I recently finished Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI. The most powerful lesson I learned from this book was the startling reality of the Incarnation. The news that God became man was astonishing to the people of Jesus’ time and should still shock us two millennia later.
The Beauty of the Incarnation
The declaration that God became man makes us choose. We must respond to this powerful claim.
Do we truly believe that Jesus is the Son of God? That He is God?
If we do, our entire life must change, everything in our lives changes, history itself changes!
One of the most famous passages in the Bible is John 3:16:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
We hear this verse often, most of us can even recall it from memory, yet how often do we contemplate it? Our salvation is summarized in this simple sentence, these twenty-four words. God loves us so much that He sent His Son to us that we may live forever with Him. What life-changing beauty! God became man so that we may become like God.
God is with Us Now
When the Word became Flesh, Jesus entered into history. Yes, the world’s history, but also within our own personal stories, too. He remains present today, both in the Eucharist and also in the saints He raises up in every age. Christ’s presence in each of us makes Him forever present to the world. When we preach the Gospel, when we imitate Christ and love what He loved and lived like He lived, we concretize the Incarnation here and now. The Incarnation allows us to wholly and entirely engage with God, with our entire being, with our body and our soul.
When we realize the profundity of this, our entire life must change. We live with hope, we live with charity. When we believe in the reality of the Incarnation we live with the hope in the promise that we will sit on the throne with Christ (Ephesians 2:6).
Write + Pray
Discover your story within His.
Future Kings and Queens
The Incarnation invites us to look at others as good and holy. Because of the Incarnation we are surrounded by kings and queens. One of my favorite quotes is by C.S. Lewis. He wrote in The Weight of Glory:
It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.
The Incarnation is a reminder that we are both body and soul. That our bodies are good, that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We must strive to understand the dignity of our bodies, we must take care of our bodies, we must love our bodies, we must use our bodies to serve others. We must always honor and respect the bodies of others.
From the moment Mother Mary heard the first cries of Jesus in the cave of Bethlehem that first Christmas night, to Saint Thomas who placed his finger into Jesus’ wounded Sacred Heart, each person who saw, heard, and touched Jesus was seeing and hearing and touching God. We continue to see, hear, and touch Him today, in the Mass, and in the saints that surround us—those who step out in faith in that mysterious claim: God became man.
Glory to the Newborn King!