Advent 4: Fulfillment

Because we are so used to the Incarnation, of the child who came to live among us and the manner in which it happened, I think we take for granted its inevitability. It was not necessary. God could have redeemed humanity in some other way with more might, more power, more fireworks - think Hollywood action film, but on a cosmic scale.  God could simply wipe out humanity’s sin, just like that. He could have done that, or in any other way you might imagine, he could have done that.

He could also have sent his son, but not as an Infant, so weak, dependent and vulnerable, just like any other child subject to the vicissitudes of human living. He could have done it some other way. But this was the way that was best for us: that he come as an infant, a baby. This was the way that St. Anselm and St. Thomas Aquinas suggest was the best for humanity, for it indicated to us that God was not so great or transcendent that he would not deign to come to us. It shows us that our human nature, however much it troubles and haunts us, is worthy of redemption and good, for God took on this very nature. It shows us that God loves us as whole human beings, in the flesh, in need of development and love to reach our potential, and so he took on human nature. He is Emmanuel, God with us (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23), and he is the child Jesus.

Advertisement

John W. Martens

Follow me on Twitter @johnwmartens

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

 10.17.2018 Pope Francis greets Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago before a session of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican Oct. 16. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
“We take people where they are, walking with them, moving forward,” Cardinal Blase Cupich said.
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 20, 2018
Catherine Pakaluk, who currently teaches at the Catholic University of America and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, describes her tweet to Mr. Macron as “spirited” and “playful.”
Emma Winters October 19, 2018
A new proposal from the Department of Homeland Security could make it much more difficult for legal immigrants to get green cards in the United States. But even before its implementation, the proposal has led immigrants to avoid receiving public benefits.
J.D. Long-GarcíaOctober 19, 2018
 Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, then nuncio to the United States, and then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington, are seen in a combination photo during the beatification Mass of Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J., Oct. 4, 2014. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)
In this third letter Archbishop Viganò no longer insists, as he did so forcefully in his first letter, that the restrictions that he claimed Benedict XVI had imposed on Archbishop McCarrick—one he alleges that Pope Francis later lifted—can be understood as “sanctions.”
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 19, 2018