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

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

“Living Biblically” tells the story of Chip, a husband and expectant father who decides to become a better Catholic by living out his life according to the Bible.
Sean Salai, S.J.February 21, 2018
An 11th-century prayer tool comes to life for modern Christians
David Van BiemaFebruary 21, 2018
Father Ireneusz Ekiert, administrator of Mary Help of Christians Church in Parkland, Fla., leads parishioners during an outdoor Stations of the Cross service on Feb. 16 dedicated to the victims and survivors of the deadly mass shooting at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. (CNS photo/Tom Tracy)
In the midst of the unimaginable, Father Ekiert is telling his parishioners to show and live love daily—not just in a time of grief and horror.
Kate SteinFebruary 20, 2018
When I played hockey, other players of color were few and far between.
Antonio De Loera-BrustFebruary 20, 2018