CREATION & INCARNATION

St. Francis de Sales in his “Treatise on the Love of God” portrays Creation as the First visitation of Love and Incarnation as the Second visitation of Love.

The Creation is God’s apex magnum opus, when God fashioned man in His own image and likeness (Gen 1:26). The Incarnation is God’s supreme outpouring of chaste love made perceptible in the child Jesus (John 3:16). The Creation beckons us to open our ears and hear the good news that it relentlessly teaches us (Ps 19:1-4) and the Incarnation invites us to open our hearts for God has come down on earth and become one with His own Creation (Luke 2:11).

The Lord’s first visitation of Love; the consequence, chaos was transformed to cosmos, from disorder came order, from darkness came light and from lifeless came bliss. The Lord’s second visitation of Love; the consequence: A new Creation.

  1. The Creation, consequence of the Power of the Word; the Incarnation, consequence of the Word made Flesh.
  2. The Creation, out of darkness came light; the Incarnation, Real Light in the midst of darkness.
  3. The Creation, a silent Gospel that articulates volumes of God’s love; the Incarnation, God’s love personified.

Creation : The Silent Gospel

William Wordsworth sagely exhorted, “Come forth into the light of things, let God’s Creation be your teacher, she has a world of ready wealth, our minds and hearts to bless”. In the words of Martin Luther, “God inscribes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars” Lessons in magnanimous ministry, in providence and perseverance, reliance and inter-dependence can be discovered from God’s Creation. Its sublime nature of immeasurable giving, endless love and benevolence speaks volumes of God’s love to man as it unceasingly re-creates and transforms itself.

The sun shines on the good and bad (Mt 5:45) and lightens a thousand worlds and when fading, provides light to the moon to still our weary soul. Water is primed to take any shape, adapts itself to all surfaces, offers itself freely to the thirsty and creates way for itself through crooked paths, high and steep. The ocean receives the streams from every land, but takes to give. The gigantic, unshakeable mountains challenge us to stand in strong faith and ascend higher in our prayerful life, to share a closer relationship with God, to spend time alone with “The Alone”. The fire teaches us to purify our self and burn all that is unwanted and sinful in us. The ants and snails teach lessons of patient industry and the birds are teachers of the sweet lesson of reliance, depending on their heavenly Father for food. The soil (humus) of the earth reminds us to be humble cause dust we are and to dust, we shall all return. It reminds us of the phenomenal providence of the Lord when the earth brings forth its produce. The trees admonish us that a bad tree cannot produce good fruit and vice-versa. God’s love is written upon every opening bud, upon every spire of springing grass. The song of the bird, the adroitly tinted flowers in their perfection perfuming the air, the lofty trees of the forest with their rich foliage of living green, the growing of the seed all testify to the tender, Fatherly care of our God. The changing seasons, the changing colour of the leaves, the birds turning to move down to South, the animals turning to store food for winter, all counsel us to change our lives, to repent and return to our Creator. The Lord’s Creation reminds us to turn, from callousness to sensitivity, from prayerlessness to prayer, from pettiness to purpose, from envy to contentment, from carelessness to discipline, from fear to faith, from hostility to love. The Lord’s Creation unceasingly testifies His Love. The Creation, being aware of its true source that it originated from the Word of God, constantly praises the Creator.

Incarnation : Consecrating the Creation

The Creation reverberates the Good News that its source, the originator, The Word became flesh and pitched His Tent amongst us. “The fact that in the fullness of time, the Eternal Word took on the condition of a creature to renew the cosmic order of Creation provides a unique cosmic value to the greatest event, which took place on the first Christmas day. The Incarnation, then, also has a cosmic significance and a cosmic dimension” observed Blessed Pope John Paul II. The whole purpose of Creation is for Incarnation, God’s sharing of life and love in a characteristic and classic way. God becoming human is not an aftermath, an event, only, to make up for original sin and human sinfulness. Incarnation is God’s first consideration, the unique design for all creation. The Incarnation is the fulfillment of God’s eternal yearning to become human. In the words of Saint Augustine, “The Maker of the sun is now born under the sun. The Creator of heaven and earth is now born on earth under the heaven. Disposer of all ages in the bosom of the Father, He consecrates this day in the womb of His mother, unspeakably wise, he is wisely speechless; filling the world, he lies in a manger, Ruler of the stars, he nurses at his mother’s bosom. He himself is the day which the Lord has made and the day of our heart is itself the Lord. Let us walk in His light, let us rejoice and take delight in it” Heaven and earth united on that incredible, miraculous day and the earth became a monstrance of God’s light. The One who created the Creation has now become a part of it, thereby consecrating his own Creation and making it a Sacred Sanctuary. The Lord’s Creation, the Earth, this world that we reside in is a Sacred Sanctuary and all that has life under the heaven is Holy and Sacred.

Caring for the Sanctuary (Creation)

Contemplating on Creation leads us to an awareness of the Creator behind His created masterpiece; the outsized canvas teaches us to praise and worship the Creator. Contemplating on the Incarnation leads us to agape love and unites us with the Divine Life of Christ, a life self-emptied and humbled, lowering Himself to become one with us, a suffering servant, a life culminating on the cross. Hence, we need to go to the source, to the source of all sources and apprehend that Stewardship is the paradigm of human existence lived in harmony with God’s Creation. The Lord’s Creation is a Sacred Sanctuary, which we are commissioned to till and keep it (Genesis 2:15). Shall we not take care of this Creation if viewed under this light? We have not inherited this earth from our ancestors but have borrowed it from our children. We are liable and need to present them back the clear skies, crystal like waters, the beautiful glaciers, the green foliage, the treasures of the earth, a mesmerizing divine milieu. Caring for Creation is thus a core value of Christian tradition. Jesus so delightfully narrates the parable of a property owner who planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug out a vat, and erected a tower (Mt 21:34), which personifies the loving care of God for his Creation. We need to imbibe the supreme Christian values of compassion and commitment, a deep caring for life, and a conscientious attitude towards the planet. There is hope if we begin to awaken that spiritual part within, that heartfelt knowledge that we are stewards of this Creation. Only then, will a sense of sacredness follow to co-operate with the Holy Spirit and recreate the Garden of Eden, which the Lord so magnificently fashioned for mankind. In our relationships with God’s creation and others, may be found a kind of “Second Incarnation” as the Body of Christ comes to the world again and again to make everything a new and restore His creation. So, this Christmas let us pledge to restore back God’s Creation from being mere matter to Mater (Mother).

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Kindly keep me in your prayers.

In Christ,

Steven Pais