Monday, December 13, 2010

What Did the Incarnation Bring Us?


For the Life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us (1 John, 1,2).
What is this life in Christ that we say we participate in?  Why do so many seek this way of life? It is because we find ourselves separated from God and long to be united with Him.  Yet, we strive to fulfill our earthly desires thinking that this will satisfy what is a deep longing within us––to be united with Him.

Metropolitan Anthony Bloom says,
All those who separate themselves from Christ are dissatisfied; they are dissatisfied because earthly life does not correspond to their desires. They want to be healthy and full, but life burdens them with sicknesses and hunger; they want riches and high ranks, but poverty and dishonor goad them, and if they do not fall into these disasters, they still remain dissatisfied with what they have, and desire more good things.
With the Incarnation of God that we celebrate in a few days, we were brought a new way of life. What was the nature of this life?  Did the Apostles and Jesus pursue earthly riches? Did they seek out ways to enhance their usual pleasures through various forms of entertainment?  Did they seek fame and glory by following Christ?  No!  

Metropolitan Anthony tells us,
They turned their hearts away from everything towards which people had formerly striven, except for virtue, and came to love everything, were reconciled with everything that people had formerly considered to be their greatest sorrow, except sin and vice. And when they disposed their hearts like this, sin ceased to be so alluring, virtue ceased to be burdensome; on the contrary, they began gradually to find in it that source of joy which the pagans had found only in earthly pleasures. This is the meaning of the Lord's words: "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek ... But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness" (Mt. 6:31-33).
The coming of God as fully man brought to us a new way of life that mankind previously was unable to live.  He showed this new way to the Apostles and though them He established the Church so all of us could learn to live this new way of life with the fire of the Holy Spirit burning within us.

In this time as we prepare for the feast of the Incarnation, let's reflect on what Jesus did give us though His Incarnation.  Let's give thanks for this new way of life.  Let's also double our efforts to actually live this life taught by His Church.  This is a life based on daily prayer, fasting, repentance, worship and participation in the sacraments, and study of the Scriptures and the writings of the Holy Fathers.  It is a life where we constantly prepare ourselves to receive the Holy Spirit just as the Apostles did at Pentecost so we can live a new life of virtue. When Jesus left this earth, He left us His Church and sent the Holy Spirit for our salvation. So, rejoice!

2 comments:

  1. Hey Charles, my name is John. I read a lot of blogs on religion and prayer and I've ended up here once or twice before. I'd love to hear your thoughts about this prayer exchange website PrayerMarket.com I thought it was an interesting idea and would be curious to hear what you (or other christians) think about it

    I'll check back here in the next day or two, thanks & God bless
    John W.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Prayer is not something that is done for money! It is offered like a sacrifice.

    ReplyDelete