Madonna Che Adora Il  Babino Gesu’ (The Madonna Adoring the Baby Jesus)

By Giovanni Ambrogio Bevilacqua (active by 1481-1512), a Lombard painter int he late medieval or early Renaissance style, in Pavia, Italy

By Pope Benedict XVI, Public Catechesis, January 4 2012, continued:


Christmas is the point at which Heaven and earth converge, and the various expressions we hear in these days stress the greatness of what has came about: the remote—God who seems very remote—has become close, “The inaccessible wanted to be accessible, he who exists before time began to be in time; the Lord of the universe, veiling the greatness of his majesty, took the nature of a servant” St Leo the Great exclaimed (Sermon 2 on the Nativity of the Lord, 2.1). (…)

The theology and spirituality of Christmas use a phrase to describe this event; they speak of an admirabile commercium, that is, a wondrous exchange between divinity and humanity. St. Athanasius of Alexandria says: “The Son of God became man so that we might become God” (De Incarnatione, 54, 3: PG 25, 192), but it is above all with St. Leo the Great and his famous sermons on Christmas that this reality became the object of profound meditation…

…to be continued…


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Reprinted from Inside the Vatican magazine, December 2019