A new and wondrous mystery.
Having returned from Midnight Mass (I took this photo there; some may recognize the church) and having enjoyed a quietly festive réveillon in my Jesuit community, before going to bed I would like to repeat the annual tradition of this blog by extending to all readers my prayerful best wishes for Christmas and by sharing a portion of a Nativity sermon preached by St. John Chrysostom:
I behold a new and wondrous mystery.
My ears resound to the Shepherd's song, piping no soft melody but chanting full forth a heavenly hymn.
The Angels sing. The Archangels blend their voice in harmony. The Cherubim hymn their joyful praise. The Seraphim exalt His glory.
All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead here on earth, and man in heaven. He Who is above, now, for our redemption, dwells here below; and he that was lowly is raised up by divine mercy.
Bethlehem this day resembles heaven: she hears from the stars the singing of angelic voices; in place of the sun, she enfolds within herself on every side the Sun of Justice.
Ask not how - where God wills, the order of nature yields. He willed, He had the power, He descended, He redeemed, and all things move in obedience to God.
This day He Who Is is born, and He Who Is becomes what He was not.
Christ is born! Glorify him! AMDG.