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WHILE GENTLE SILENCE ENVELOPED ALL THINGS
Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Saturday, 32nd Week of the Year, November 16, 2013
Wis. 18:14-16, 19:6-9, Ps. 104, Luke 18:1-8


"For while gentle silence enveloped all things, and night in its swift course was now half gone, thy all-powerful word leaped from heaven, from the royal throne" (Wis. 18:14-15).


This beautiful sentence describes how at midnight "while a gentle silence enveloped all things, and night in its swift course was now half gone," the all-powerful Word of God "leaped from heaven, from the royal throne" and struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, forcing the Egyptians to free God's people, the Israelites, from their slavery. This was a saving act of the Word of God for his people (Isa. 11:4; 55:11).


In the fullness of time this was fulfilled in the incarnation of the eternal Word of God, Jesus Christ, at his birth in Bethlehem, while a multitude of the heavenly host praised God, saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men" (Luke 2:14 KJV). At this moment "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (John 1:14 KJV). This Word is "a breath of the power of God, and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty ... a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness" (Wis. 7:25-26). He has enriched us all, and "from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace" (John 1:16).


The eternal Word of God, who is the eternal Son of the Father, who always existed in the bosom of the Father in ineffable splendor, became incarnate in the fullness of time in the womb of the Virgin Mary by the work of the Holy Spirit, without man, and was united to our nature in the divine person of Jesus Christ, who was born from her in the middle of the night, while angels sang to shepherds on the plains of Bethlehem, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:14 KJV).


The person of the divine Son divinized the humanity of Jesus Christ, filling it with the splendor of his own divinity, so that he could be our Savior, the Savior of the world, the Savior of all who put their faith in him. He dwells within all who receive him with faith (John 14:23) to transform them, to fill them with his divine life, with his divinity, to divinize them with his own splendor.


Moreover, Christ gave us his body and blood, sacramentalized in the form of bread and wine, which we offer to God in sacrifice, the same sacrifice that he offered for our salvation on the cross, and which we then eat and drink in Holy Communion as food for our spirit, filling us with Christ himself, with his sacramentalized human body, containing his divine person and his divine nature. Thus he fills us with his divinity, contained in his humanity, sacramentalized in the form of bread and wine that we eat and drink for our salvation, transformation, and divinization. Eating Christ's flesh and drinking his blood, which are divinized by his divine person and which contain his divine person and divine nature, his divinity, divinizes us; that is, fills us with his divinity which transforms us and fills us with his own splendor. We have his divinity dwelling within us, giving us its own splendor. And all of this began "while gentle silence enveloped all things, and night in its swift course was now half gone," at the moment that "thy all-powerful Word leaped from heaven, from the royal throne" (Wis. 18:14-15).

 

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