Christmas Novena ~ MEDITATION 1
The love that God has shown to us in becoming human.
Think about the great love God has shown us by becoming human in order to obtain eternal life for us.
Our first parents, Adam and Eve, rebelled against God and were driven out of paradise. As a result, they and all of us, their descendants, were condemned to everlasting death. But the Son of God, grieving because humanity was lost, took upon himself our human flesh. Then, in order to save us from death, he died on a cross, condemned as a criminal.
We might imagine God the Father saying to his Son,
“My child, consider the hardships you will have to undergo while on earth. You will be born in a cold cave, with no place to be laid except in the trough where animals come to feed. As an infant, you will have to flee to Egypt to escape the hands of Herod. After returning, you will have to live in a workshop as a poor, humble servant. And finally, worn out by sufferings, you will have to give up your life, dying on a cross, insulted and forsaken by all.”
And Jesus would respond
“Father, it does not matter. I am happy to endure whatever comes, provided that humanity is saved.”
How would we react if a millionaire took compassion on a dead worm and chose to become a worm himself, offering his own blood as a transfusion, and died in order to restore life to the other worm? Yet the eternal Word has done even more than that for us. God, the Creator, has become like us, one of his own creatures, to share in our human life, so that we can share once again in his divine life. When God realized that all the natural gifts he had bestowed on us could not win our love for him, he became one of us and gave himself entirely to us.
“The Word became flesh, and lived among us”(John 1:14a).
Through sin, humanity separated itself from God. But God, because of his great love for us, came from heaven to seek us. Why? In order that we might realize how much God loves us, and in gratitude love God in return. Any time a cat or a dog comes to us from across the room, we can’t help but respond by petting it and speaking to it. So why do we ignore God, who comes to us all the way from heaven?
Once, when a priest proclaimed the words, “and the Word became flesh,” someone in the church neglected to make a proper reverence. This prompted the devil to give that person a blow, saying, “Oh, ungrateful one! If only God had done for me what he has done for you, I would remain with my head always bowed down in thanksgiving.”
Affections and Prayers
Son of God, you became human in order to make yourself lovable to us. But where is the love that we should have for you in return? After all, you have given your life to save us. Yet, why are we so indifferent to your presence? I admit that I myself have not always paid attention to you, your love, or your gifts. But your birth, your death and Resurrection, the gift of Eucharist, provide me with hope. Forgive the times that I have failed to acknowledge your influence in my life.
I love you, O Incarnate Word. I love you, O my God. I love you, O Ifinite Goodness. And I ask forgiveness for all the sins that I have committed, large and small, public or private. I wish that I could die for you.
Dear Jesus, give me the gift of love for you. Let me never again feel complacent over the trials you endured for me. I want to love you always. Give me perseverance in loving you.
O Mary, Mother of God and my mother too, obtain for me from your son the grace to love him always, even unto death.