“Et Incarnatus Est”

Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his encyclical Saved in Hope, “It becomes clear that only something infinite will suffice for man, something that will always be more than man himself can ever attain.” This reality is witnessed in everyday life. Every human person has the desire for the infinite that can neither be satisfied by another person or by himself. There is the innate desire for something absolute and infinite…beyond ourselves. There is something greater than ourselves. Saint Augustine wrote that as we were knit together in the womb of our mother the last thing God did before our birth was to reach into our chest and break off a piece of our heart. He kept that piece with Him. In the next instant we were born. For the rest of your life, every time your heart beat is searched for that “missing piece,” that great yearning for the fulfillment of every human heart. St. Augustine wrote that we would search for that missing piece in all the wrong and mischievous places, as did he. It is only upon our death when we approach the throne of Christ that He will present us with that missing piece for which we searched all our life. Then—and only then—will our heart be complete.

Many people spend their lives searching for that “fulfillment of their heart,” but in all the wrong places. I promise you that the “fulfillment of the human heart” will never be found in a bank account, a bottle or an IPhone. Saint Augustine was correct: “We were created for Thee Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee alone.”

“Et incarnatus est”—“And the Word became flesh.” The only words in the Mass at which we bow, because of the profundity of their meaning. God becomes a human person. Christmas is the entrance of the Divine into the world in order to redeem it. The Creator becomes one of His creation, the Divine becomes human, the infinite becomes finite. And with every beat of the human heart God comes closer to us and “it becomes clear that only something infinite will suffice for man.”

Fr. Gerard Gordon