Dec 24, 2005

Sermons For Christmas - II

The Nativity of our Lord

The Threefold Office of Jesus Christ.
S. John i. 4. - "The life was the light of men."

In this Gospel the Child Who is born is called the Word - "In the beginning was the Word"; the "Light" and the "life" - "The Life was the Light of men." From this is learned the threefold benefit which His Incarnation conferred upon man.

Jesus Christ Incarnate was:

I. Firstly, the Word, teaching man - "Jesus went about all Galilee teaching" (S. Matt. iv. 23); and He taught us three things:

1. Physics, which inquires into the nature of things; for Jesus Christ taught us the quality of things when He taught the deceit of the world, the treachery of the devil, and the truth of God.

2. Logic, which proves what is true, teaching the truth of Holy Scripture - "Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures" (S. Luke xxiv. 45).

3. Ethics, which is probity of manners, when He taught holiness of life - "Blessed are the meek, the merciful, the pure in heart" (S. Matt. v. 3-12); "Ye call Me Master [Teacher] and Lord, and ye say well: for so I am" (S. John xiii. 13).

II. Secondly, the Light, enlightening men. Our Blessed Lord enlightens in three ways:

1. By expelling the night of sin.

2. By bringing in the day of grace - "The night is far spent, the day is at hand" (Rom. xiii. 12).

3. By diffusing great lights, which are the Saints, throughout the world - "Among whom ye shine as lights in the world" (Philipp. ii. 15).

III. Thirdly, the Life, leading on to eternity:

1. Repairing our life by His Resurrection - "I am the Resurrection and the Life" (S. John xi. 25).

2. Endowing this life with grace - "Because I live, ye shall live also" (S. John xiv. 19).

3. Granting a life of glory - "I will give unto them eternal life" (S. John x. 28).

S. Thoma de Aquino

Ashley, John M. B.C.L., The Homilies of St. Thomas Aquinas, Roman Catholic Books, First published in 1873.

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