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제목 The Son of God Coming as The Pontiff(2015-12-25)
작성자 관리자 작성일 2015-12-28



The Son of God Coming as The Pontiff(2015-12-25)


My dear Brethren,
In Matins, we sing: “What have you seen, Shepherds? Tell us! Who appeared on earth? We have seen a New Born, and the choirs of Angels praising the Lord!” Dear Shepherds, tell us who is that Child? What did the Angels tell you about that Child? They said: “For, this day, is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David” (Lk. 2:11).

A Saviour! Someone who will help us out of all our miseries, the greatest of which is sin! “He will save his people from their sins” had said the Angel to St Joseph (Mt. 1:21). God really cares for us; He did not abandon us to our sins; He sent a Saviour! He is the solution of all our problems, domestic problems, economic problems, even political problems: because at the root of these problems, there is pride, there is selfishness, there is lust, there is envy, there is jealousy, there is hatred, there is violence, there is greed, there are frauds and injustices, etc. Sin is at the root of all our human evils, and sin leads to suffering and ultimately to death, and to everlasting punishment. This Saviour saves us from sin, and from all its consequences, thus healing all our ills, and ultimately bringing everlasting life!

And who is this Saviour? Is He really capable to save us? That Saviour is “Christ the Lord”! The word “Lord” in English – “Dominus” in Latin – translates the word “Kyrie – κύριος” in the Greek of St Luke. Now you need to know that this Greek word is the one constantly used in the Old Testament to translate the most Holy Name of God “Yawhe” (written with the four Hebrew letters: iod, he, waw, he: “יְהוָ֧ה”) which God had revealed to Moses on the mountain in the Exodus (Ex. 3:14-15). So the Angels say in a very clear way to the shepherds: this Child is God! He is the Master of all. Therefore He is indeed powerful to save! The Child Jesus is true God, Eternal Son of the Eternal Father. Together with the Father and the Holy Ghost, He is the Creator of Heaven and earth. He is the Eternal Word of Wisdom of the Father, by which all things were made and without which nothing was made (Jn. 1:3).

He is the “Christ”. Now the word “Christ” means the “Anointed One”: our Lord Jesus Christ is anointed, not with created oil, but by the very pouring of the Divinity into the humanity: His human nature is all permeated by His Divine Person: every cell of His body, every faculty of his soul belongs to the very Son of God, to the Second Person of the most Holy Trinity! So He is truly the “Holy of Holies.” And He is the source of all holiness for men, as the Scriptures say of the altar of the Old Testament: “Everyone that shall touch it shall be holy” (Ex. 29:37). Everyone that approaches, with faith and humility, to our Lord Jesus Christ is sanctified, is cleansed, is healed: the shepherds, the Magi, etc.

Let us contemplate the contrasts that shine in this Infant: He is the Eternal and yet newly born; He is the Word of Divine Wisdom and yet He is an infant, i.e. some who cannot speak (this is the Latin etymology of the word infans); He is the Almighty and yet He is a weak little baby; He is the Infinite God and yet He is a small baby; He owns the whole world and yet is born poor, not even having a home to welcome Him! He is true God and true man, the bridge between God and men, that is, the Pontiff: “Pontifex” in Latin means “the one who makes a bridge: pontum facere”.

The mystery of the Son of God who has become the “Son of Man” is called: the Mystery of the Incarnation. It is the mystery of our Lord Jesus Christ, having two natures united in one Person: the divine and the human natures are united in the unity of the One Person of the Son of God, second Person of the Most Holy Trinity. The “nature” is the answer to the question: “What is it?” The “person” is the answer to the question “who is it?” Who is our Lord Jesus Christ? He is the Son of God. What is our Lord Jesus Christ? He is true God and true man. In Him there is “one WHO and two WHATs”. By contrast, in the Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, there is One Nature, and Three Persons: one WHAT and three WHOs. The Father is God; the Son is God; the Holy Ghost is God; yet together they are only but ONE GOD: Three Persons in One God.

Now if the Son of God comes down on earth, it is of the greatest importance for mankind! No one is allowed to ignore Him, to be indifferent to Him: we owe Him so much, we are not allowed to be indifferent. Every man must receive Him, believe in Him and follow Him in order to be saved. He is the road to Heaven: there is no other: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me” (Jn. 14:6).

Now there is a common error that one hears again and again: “I do not need to go to Church; God is everywhere; I can pray to Him on my own wherever I want!” Now it is true that God is everywhere; but the conclusion does not follow, because it would be a denial of the Incarnation. By ourselves, we cannot go to God: we need to take the road that God Himself has established to come to Him, and that road is our Lord Jesus Christ: He is the Way and there is no other way to God; we need to do like the shepherds and to come to Bethlehem and adore the Child Jesus; we need to do like the Magi and even from a long distance to come to our Lord Jesus Christ and adore Him in His humanity, to adore the Child Jesus, because He is true God. He is man, yes, but He is also God. Those who claim to be able to go to God while rejecting our Lord Jesus Christ as a man deceive themselves: like those who closed their inn, they close their heart to God Himself; they will never find God until they repent and believe in our Lord Jesus Christ and come to Him and through Him to the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost.

 But one will object that our Lord Jesus Christ went up to Heaven on Ascension day: how can we find Him now? He did not abandon His Apostles. First remember that woman who has an issue of blood, and came hiding from the back and touched the hem of the garment of our Lord Jesus Christ: she was immediately healed! The healing power of the hands of our Lord Jesus Christ extended even to his garments. Similarly, our Lord Jesus Christ has instituted seven sacraments, which are sensible signs, which are instruments to communicate grace: like the body of our Lord Jesus Christ is a tool of His Divinity to give grace, so are the sacraments tools of our Lord Jesus Christ to give grace: when you write, your hand is an instrument for your intelligence, and your pen is an instrument in your hand; similarly, the human nature of our Lord Jesus Christ is a “joined instrument” (like the hand) and the sacrament is an “external instrument” (like the pen) used by Christ to produce grace.

