(5 January 2014, 4 January 2015)
ALMIGHTY God, who wonderfully created man in your image, and yet more wonderfully restored him: Grant, we beseech you, that as your Son our Lord Jesus Christ was made in the likeness of men, so we may be made partakers of the divine nature; through the same your Son, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, forever and ever.
Micah 4:1-5, 5:2-4; Psalm 110:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8:9; John 1:14-18
As Christmastide draws near its end, we come to this last reflection on the exchange of the human and divine natures through the person of Jesus Christ. The Gospel reading brings us back to the end of Christmas Day’s Gospel reading: “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us,” giving us “grace upon grace,” making the Father known to us. The epistle puts this mystery another way: Christ was made poor so that we might be made rich. In other words, he humbled himself to become human so that we could share in his divinity. And that divinity of Christ is celebrated both in the Old Testament reading (out of Bethlehem will come a ruler from ancient times – Jesus is the eternal Word of God!) and the Psalm (Jesus is the eternally “begotten” Son of the Father). This is who was born on Christmas Day to save us!