Christmas Novena to the Christ Child – Day One – 16 December
God’s Love Revealed In His Becoming Man.
Because our first parent Adam, had rebelled against God, he was driven out of paradise and brought on himself and all his descendants the punishment of eternal death. But the son of God, seeing man thus lost and wishing to save him from death, offered to take upon Himself our human nature and to suffer death Himself, condemned as a criminal on a cross.
“But, My Son,” we may imagine the eternal Father saying to Him, “think of what a life of humiliations and sufferings You wilt have to lead on earth. You will have to be born in a cold stable and laid in a manger, the feeding trough of beasts.
While still an infant, You will have to flee into Egypt, to escape the hands of Herod.
After Your return from Egypt, You will have to live and work in a shop as a lowly servant,
poor and despised.
And finally, worn out with sufferings, You will have to give up Your life on a cross, put to shame and abandoned by everyone.”
“Father,” replies the Son, “all this matters not. I will gladly bear it all, if only I can save man.”
What should we say if a prince, out of compassion for a dead worm, were to choose to become a worm himself and give his own life blood in order to restore the worm to life? But the eternal Word has done infinitely more than this for us. Though He is the sovereign Lord of the world, He chose to become like us, who are immeasurably more beneath Him than a worm is beneath a prince and He was willing to die for us, in order to win back for us the life of divine grace that we had lost by sin.
When He saw that all the other gifts which He had bestowed on us were not sufficient to induce us to repay His love with love, He became man Himself and gave all of Himself to us.
“The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us;”
“He loved us and delivered Himself up for us.”
O Great Son of God,
You became man in order to make Yourself loved by men.
But where is the love that men give You in return?
You gave Your life blood to save our souls.
Why then are we so unappreciative that,
instead of repaying You with love,
we spurn You with ingratitude?
And I, Lord, I myself more than others have ill treated You.
But Your Passion is my hope.
For the sake of that love which led You to take upon Yourself
human nature and to die for me on the cross,
forgive me all the offences I have committed against You.
I love You, O Word Incarnate;
I love You, O infinite goodness.
Out of love for You, that I could die of grief for these offences.
Give me, O Jesus, Your love.
Let me no longer live in ungrateful
forgetfulness of the love You bear me.
I wish to love You always.
Grant that I may always preserve in this holy desire.
O Mary, Mother of God and my Mother,
pray for me that Your Son, may give me,
the grace to love Him always, unto death.