into an eschatological harmony thorough him. Mind you, Jesus is not merely the symbol of an intelligibility, coherence, and reconciliation that can exist apart from him; rather, he is the active and indispensable means by which these realities come to be. This Jesus, in short, is the all-embracing, all-including, all-reconciling Lord of whatever is to be found in the dimensions of time and space.”
In this regard, consider Ephesians 1, 4 that speaks of Christ as pre-existing the world: “Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish in his sight in love. He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ as his sons…”
3)      And then, there is sin, and we make ourselves into God and separate ourselves from Him to death.
4)      But Love as Mercy is more powerful than death. And Christ appears in time and space for the recreation of all things in Him. And as Christ Who is the second Person of the Trinity and, with the Father and the Spirit, is Being Itself giving reality as being to the world, receives a body from  the Virgin to become a being in the world. But as it is the humanity of the eternal Person of the Son, the humanity and the Virgin who gave it to him, also exist outside of time – although the birth takes place in time and space.
5)      Joseph Ratzinger notes: “The question arises in our minds: What kind of history must it have been that truly created at last the “space,” the conditions, for the incarnation of God! What kind of human beings must they have been who traveled the final stretch of the journey! What integrity and maturity of spirit must have been attained at the point at which this supreme transformation of man and the world could take place! But if we approach the text with these kinds of expectations, we shall find ourselves disappointed. The history of which Jesus becomes a part is a very ordinary history, marked by all the scandals and infamies to be found among human beings, all the advances and good beginnings, but also all the sinfulness and vileness – an utterly human history!
“The only four women named in the genealogy are all four of them witnesses to human sinfulness: Among them is Rahab the harlot, who delivered Jericho into the hands of the migrating Israelites. Among them, too, is the wife of Uriah, the woman whom David god for himself through adultery and murder. Nor are the males in the genealogy any different. …

The point: “Is that the context into which the Son of God could be born? And the Scriptures answer: Yes. But all this is a sign for us. It tells us that the incarnation of God does not result from an ascent on the part of the human race but  from  the descent of God. The ascent of man, the attempt to bring forth God by his own efforts and to attain the status of superman – this attempt failed wretchedly back in Paradise. The person who tries to become God by his own  efforts, who highhandedly reaches for the stars, always ends up by destroying himself.”[1]

6)      The last step to the God-man is the Virgin conceived without sin, and therefore says Yes! to the call to make of self to the Revealing God: And the Word became flesh and re-creates the world in Himself. (to be continued)

[1] J. Ratzinger, “Dogma and Preaching,” Franciscan Herald Press 20-21.

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