Proclus_of_ConstantinopleAmong the things celebrated at yesterday’s feast, was there anything which was not miraculous and wondrous, or awesome and glorious?

What was the marvel of yesterday’s feast day?

But first, I beg you, listen with forbearance, for a tongue of clay is trying to convey the mysteries of God.

What, then, was the marvel of yesterday’s feast?

The inexplicable mystery of divinity and humanity; a birth pang without pain; an enfleshment giving form to the one without shape;

an inconceivable birth; a beginning, but not the beginning of the One who was born.

For even though it was the beginning of His humanity, His divinity remained beginningless;

one form assumed another form, but the Trinity did not increase to a quaternity;

for this was a union of two natures, the birth of one Son, and the unconfused union of the Word with the flesh.

He who was born according to the flesh is God from the Father, and man from me. O awesome and wondrous mystery!

Who ever saw a king take on the appearance of a condemned man? Or when did the eye ever take in the sight of the entire sun?

And when was human flesh ever essentially united without change to God, if not yesterday?

When the Virgin was heavy with child, when the Word entered in through her sense of hearing,

when the Holy Spirit fashioned the living temple of the body,

when the Most High emptied Himself into the form of a servant (Phil. 2:7),

when the womb of a virgin contained within herself the mystery of the divine dispensation.

O womb wider than the heavens! O birth that bears salvation! O womb of clay and bridal chamber of the Creator!

O birth, a ransom for the sin of the world! O mystery, the manner of which I am unable to explain!

O birth, not the beginning of God’s existence, not a change of nature, nor a diminishing of power, neither a separation from the beginningless progenitor, but the essential union of God and flesh;

the blessing of birth; the advent of God; the wonder hidden by God from the ages; the indivisible mystery of divine and human natures;

the abolition of the curse; the overturning of the sentence which stood against us; the birth of the one and only Son,

His beginningless existence, His birth in the flesh from the Virgin and veneration by all creation, joyfully announced and freely given to all!

To Him be glory and dominion, unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Proclus of Constantinople (d. 446 or 447): On the Incarnation of the Lord; longer extract @ Mystagogy

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