Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault Fontgombault, December 25th, 2022
Et Verbum caro factum est.
And the Word was made flesh. (Jn 1:14)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,
Since last night the liturgy has been taking us with a dis-concerting easiness from a poor stable to the most unfathomable mysteries of the Trinity. The birth according to the flesh of a child in a stable rubs shoulders with the eternal generation of the second person of the Trinity in the bosom of the Father. The angels make themselves close to the shepherds. Very soon, we shall learn that a star has convoked three kings in the presence of the Divine Child. As the Word of God takes flesh in our earth, the laws of nature seem to be topsy-turvy.
What is then the divine plan carried out under our eyes? It is a plan of salvation, granted to men by God “not by the works of justice which we have done, but according to His mercy.” During Advent, the Church kept asking for this mercy, in the school of the people of the Old Testament: “Ostende nobis, Domine, misericordiam tuam. — Show us, O Lord, Thy mercy.”
God has heard. His mercy is the quintessential divine gift, totally free, through which God manifests His power. The Cross will be the inestimable price of our salvation: “Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
The way of the cross started for Joseph and Mary in the search for a place where their child might be born. The land of David doesn’t show much welcome to the King promised by the prophets. There is no room in the inn. Only a stable opens its doors, and it is a manger that receives the Divine Child wrapped in swaddling clothes.RORATE CÆLI: CHRISTMAS: Fontgombault Sermon for Christmas Day Mass: “The Child of the crib is truly God.”