Church Fathers, Day Thirty-One: St. Gregory the Great tells us to recognize both natures in Christ

st_gregory_the_great_2Recognize both natures in Christ

Jesus Christ, the Word incarnate, was true God and true man. When we hear or read the Gospel stories, says St. Gregory the Great, we need to see both natures at work, because we need to understand that both natures are vital for our salvation.

When you read or hear the Gospel, you find some things in our Lord Jesus Christ subjected to injuries, and some things lit up by miracles. In the same Person now the humanity appears, now the divinity shines out.

Don’t think any of these things are a delusion, as if Christ were either man or God alone, but believe both faithfully, and worship both very humbly.

Attribute it to the man that he was born of a woman; attribute it to God that his mother’s virginity was not harmed, either by conception or by bearing.

Recognize the form of a slave wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, but acknowledge that it was the Lord’s form that was announced by angels.

Understand it of his humanity that he did not avoid the wedding feast; con­fess it divine that he turned water into wine.

Let your own feelings explain to you why he shed tears over a dead friend; realize his divine power when that same friend, after moldering in the grave four days, is brought to life and raised just by the command of his voice.

For the old original wounds in human nature could not be healed, except by the Word of God taking flesh to himself from the Virgin’s womb, by which flesh and the Word existed together in one and the same Person.

St. Gregory the Great, Sermon 46, 2

IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .

How does meditating on Christ’s humanity illuminate the Gospel stories for me?

What about meditating on Christ’s divinity?

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord Jesus, I give you praise because you, the only one without sin, gave yourself to die in my place, even though I am a sinner and can do nothing to make myself worthy of your gift.

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