Christmas is so Life could Die


St. Augustine of Hippo

The Lord be with you

In his Christmas sermons, Saint Augustine just loved the contrast that the incarnation presents us with and never tired of exploring it. The following quote comes from a Christmas Day sermon delivered in 411 or 412.

The Word of the Father, through which all times were made, on being made flesh himself, gave us his birthday in time; and he wished one particular day to mark his human beginning, though without his divine behest no single day can run its course. He, with the Father, was there before all the vast extent of the ages; he, coming from his mother on this day, inserted himself into the passing procession of the years.

The maker of man, he was made man, so that the director of the stars might be a babe at the breast; that bread might be hungry, and the fountain thirst; that the light might sleep, and the way be weary from a journey; that the truth might be accused by false witnesses, and the judge of the living and the dead be judged by a mortal judge; that justice might be convicted by the unjust, and discipline be scourged with whips; that the cluster of grapes might be crowned with thorns, and the foundation be hung up on a tree; that strength might grow weak, eternal health be wounded, life die.

Saint Augustine The Works of Saint Augustine A translation for the 21st Century III/6: Sermons, Sermon 191, 42