- The Infinite One becomes an infant.
- An antiphon for the Christmas season says, How can we find words to praise your dignity O Virgin Mary, for he whom the very heavens cannot contain, you carried in your womb.
- An old Latin Carol (in Dulci Jublio) says, Alpha et O, Matris in Gremio – (Alpha and Omega, sitting in mommy’s lap).
- He who looks down on all creation looks up to see his mother. The most high looks up from a cradle. Of this moment even the pagans wrote with longing and tenderness: Incipe, parve puer, risu cognoscere matrem….ipsa tibi blandos fundent cunabula flores, occidet et serpens, et fallax herba veneni occidet (Begin, little boy to recognize the face of your mother with a smile….For you, your own cradle will bear delightful flowers; the serpent will die, and the plant that hides its venom) – Virgil 4th Eclogue.
- He who indwells all creation is born in homelessness.
- He to whom all things in heaven and on earth belong, is born in poverty and neediness.
- He is the mighty Word through whom all things were made. He is the very utterance of God, the Voice which summons all creation into existence. Of this Word, this Utterance, this Voice, Scritpure says, The voice of the LORD is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, upon many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful, the voice of the LORD is full of majesty….The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire. The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness …The voice of the LORD makes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forests bare; and in his temple all cry, “Glory!” (Ps. 29). Yet, this voice is now heard as the cooing and crying of an infant.
- His infant hand squeezes his mother’s finger, as infants do. From that same hand, the universe trumbled into existence. That same hand is steering the stars in their courses.
- He who holds all creation together in himself (Col 1:17) is now held by his mother.
- He who is the Bread of Life is born in Bethlehem (House of Bread) and lies in a feeding trough (manger).
- He who is our sustainer and our food, is now hungry and fed by his mother.
- Angels and Archangels may have gathered there, Cherubim and Seraphim thronged the air! But only his mother in her maiden bliss, could worship the beloved with a kiss. (Christina Rosetti “Ere the Bleak Mid Winter”).
It reminds me of the song that I am singing with my wife's preschoolers in their Christmas program, "Mary did you know?"
Did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?
that your baby boy would give sight to a blind man? would calm a storm with his hand?
Or better still, the book that I read to the religious ed kids at their end of term party, "Father & Son, a Nativity Story" by Geraldine McCaughrean
How can I teach you how to plane wood, asks Joseph, you who planed the plains and carved the valleys?
We should pause and reflect on this miracle of the Incarnation. Swallowing the paradox of Christmas will enable us to swallow the paradox of Transubstantiation. Then we will be capable of fulfilling our vocations. Good thing we have 12 whole days to meditate on these mysteries and celebrate their effects on our human history and individual narratives.
What kind of a person would you have been if Christ had not become incarnate? What kind of a person do you easily become when you miss Mass on Sunday?
For that alone we should be grateful...
Da-da-yenu, da-da-yenu, da-da-yenu, dayenu, dayenu, dayenu,
Da-da-yenu, da-da-yenu, da-da-yenu, dayenu, dayenu
Had He brought us out of Egypt but not split the sea before us,
brought us out of Egypt, well then da-ye-nu
Had He split the sea before us but not fed us in the desert,
split the sea before us, well then da-ye-nu
Had He fed us with the manna but not brought us to Mount Sinai,
fed us with the manna, well then da-ye-nu
Had He brought us to Mount Sinai but not given us commandments,
brought us to Mount Sinai, well then da-ye-nu
Had He given us commandments but not led us into Israel,
given us commandments, well then da-ye-nu
Had He led us into Israel but not given us the prophets,
led us into Israel, well then da-ye-nu
Had He given us the prophets but not built for us the Temple,
given us the prophets, well then da-ye-nu
Had He built for us the Temple but not promised the Messiah,
built for us the Temple, well then da-ye-nu