Thus by baptism we truly wash our soul in the Blood of the Lamb, as St John says in the Apocalypse (7:14); thus the sacred Oil, Holy Chrism, anoints our head in Confirmation and make it burn with the fire of the Holy Ghost like the Apostles on Pentecost. Thus the holy Oil of the Sick has the healing power of our Lord Jesus Christ for the soul and even sometimes for the body. Thus the words of the priests in the Confessional or on the offerings are truly the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: He is the one who forgives, who transforms the bread into His Body, etc. The priest acts “in persona Christi – in the very Person of Christ”.

But above all the other sacraments, the Blessed Sacrament truly contains the very Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ: it is truly Jesus, “it is the Lord” (Jn. 21:7). Our Lord Jesus Christ is as present on our altars, in our tabernacles, as He was present in the crib at Bethlehem, later in Egypt, in Nazareth, or later walking on the roads of Galilea or Judea or on the Cross, and as He is present now in Heaven. It is the same Jesus, true God and true man, powerful to save all those who come to Him and receive Him devoutly. In the Blessed Sacrament, we truly have the Incarnate Word of God! Who can say then that we don’t need Him? Who can say that one can stay away from Him and still pretend to find God anywhere? No! We need to come to Church; we need to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; we need to receive the Holy Eucharist, to receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist: there, we truly find God Himself, we find Jesus, the Son of God, inseparable from the Father and the Holy Ghost: three in One God. Eternity will not be long enough to thank God for this most marvellous gift: the Father gave us His Son, entirely, to each one of us in Holy Communion!

But then, once we have received – without merits on our part – such marvellous treasure, we must in our turn give Him to our neighbour: “freely have you received, freely give” (Mt. 10:8)! Once they had found Jesus, the shepherds went around and talked about that Child to everyone: “And all that heard, wondered at those things that were told them by the shepherds” (Lk. 2:18).

The spiritual treasures are such that we don’t lose them when we give them; on the contrary, the more we give them, the more we have them! The knowledge and love of our Lord Jesus Christ are such treasures: communicate them to your friends and neighbours! Earthly treasures divide people, because two persons can’t own them at the same time; heavenly treasures unite people, and very deeply because we become “one heart and one mind” in Christ Jesus.

Not only should you give Jesus to your neighbour, but our Lord Jesus Christ should be so living in you that when people see you they can see Him in you, see His image in you when you become perfectly “conformable to the image of his Son; that He might be the firstborn amongst many brethren” (Rom. 8:29). This is true for all the faithful, but this is even more true for priests: people need to see Jesus in the priest; hence you need to pray much for your priests, that they may live always a life worthy of our Lord Jesus Christ and not become scandals for others.

Pray for vocations, because the people need to see more good priests, who provide that presence of Christ among His people. They need more good priests to lead them by their example and predication on the path to Heaven. They need more good priests to give them  not only the doctrine, but above that the Sacraments by which our Lord Jesus Christ gives His grace, and above all the Blessed Sacrament in which He gives fully His own self!

Some worldly people might look at the Child Jesus and despise Him, saying: “what can this poor and miserable child give us? Nothing!” This was the attitude of the people at the inn. But in the very fact that He is poor and in human misery, He gives us a most useful lesson: He, the Son of God, teaches us in a most vivid way that the goods of this world are not worthy to attach our heart; they are not to be loved and desired; we should rather detach our heart from them and even our whole self from them. He teaches us the opposite of the spirit of the world. The “world” loves monies and riches; Jesus, the Son of God, came in the poorest stable with nothing. The “world” loves pleasures and comfort; Jesus, the Son of God, came is the cold of a winter night and most certainly cried like all babies in such situation. The world loves power and self-will; Jesus, the Son of God, came as a weak little child, not to do His Will, but the Will of His Father: “I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me” (Jn. 6:38).

From the beginning of His life, our Lord Jesus Christ teaches us by his own example the three evangelical Counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience. He will teach them in an even more vivid way at the end of His life, on the Cross: who is more detached from riches that Jesus stripped of all things, even his garments, on the Cross? Who is more chaste and detached from pleasures than Jesus nailed on the Cross? Who is more obedient that Jesus “obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8).

But does He give us something? Oh yes! He gives us His own self! And there is no greater gift, since He is the Infinite Good Himself! And this gift of self is manifested in a marvellous way at Christmas: the baby Jesus is put… in a manger! He will feed us with His own self. He took flesh and blood to have something to offer to His Father on the Cross, and then to give us to feed us with His own flesh and blood: “For my flesh is food indeed: and my blood is drink indeed” (Jn. 6:56)! And with His flesh and blood, He feeds us also with his soul and Divinity. This is truly the beginning of eternal happiness: the Saints in Heaven find their happiness is the possession of God for all eternity, to see the Father, to hear the Son, Word of God, and to be burning with the love of the Holy Ghost in an everlasting ecstasy of love! Truly “he that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day” (Jn. 6:55).

In the cribs that we build, we have mere images; but in the Holy Eucharist, we have the reality of our Lord Jesus Christ: this is “the Manger” in which He is put for us. May we always appreciate the infinite value of the Holy Eucharist! May the Blessed Virgin Mary teach us that faith in Jesus, that love of Jesus, and to be faithful to him, careful to avoid anything that would offend Him, any sin at all, and eager to please Him by all good works, so that we may go to Heaven! Amen.


Fr. F. Laisney (SSPXASIA)