Wednesday, December 15, 2010

His Mercy Reigns!

The Incarnation was an act of total love by our Creator, Saint John of Kronstadt tells us.


He says,
It was by reason of a supreme, inexpressible mercy toward His creation on the part of the Master, Who could not bear to see the entire race of mankind – which, He, in creating, had endowed with wondrous gifts – enslaved by the devil and thus destined for eternal suffering and torment.
And what was the purpose of this incredible event?  To lift all of mankind to become heavenly beings--to make sinners into saints.
And the Word became flesh!...in order to make us earthly beings into heavenly ones, in order to make sinners into saints; in order to raise us up from corruption into incorruption, from earth to heaven; from enslavement to sin and the devil – into the glorious freedom of children of God; from death – into immortality, in order to make us sons of God and to seat us together with Him upon the Throne as His royal children. O, boundless compassion of God! O, inexpressible wisdom of God! O, great wonder, astounding not only the human mind, but the angelic [mind] as well!
With this most merciful act of God we must do our part.  Saint John emphasizes how we must demonstrate our faith by choosing to live the way of life that He showed to us. 
What, then, O, brethren, is required of us in order that we might avail ourselves of all the grace brought unto us from on high by the coming to earth of the Son of God? What is necessary, first of all, is faith in the Son of God, in the Gospel as the salvation- bestowing heavenly teaching; a true repentance of sins and the correction of life and ofheart; communion in prayer and in the mysteries [sacraments]; the knowledge and fulfillment of Christʼs commandments. Also necessary are the virtues: Christian humility, alms-giving, continence, purity and chastity, simplicity and goodness of heart. Let us, then, O brothers and sisters, bring these virtues as a gift to the One Who was born for the sake of our salvation – let us bring them in place of the gold, frankincense and myrrh which the Magi brought Him, as to One Who is King, God, and Man, come to die for us. This, from us, shall be the most-pleasing form of sacrifice to God and to the Infant Jesus Christ.
What gift can you bring to celebrate this most joyous event of the Nativity?

Reference:  THE WORD BECAME FLESHA Sermon by St John of Kronstadt on the Nativity of Christ

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