Commentary on The Reading of the day provided by:
Saint Gregory Nazianzen (330-390),
Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Sermon 38, on the Nativity of Christ
“Lord God, we praise you for creating man, and still more for restoring him in Christ” (Opening Prayer)
Christ is born, glorify him.
Christ from heaven, go out to meet him.
Christ on earth; exalt him: “Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice !” (Ps 96:1.11), for him who is of heaven and now of earth.
Christ has made his dwelling among the human race; rejoice with trembling and with joy: with trembling because of sin, with joy because of our hope…
Today the darkness is over and light is made anew; as in Egypt once plunged into darkness, today a pillar of fire enlightens Israel.
O people that sat in the darkness of ignorance, come and see the great light of full knowledge for “the old things are passed away, behold all things are become new”. (2 Co 5:17)
The letter gives way, the Spirit comes to the front. (Rm 7:6)
The shadows flee away, the Truth comes in upon them. (Col 2:17)
The one who gives us our being today also gives us well-being, or rather restores us by his incarnation, for by wickedness we had fallen from wellbeing…
Such is this great feast: it is this which we are celebrating today, the Coming of God to humankind, that we might go forth, or rather that we might go back to God— so that putting off the old man, we might put on the New (Col 3:9); and that as we died in Adam, so we might live in Christ (1 Co 15:22)…
Therefore let us keep this Feast, not after the manner of a heathen festival, but after a godly sort; not after the way of the world, but in a fashion above the world; not as our own but as belonging to him who is ours, our Master’s; not as of weakness, but of healing; not as of the old creation, but of our re-creation.