Saint Hilary of Poitiers said, “I will not endure to hear that Christ was born of Mary unless I also hear, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God.'” Today we read the Prologue of John’s Gospel and it is an important part of faith in the Incarnation. Christmas has so much humanity about it, and yet we must make an act of faith to be lifted into the true meaning of Christmas. We can tell from John’s first letter how important the truth is, and how tempting it can be to depart from the truth. The “latest Christian breakthrough” should never be something we consent to without “testing the spirits.” Saint Hilary was fighting against those who wanted to reject the Divinity of Christ over a thousand years ago. That’s a heresy we refer to now as Arianism, and even though we could say that we’ve “dealt with it” at this point in the Church’s history, Arianism was very popular for hundreds of years and the same ideas resurfaced in the wake of Protestantism. Even today, the Jehovah’s Witnesses espouse similar principals. The temptation to look at Christmas as a very touching human story of a birth of a religious teacher that took place under adverse circumstances, is the same temptation of Arianism. What’s important about the birth of Jesus Christ is who He really is: God, the Son of God.
ANDREW OF CAESAREA:
Through this passage it is shown that the angels not only induce the worst plagues but also act as physicians, at one time cutting and at another time applying healing medications. For he who once brought on a plague to those who deserved it, now shows to the saint the beatitude of the church. And fittingly does he call the bride the “wife” of the Lamb. For when Christ was slaughtered as a lamb, he at that time betrothed [the church] with his own blood. For just as when Adam was sleeping, the woman was formed through the taking of the rib, so also the church, formed through the shedding of blood from the side of Christ as he was sleeping voluntarily on the cross through death, was united with him who suffered for us.
Saint Mary Magdalene is one of the most powerful witnesses in the whole history of the Church. There are several reasons for this: first, she fell completely into grave sin and wallowed in the depravity of impurity and vice; second, she became enamored of Jesus and sought our His teaching and His mercy; third, her mind and heart remained fixed on Him even during the uncertain period between his death and resurrection; fourth, the conversion of her life and her devotion to Jesus put her on a mission to spread the Gospel far and wide.