NATIVITAS DOMINI NOSTRI JESU CHRISTI
Martyrologium Romanum, 25 Dec.
Like every year, in the cycle of seasons and of history, the Holy Church celebrates the Birth according to the flesh of Our Lord Jesus Christ, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, conceived by the work of the Holy Spirit by the Virgin Mary. With the solemn words of the liturgy, the Birth of the Redeemer imposes itself on humanity by dividing time into a “before” and an “after.” Nothing will be the same as before: from that moment the Lord incarnates Himself to carry out the work of Salvation and definitively snatches man, who fell in Adam, from the slavery of Satan. This, dear brothers and sisters, is our “Great Reset,” with which divine Providence restored the order broken by the ancient Serpent with the Original Sin of our First Parents; a Reset from which apostate angels and their leader Lucifer are excluded, but which has granted all men the grace to be able to benefit from the Sacrifice of God made man, and to regain the eternal life to which they were destined since the creation of Adam.
What a wonderful gesture of Mercy, toward creatures rebellious from the beginning, on the part of their Creator. What divine Charity, which granted to disobedient man the ransom of his infinite guilt by accepting the offering of His divine Son on the Cross. What divine Humility, which responded to man’s pride with the obedience of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, incarnate “propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem” — for us men and for our salvation. This is the true “New Order,” willed by God and destined to last for the eternity of the centuries, after the thousand battles of a war in which the eternal Defeated tries to prevent the glory of the divine Majesty from being shared by us, poor mortal creatures. This is the triumph of the One who is not satisfied with creating man with his perfections and granting him His friendship, but after man had betrayed Him by surrendering himself as a slave to the Devil, He decided to buy him back — redemptio is precisely the institution of Roman law by which the slave is redeemed and becomes free again — at the price of the Most Precious Blood of His Only-Begotten Son. And it is also the triumph of the Mother of God, who in the Mystery of the Incarnation gave birth to the Redeemer, that Holy Child destined to suffer and die for us. It is She who in the Proto-Gospel was promised as the victor over the Serpent, in the eternal enmity between her lineage and the Enemy.
For this the Chosen People were gathered; for this they were led to the Promised Land. For this the Holy Spirit inspired the Prophets by indicating the time and place of the Savior’s Birth. For this the Angels sang their Gloria at the cave, and the Magi followed the Star to adore the Child wrapped in swaddling clothes like the son of a king. For this the Virgin sang her Magnificat and the little Saint John the Baptist leapt in Saint Elizabeth’s womb. For this Simeon pronounced the Nunc dimittis [“Now you may dismiss”] holding the promised Messiah in his arms.
Veni, Emmanuel: captivum solve Israël. Come, Emmanuel: free your captive people. Free them also today, as you freed them with Your Most Holy Birth and with Your Passion and Death. Free Your Holy Church by revealing the false shepherds and mercenaries, as You revealed the envy of the High Priests and their silences regarding the Messianic Prophecies, which were hidden from the simple. Free the nations from evil rulers, from corruption, from the slavery of power and money, from enslavement to the Prince of this world, from the lie of false freedom, from the deception of false progress, from rebellion against Your holy Law. Free each one of us from our miseries, from sin, from pride, from the presumption of being able to save oneself without You. Free us from the disease that afflicts our soul, from the pestilence of the vices that infect our life, from the illusion of being able to defeat death, which is the just reward of our rebellion. Because You alone, O Lord, are the true Liberator; only in You Who are Truth will we be free, will we see the chains that bind us to the world, to the flesh and to the Devil fall.
Veni, O Oriens. Come, O Rising Sun: cast away the shadows and disperse the darkness of the night. Veni, Clavis Davidica. Come, Key of David, open wide our celestial homeland; make the way to heaven secure and close the door to hell. Veni, Adonai. Come, O Powerful Lord, who gave the Law from above to Your people on Sinai, in the majesty of your glory. Veni, Rex gentium. Come, King of the peoples, to reign over us, Prince of Peace, Angel of the Great Council. Come and descend into time and history, upset this infernal Tower of Babel that we have built by challenging You in Your Majesty.
Come, Lord. Because in these two years of pandemic madness, we have understood that hell does not consist so much in the suffering of the body, but in the desperation of knowing You are far away, in Your silence, in letting ourselves sink into the deaf horror of Your absence.
And blessed be Your Most Holy Mother and our Mother, whom you have left at our side in these terrible days as our Advocate, because in the vision of this hell on earth we can find the spiritual medicine which enables us to welcome You into our souls, into our families, in our nations, returning to You that crown that we have usurped from You.
Bless, O Child King, those who will allow themselves to be conquered by Your love, for which You did not hesitate to incarnate Yourself and die for us. May this divine Love be received with grateful wonder by those who, dead in Adam, in You, the new Adam, have been reborn; by those who, having fallen with Eve, in Mary, the new Eve, will rise again.
May it be so.
+ Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop