Yesterday, on the leave taking of the feast of Christmas, we are returned through the gospel reading (Matthew 2:1 – 20) back to Christmas day itself. Amongst the joy, of the good news through the incarnation, we are re-grounded back to the reality of the nature of being of Christ.
Christ as true God and true man: in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; fully man (except for not being able to sin) with each nature being in no way abolished by the union but rather preserved concurrently into one person. That is the great Christological mystery! The pre-eternal God humbling himself to take human flesh so that he can take human flesh with him to Heaven thereby acting as a bridge between man and God.
How can we understand this from yesterday’s gospel reading? The answer is simple. Joseph is told to take the child and his mother to Egypt because Herod wanted to kill the Jesus child. If that child was in fact God only then that child would not be able to be killed. Yet, we know that his human nature could suffer death. One only has to think of the crucifixion to corroborate this.
This is the mystery of Christ: as pre-eternal God coexisting with the Father and the spirit; as pre-eternal God he took on human nature and became a babe and entered human history; as pre-eternal God he was crucified, resurrected and ascended to heaven. As pre-eternal God he walked this earth as well as releasing those in Hades and always, always at the side of the Father. No wonder determining the nature of Christ preoccupied the first six of the seven ecumenical councils.
Ultimately all we can do is this: praise God for giving us the gift of his son. Praise God for the divine plan for our salvation. Praise God that he wants us all to be saved. Praise is our offering. Eternal life is the gift of returned. Without the incarnation the divine plan could never be implemented. So that is also a once again: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to all men”.
Please refer to the programme sent previously (accessible here). Also, please visit our web site as we are constantly updating it now and the programme as well as other information can be found there.
I attach a flyer for the 2018 epiphany celebrations here. Everyone is welcome.
Do not forget if you want your house or home blessed (and have not done so before) please email me your name, address to be blessed, and contact telephone number.
As we reflect upon the good things that the incarnation provides let us spare a thought of Thanksgiving. We should give thanks to God for all things first. God offers us an apple orchard and it is enough if we offer an apple back to him. Yet, most of us cannot even do that. What does that say about our sinful and fallen nature? What does it say about our capacity to give?
Till next week.
Father John Athanasiou – 0411 061 554