Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Universe Created for the Son

We begin today preparing for the Solemnity of the Birth of our Savior. The highly revered Filipino tradition which we call the Misa de Aguinaldo is a novena of Masses in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and is offered for the preservation of the Catholic Faith in the Philippine Islands. In a time when our faith is vehemently attacked from all sides, it is good to take this intention very seriously.

Let us spend these remaining days of Advent in pious meditation of the events that took place in preparation for the birth of the Savior Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of the Father. When we speak of preparation for Christ’s birth, we often think of the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph, and the prophets who were part of the preparation for the mystery of the Incarnation. However, we ask: when did the Father begin preparing for the incarnation of his Beloved Son? We dare to give the answer: When he created the heavens and the earth!

In his encyclical Verbum Domini, our Holy Father Benedict XVI said: “When we consider the basic meaning of the Word of God as a reference to the Eternal Word of God made flesh, the one Savior and mediator between God and humanity…we are led by the biblical revelation to see that it (the Word of God) is the foundation of all reality. The Prologue of Saint John says of the Divine Logos, that ‘all things are made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made’ (Jn. 1:3); and in the Letter to the Colossians it is said of Christ, ‘the first-born of all creation’ (1:15), that ‘all things were created through him and for him.’ (1:16)” (Benedict XVI, Verbum Domini, 30 September 2010, 8.)

The words of St. Paul were remarkable: “All things were created through him and for him.” Often, we mistakenly think that God created all things for man, for us. That is why we think we can do things at our pleasure and get away with it without any sense of accountability. St. Paul disagrees: “all things were created for Him (for Christ).” It is Christ, and not man, who is at the center of all creation. The entire creation is the gift of the Father to his only begotten Son. Creation is the sign of the Father’s love for his Son to whom He gave everything he had and everything he was. “Reality is born of the Word, as creatura Verbi, and everything is called to serve the Word.” (Verbum Domini, 9.) Being created through Him and for Him, we must listen to the word of God which leads us to value the need to live in accordance with the natural law which is “written in human hearts” (Rom. 2:15; 7:23). “Jesus Christ gives mankind the new law, the law of the gospel, which takes up and eminently fulfills the natural law, setting us free from the law of sin…(and) enables men and women, through grace, to share in the divine life and to overcome their selfishness.” (Ibid.)

“If all things ‘hold together’ in (Christ) the one who is ‘before all things’ (Col. 1:7), then those who build their lives on his word build in a truly sound and lasting way. The word of God makes us change our concept of realism: the realist is one who recognizes in the word of God the foundation of all things. This realism is particularly needed in our time, when many things in which we trust for building our lives, things in which we are tempted to put our hopes, prove ephemeral. Possessions, pleasure, and power show themselves sooner or later to be incapable of fulfilling the deepest yearnings of the human heart. In building our lives we need solid foundations which will endure when human certainties fail.” (Verbum Domini, 10.)

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