icon_bede-(On Luke 2:15-20)

And they came hurrying and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in a manger….  Once they saw they acknowledged the word that had been said to them about this child.

And let us in the meantime…hurry to perceive with pious faith and to embrace with full love those things which have been said to us about our Savior, who is true God and true human being, so that we may be capable of comprehending these things in the future vision which is perfect recognition.

For indeed this is the only true life of the blessed, not only of human beings, but of angels as well, to continually behold the face of their Creator.

[…] And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen, just as it was said to them.

Let us also learn…how to be turned from contemplation of the Lord’s divinely-arranged plan, by which he deigned to come benevolently to our aid, to giving thanks always for his kindnesses.

For if they, who as yet knew only about his nativity, went back glorifying and praising God in everything which they had seen and heard, we who know about the whole progress of his incarnation in succession, and who are imbued with his sacraments, are all the more obliged to proclaim his glory and praise in everything, not only in words but also in deeds, and never to forget that the reason why God was born as a human being was so that he might restore us through our being born anew to the image and likeness of his divinity.

The reason he was baptized with water was so that he might make the flowing of all waters fruitful for the cleansing of our wicked deeds.

The reason he was tempted in the desert was so that by being victorious over the tempter he might bestow upon us too knowledge and power to make us victorious.

The reason he died was so that he might destroy the sovereignty of death.

The reason he rose and ascended into heaven was so that he might present to us a hope and an example of rising from the dead and reigning perpetually in heaven.

Having “gone back” to gaze upon the most benevolent divinely-arranged plan, let us for the sake of each of these actions glorify and praise God himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit for all ages.

The Venerable Bede (672/4-735):Homilies on the Gospels, 1:7 (Christmas), “Homilies on the Gospels, Book One, Advent to Lent”, trans. Lawrence T. Martin and David Hurst OSB (Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications, 1991).