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Today the Savior is Born: Congregation for the Clergy on the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord

By Congregation for the Clergy
December 26th, 2011
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Lord's Nativity teaches us the concreteness of Christianity that is not a sentiment, but a relationship of the mind and heart with a Person, Jesus Christ, the Word Incarnate.Those who look at the Child of Bethlehem with faith do not see only a man, but God, the Invisible made visible, the Word made Flesh, Grace in Person who has taken our human nature.

VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - The Liturgy always affirms what the response to the psalm of Midnight Mass proclaims: 'Today is born our Saviour, Christ the Lord'. 

It was not 2000 years ago that Christ was born, died and rose.but 'today'.  In the Mystery of the Divine Liturgy, Christ was truly born today. 

In the Dawn Mass the response to the psalm is counter posed:  'A light will shine on us this day: the Lord is born for us'.

The Liturgy is therefore characterised as a school of faith.  Only the eyes of faith know how to see this 'today'.  Only those who believe can recognise that the Lord's birth isn't a nostalgic memory, a childish fable, or worse yet, a consoling illusion. 

The faith sees that today a Saviour is born.

Faith is not an irrational choice without its foundations in thoughts and words because Christianity is faith in the Logos. 

The Logos is the Thought-Word in God, who made Himself man for our salvation.  In the second reading of Midnight Mass St Paul says: 'For the grace of God has appeared' (Ti 2:11).  The psalm of the Dawn Mass affirms: 'all peoples see his glory,' which really means that they saw the Glory of God.

Grace is invisible and so how can it appear to us?  How can one see the Glory of God?  We can see both in Christ's human face.  We are still talking about the theme of faith.  

Those who look at the Child of Bethlehem with faith do not see only a man, but God, the Invisible made visible, the Word made Flesh, Grace in Person who has taken our human nature.

The credibility of the faith rests on the credibility of Jesus Christ, on the uniqueness of His words, on the signs that accompany Him and demonstrate  the true and efficacious Words of God. 

For this reason, 'the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all that they had seen and heard, just as they had been told' (Gospel of the Mass at Dawn Lk 2:20).

We do not glorify an unknown, enigmatic God.  We adore He whom we know, who we have seen and touched because His Life was made visible. 

The Lord's Nativity teaches us the concreteness of Christianity that is not a sentiment, but a relationship of the mind and heart with a Person, Jesus Christ, the Word Incarnate.  The prologue to St John's Gospel, which is proclaimed during the Mass of Christmas Day, is dedicated is to that Word Incarnate.

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