December 25, 2004
SOLEMNITY OF THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD
vol. 15, no. 197

The Child Who was God


    Christophopia infects today's world and we need to expose this rubbish and return the reason for the season with all its pomp and circumstance!
      "Jesus Christ, the God-Man, is our theme. Without Him we have nothing, we know nothing, we are nothing. With Him we inherit the earth, we have all knowledge, and we rule the universe. But everything depends upon His being a man, one of our race, who can speak for us, who can represent us, who can suffer in the flesh for us. The Christmas story tells us that He is the Son of Mary, and that in His veins runs the blood of His ancestor, David. Jesus is the New Adam."

        Editor's Note: In Father Louis Campbell's sermon for Christmas Day on the Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, he emphasizes what Et Verbum Caro Factum Est truly means - the fulfillment of the Divine and human nature into one Person - the God-man Himself. He was the needed bridge between the Divine and humanity. He was, as St. Paul reaffirms, like us in every way except He could not sin. Yet He felt pain, and it must greatly pain Him today to see so many going to desperate measures to eliminate Him from our lexicon, to banish His birthday. Father points out this insidious agenda that Arian, Mohammed and others could not evict and he encourages us that these modern secularists and agents of the evil one will not conquer the Christ Child or His memory and message either. Father explains in his sermon. [bold and italics below are editor's emphasis.]

    Dom Prosper Gueranger comments on the Divine Mysteries of the season of Christmas:

    "Everything is Mystery in this holy season. The Word of God, whose generation is before the day-star, is born in time - a Child is God - a Virgin becomes a Mother, and remains a Virgin - things divine are commingled with those that are human - and the sublime, the ineffable antithesis, expressed by the Beloved Disciple in those words of his Gospel, THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH, is repeated in a thousand different ways in all the prayers of the Church; and - rightly, for it admirably embodies the whole of the great portent which unites in one Person the nature of Man and the nature of God" (The Liturgical Year, v.2, pg 6).

    During the early years of the fourth century there arose Arianism, the first of the great heresies. In the year of Our Lord 319, Arians could be heard singing the refrain which denied the divinity of the Son and almost destroyed orthodox Catholicism: "There was a time when the Son was not." In order to put an end to the terrible controversy that developed, the Emperor Constantine called together the Council of Nicea in the year 325, at which it was defined that the Son is "one in substance (homoousion, consubstantialem) with the Father." Among those taking part in the Council were a young deacon, St. Athanasius of Alexandria, and St. Nicholas of Myra. The Council of Chalcedon in 451 dealt the decisive blow to the Arian heresy, defining that Jesus Christ is a Divine Person having two natures, human and divine. These two natures are united in such a way that they remain distinct in the one Person of the Son. This is called the "hypostatic union." Jesus Christ is therefore one of us, "like us in all things but sin" (Heb.4:15), but His divine nature is the same as that of the Father.

    To this day we pray the Nicene Creed in the Traditional Latin Mass: "(I believe) …in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God. Born of the Father before all ages. God of God; Light of Light; true God of true God. Begotten not made; of one being with the Father; by Whom all things were made…"

    Jesus Christ, the God-Man, is our theme. Without Him we have nothing, we know nothing, we are nothing. With Him we inherit the earth, we have all knowledge, and we rule the universe. But everything depends upon His being a man, one of our race, who can speak for us, who can represent us, who can suffer in the flesh for us. The Christmas story tells us that He is the Son of Mary, and that in His veins runs the blood of His ancestor, David. Jesus is the New Adam.

    Yet everything depends no less upon His being God, the only-begotten Son of the Father. No mere man could be "the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world," atoning to God the Father for the sins of men, but a MAN WHO IS GOD can bridge the gap between earth and Heaven, between Humanity and Divinity. And the Son of Man, Jesus Christ is truly God.

    There is absolutely no advantage in venerating Jesus Christ as a man while denying His Divinity. Those who venerate Him as a wise man or a mere prophet, as the Muslims do, or a founder of one of the "great world religions," are not thereby saved. Similarly, those who see Him as one among many "manifestations" of the divine, losing sight of His humanity, as the Hindus sometimes do, are unable to claim Him as their unique Savior and Lord.

    Sadly, Humanity's guilt goes far beyond the simple denial of either His divinity or His humanity. Already at His Birth there was no room for Him in David's royal city - Bethlehem. "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not" (John 1: 11). After two thousand years there is still no room for Him in the hearts of men. The Jews still deny Him, Christians betray Him, the world hates Him. Europe, where Christianity once reigned, is "Christophobic," according to Catholic author, George Weigel. "European high culture," he says, "is, largely, Christophobic, and Europeans themselves describe their cultures and societies as 'post-Christian.'" (Rome, Dec.12, 2004, Zenit.org).

    In America, Christmas is increasingly secular. Neighborhood Christmas displays feature Santa Claus, reindeer, snowmen, and decorated trees, but few Nativity scenes. Children's choirs sing of Silver Bells, Frosty the Snowman, and Winter Wonderland, but less and less of Silent Night. Why is this happening? According to a recent internet article, the 90% of Americans who celebrate Christmas are mindlessly complying with the hidden agenda of the secular humanists:

    "The anti-Christmas forces say it's all about diversity, protecting the sensitivities of those Americans who get offended by the mere mention of the birth of Jesus. Somehow I haven't been able to locate any of these folks who find a baby in a manger so off-putting it ruins their day... What's really going on is a well-organized movement to wipe out any display of organized religion from the public arena… Since Christmas is the most demonstrative display of organized religion, a strategy of minimizing the birth of Jesus makes sense. I know this sounds conspiratorial, but it isn't. Most of those marginalizing Christmas have no idea about the big picture. They simply think they're looking out for the minority of Americans who don't celebrate the birth of Christ. But committed secularists in the media, courts and education system know what's going on. And now so do you. Merry Christmas!" (Dec.13, 2004, www.nydailynews.com).

    In the meantime, why not celebrate? Christmas decorations may glow because of electric power, but ours is a far more powerful kind of energy - the grace of God. As St. Paul says, "Now the Law intervened that the offense might abound. But where the offense has abounded, grace has abounded yet more; so that as sin has reigned unto death, so also grace may reign by justice unto life everlasting through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 5: 20,21).

    Dom Gueranger provides our conclusion:

    "Who shall henceforth separate us from the love of this Infant Jesus? Is it possible that we ourselves can ever frustrate the designs of that love, by rendering all that it has done for us useless, and becoming once more the slaves of darkness and death? May God forbid it! and grant us grace to maintain our hope of everlasting life, which the Mystery of our Redemption has purchased for us" (The Liturgical Year, v.2, p.192).

Father Louis J. Campbell


December 24-31, 2004
vol 15, no. 197
"Qui legit, intelligat"
Father Louis Campbell's Sunday Sermons