EWTN: The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ




THE world had subsisted about four thousand years, and all things
were accomplished which, according to the ancient prophets, were
to precede the coming of the Messias, when Jesus Christ, the
eternal Son of God, having taken human flesh in the womb of the
Virgin Mary, and being made man, was born of her for the
redemption of mankind. The all-wise and all-merciful providence of
God had, from the fall of our first parents, gradually disposed
all things for the fulfilling of his promises, and the
accomplishing the greatest of all his mysteries, the incarnation
of his divine Son. Had man been restored to grace as soon as he
had forfeited it, he would not have been sufficiently sensible of
the depth of his horrible wounds, nor have had a just feeling of
the spiritual blindness, weakness, and wretchedness in which he
lay buried under the weight of his guilt Neither would the
infinite mercy, power, and goodness of God, in saving him, have
appeared in so great lustre. Therefore man was left grovelling in
his miseries for the space of so many thousand years, only
enjoying a glimpse of his future redemption in the promise and
expectation of it; which still was sufficient to raise those to it
who did not shut their eyes to this light. God always raised
several faithful servants, and even when most nations, from
following the bent of their passions, fell into the most
deplorable spiritual blindness, and abandoned his knowledge and
true worship to transfer his honour to the basest of creatures and
the most criminal objects, he reserved to himself a peculiar
people among which he was known and served, and many were saved
through faith and hope in this promised Redeemer, then to come.
All this time the saints never ceased with sighs and tears to beg
that this "Desired of all Nations "[1] might speedily make his
appearance; and by these inflamed desires they both disposed
themselves to receive the fruit of his redemption, and moved Gad
to hasten and most abundantly to pour forth his mercy.

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