Quick Lessons from the Catechism: The Christmas Mystery

After four weeks of preparing for the coming of Jesus Christ through the season of Advent, we have arrived at Christmas. It’s during this season (not just one day as the secular culture celebrates it), that we celebrate the coming of the Incarnation in His Nativity. The Advent hymn, O Come O Come Emmanuel, has come to fruition since Emmanuel has arrived and God is With Us.

From the first day of the disaster, the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden, God promised to send us a Savior who would redeem us (Gen. 3:15). For centuries and throughout the Old Testament, in the patriarchs, in the kings, the prophets, the Psalms, Melchizedek, Joseph, and many other figures and events, we saw the coming of the Messiah. Now as we celebrate the great Christmas Mystery on December 25, the second person of the Holy Trinity becomes man, the Nativity of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ is here. He is God Incarnate!

Birth of Jesus Christ Icon

With that being said, let’s look very briefly at what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says on the subject of the Christmas Mystery. Just so you know, there is more on the Incarnation in other sections of the Catechism. During the Christmas Season, I will write on those as well in this series.

The Catechism says in paragraphs 525 and 526…

Jesus was born in a humble stable, into a poor family. Simple shepherds were the first witnesses to this event. In this poverty heaven’s glory was made manifest. The Church never tires of singing the glory of this night:

The Virgin today brings into the world the Eternal, And the earth offers a cave to the Inaccessible. The angels and shepherds praise him And the magi advance with the star, For you are born for us, Little Child, God eternal

To become a child in relation to God is the condition for entering the kingdom. For this, we must humble ourselves and become little. Even more: to become “children of God” we must be “born from above” or “born of God”. Only when Christ is formed in us will the mystery of Christmas be fulfilled in us. Christmas is the mystery of this “marvelous exchange”:

O marvelous exchange! Man’s Creator has become man, born of the Virgin. We have been made sharers in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share our humanity.

If you have a Nativity set in your home, now is the time to place Baby Jesus in the Nativity with his Mother Mary, St. Joseph, and the other figures that make-up the Nativity.

I wish you all you a very Merry and Blessed Christmas with your family and friends! May the love of Jesus Christ through His Nativity on Christmas, and through the Advocating role of his Blessed Mother, pierce your hearts and bring you ever closer to Him during this most beautiful season.

For more Quick Lessons from the Catechism, check them out here. If you are interested in learning more about the Blessed Virgin Mary, I would encourage you to check out my series – “Mondays with Mary.” 

2 replies »

  1. Merry Christmas to you , too, Tom. Thanks for all the hard work and solid inspiration during this Hoy Season. God’s peace and Mary’s protection be with you and your family.

  2. God eternally sees Joseph and Mary as one (CCC 600) and God’s Divine Will is eternal, changeless and always in the present tense. St. Augustine wrote, “To God, time is the revealing of truth that has always been.” Jesus honored St. Joseph as the head of the family, thereby perfectly revealing God’s eternal, changeless, always in the present tense thought, WORD, Will. Let us conform our wills to God’s Divine Will by honoring St, Joseph as head of the Family and ask God’s blessings on ourselves and the whole world through all the prayers that St. Joseph prayed while on earth, that are eternally present to God along with all of our prayers (CCC 600) and all are contained in the infinite prayer of Jesus. When Joseph and Mary were espoused, Mary was so honored and thankful that God had given her such a just man for her spouse and she was the perfect helpmate, thereby doing God’s will and revealing God’s eternal changeless Divine Will. Her prayers were those of a married women who honored her husband as the head of the family with the responsibility as head, to pray to God for both, asking God’s blessings, and Mary was humble and prayed to God through her spouses prayers, certain that God would be pleased with this.

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