Our life on this side of death is marked by a deep and insatiable desire. Human persons, strange creatures that we are, live constantly on the edge of despair for this very reason: we are finite beings with a seemingly infinite longing. We want to be “happy”; we want to be “good”; but we fail to understand what those words mean or how to bring them to realization. And out of weakness or impatience we find this immense desire inside of us forced to turn to smaller, passing things instead, which distract but never satisfy. And we cave in on ourselves without ever understanding what we are or what our purpose is.
But then “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” and “to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God.” We use this phrase often and throw it around with an appreciation of the tenderness of the image: to be sons and daughters of God. But do we realize just how crazy it is? There is only one Son of God, which is why we call Him the Only Begotten One. All of us are only creatures, things that came to be and one day will fade away, without ever approaching the eternity that is shared between the Father and the Son…except for what the Gospels reveal to us in the singular event that would change the meaning of being human forever: the Incarnation. Jesus came and revealed to us that we mere human creatures could be united to God, could call Him “Abba, Father”, if we would receive the grace of the Spirit of adoption, if we would be united to Christ, if we would be one Son with Him. To be human is no longer simply to be a noble creature, but to be capable of being united to God, of being truly sons and daughters of the Father in Christ.
This “in Christ” then, means that we have to strive to be other Christs, by our union with Him, and this in the most daring sense. St. Elizabeth of the Trinity has a beautiful prayer that does not hold back on this identification the Christian seeks and has with Christ: “O consuming Fire, Spirit of Love, come upon me, and create in my soul a kind of incarnation of the Word: that I may be another humanity for Him in which He can renew His whole Mystery.”
In your next Holy Communion, let the mystery of the Incarnation repeat itself in you. Let the Word of God be made flesh and dwell within you. Live to be united to Christ, conformed to Christ, to cling to Him until we have the joy of dwelling eternally with the One Who calls us His children, Whom we only dare to call Our Father by our union with His Son. Seek to be truly sons and daughters of God and settle for nothing less.
Br. Andrew Thomas Kang, O.P. | Meet the Student Brothers in Formation HERE