“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel.”
His name shall be called Emmanuel, that is, “God with us.” This is truly the meaning of Christmas, the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, God with us! For, as St. Jean-Marie Vianney, the Curé of Ars tells us, “… the second Person of the Trinity had taken a human nature, a human body, and a human soul, the same as we have. He has become one of us. He is like us in all things, with the exception of sin, says the Apostle. That is the first step of the mercy of God which we devoutly adore in the crib at Bethlehem. Sin separated man from God; between man and God there yawned a deep chasm, which man was not capable of bridging over.” (1)
And, in infinite humility, He comes not as a ruler of this world, in great pomp and pageantry but as a Child, entering our world as helplessly as we ourselves do. From St. Jean Vianney again, “Who can comprehend the greatness of the mercy of God in His abasement? Let the eagle become a worm, and at the same time preserve his eagle nature, you give him the greatest torture, because he can no longer move his wings. Give the lion, with his lion nature, the form of a snail, and he would roar with pain. What a fetter is our body for our soul! But it bears no comparison to the abasement which God laid upon Himself when He took a human body and abased Himself like unto a man.”
And why was this so?
It was in order to become as close as possible with us humans. God with us, one of us. Quoting St. Augustine, the good Curé explains, “As if noble graft was engrafted upon the wild olive tree, all the branches and twigs would partake of the strength of this graft, so have we men, since the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, a part in His glory, in His graces, and His merits. God with us, He abased Himself to exalt us.”
Now, this is the true exaltation – not the exaltation of the narcissists of today who descend into the depths of depravity exulting in their disordered passions, but the true exaltation which comes of the soul’s realization that “He has first loved us!”
And this merciful exaltation, this incomprehensible love of God for us, is in particular for the truly poor of spirit, and the pure of heart. Becoming the lowliest of men, He offers us the exaltation of the Cross, the triumph over sin and misery and we know that through this Cross, we shall by His grace and mercy rise again with Him and that is the true exaltation!
But there is more, God with us, Emmanuel is Our Lord Jesus Christ, prisoner of Love in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Today, He suffers the sacrilege against His Sacred Presence as never before. St. Michael, the Angel of Fatima, the great warrior Angel of Peace, reminds us, in his three visits in 1916, of the importance of this reparation:
‘Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men! Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.’
As sin increases in the world and the Holy Church herself appears to succumb to the iniquity of the times, Christ in His infinite mercy, infinitely suffers still in the sacrament of His love. And today, we renew our vow to Him ; on this day, His birthday, we beg Him to strengthen us in self-renunciation, in purity of heart and unite our hearts with His most Sacred Heart with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, offering every moment of our day for love of Him, in reparation for the sacrilege, outrage and indifference that so wound Him and beseeching the conversion of sinners, especially those in our families and in the Church.
May the Divine Infant make us His own and abide with us for now and for all eternity, our Emmanuel, our God with us, forever!
Please, pray the Rosary with all confidence and give glory to the Lord, our newborn Savior, Christ the King!
(1) “A Christmas Sermon” by St. Jean Vianney which is included in the book, “Sermons of the Curé of Ars, Sermons for All the Sundays and Feasts of the Year” by KIC. ] The sermons of the Curé are deceptively simple yet filled with timeless truths.
Thank you so much for reading; I pray for you always – Please pray for priests!
† Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.