Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless otherwise stated.
The Nativity of Our Lord.
First Mass at Midnight.
Station at Saint Mary Major
at The Altar of The Crib.
Indulgence of 15 Years and 15 Quarantines.
Double of The First-Class
with Privileged Octave
of Third Order.
The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us.
Illustration: UNA VOCE OF ORANGE COUNTY
Artist: Rene de Cramer.
Used with Permission.
The Word, begotten from all Eternity by The Father, has raised into personal union with Himself The Blessed Fruit of The Virginal Womb of Mary; in other words, the human and Divine natures are joined in Our Lord in the unity of a single Person - The Second Person of The Blessed Trinity.
Further, since when we speak of a son we mean a person, Jesus must be called The Son of God, because, as The Son of God, He is a Divine Person. From this it follows, that Our Lady is called The Mother of God; not that she has begotten The Word, but because from her is derived the humanity that The Word has united to Himself in The Mystery of The Incarnation.
Of this Mystery, the first manifestation to the World was The Birth of Our Lord at Bethlehem [Editor: In Hebrew, Bethlehem means "House of Bread"]. Whence, we see the reason why, every year at Christmas, The Church says "Puer natus est nobis et Filius datus est nobis". "Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given." [Introit, Alleluia.]
It is The Son of God, God begotten of The Father in the one day of Eternity (Ego hodie genui te), Who is now begotten of The Father as Man in the day of The Incarnation; Ego hodie genui te. "By the taking of the Manhood into God," says Saint Athanasius, The Son of Mary is born to The Divine Life. As it was as Midnight that Our Lady brought her first-born Son into the World and laid Him in a cradle, so Mass is Celebrated at Midnight in Saint Mary Major, Rome, where the Relics of The Crib are kept.
"With great Devotion," says Saint Leo, "has The Incarnate Word given Himself to win for us the fight against Satan, for not in His Divine Majesty, but in the weakness of our flesh, He waged war against this cruel enemy." [Fifth Lesson.] The Victory which He has gained, in spite of His weakness, shows Him to be God.
It is "God of God, Light of Light," (Credo) Who disperses the darkness of sin. "Christ is The True Light Who comes to enlighten the World, plunged in darkness" (Collect). "By The Mystery of The Word made Flesh," says the Preface, "the light of Thy Glory hath shone anew upon the eyes of our mind; so that, while we acknowledge Him as God seen by men, we may be drawn by Him to the love of things unseen."
"The Grace of God Our Saviour hath appeared to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness ad worldly desires . . . that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and might cleanse to Himself a people acceptable, and zealous in good works" (Epistle).
He is made like unto us that we may become like unto Him (Secret), and by His example may be enabled to live a holy life (Postcommunion). Thus, shall we "live soberly, justly, and godly in this World, looking for the Blessed hope and coming of the Glory of The Great God and Our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Epistle).
As we saw in Advent, The First Coming of Our Lord prepares us for the Second.
Mass: Dóminus dixit ad me.