Why did it take the whole Old Testament to prepare humanity for Christ? Simply because the truth of the Incarnation was so incomprehensibly wonderful, says St. John Chrysostom. God passed by all the orders of angels to become a lowly human being.
The truth of the Incarnation was very hard to receive. God’s extraordinary mercy and the greatness of his condescension were simply amazing, and needed much preparation to be accepted.
God is indescribable, unintelligible, invisible, incomprehensible. He holds the ends of the earth in his hands. He looks on the world and makes it tremble. He touches the mountains and makes them smoke. Even the Cherubim couldn’t bear the weight of his condescension, but veiled their faces in the shelter of their wings.
Think what a great thing it was to hear and learn that this God who surpass- es all understanding, and baffles all calculation, had passed by Angels, Archangels, and all the spiritual powers above, and deigned to become a human being, to take flesh made of earth and clay, and enter the womb of a virgin, and be carried there for nine months, and be nourished with milk, and suffer everything that can hap- pen to a man. –St. John Chrysostom, Homily on “Father, If It Be Possible…”
IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
How must the Incarnation have looked from the angels’ point of view? Would thinking of it from that point of view help me see how much God has given me?
With the heavenly powers I give you thanks, Lord, because you have granted me your great grace that cannot be repaid. You took on our human nature, that you might bestow life on us through your divinity. You raised our ruined state. You roused up our mortality. You blotted out our guilt. You enlightened our intelligence. You condemned our enemy, and you caused our insignificant and feeble nature to triumph.
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