Homily of Bishop. Elmer Belmonte on Christmas Day
M&M-The Miracle and the Mystery
To the young generation, an icon is something you click on the screen of a computer. To a Christian, mainly Eastern, an icon represents accurately, Christ, the Blessed Virgin, a saint, or divine interaction in human affairs. Both in its Christian and the pop-cultural contexts, an icon implies a specific relationship between the spectator, the image (visual medium), and the message that the medium/image communicates. The word icon primarily means image, likeness, representation, portrayal, picture.
Worship and worshiping the one true God is central to Christianity. Worship is to celebrate a special event on God’s dealing-interaction with humanity, as a response to God’s action of love, mercy, forgiveness, or the like. The unique character of Christian worship is to make-present here and now the efficacy of grace bestowed to the recipients.
In relation to the liturgical season, in which we are in, Christmas is making present the birth and incarnation of Jesus, the son of God. The incarnation of God characterized as miraculous and mysterious.
What is a miracle? A miracle is a sensible fact produced by the particular intervention of God for a religious end, transcending the normal order of things usually termed the Law of Nature. For example, Mary was around 13 years when she became pregnant without a relationship with a man. Furthermore, the child she conceived is by the Holy Spirit. It is one of a kind. There was and never will be another virgin birth.
The birth of Christ is equally a mystery. A mystery defined as truth unrecoverable except by revelation, long hid, now made manifest.
Philippians 2:7 (NKJV) – but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bond servant, and coming in the likeness of men.
For God to assume the form of a slave, he “emptied himself” through obedience. He emptied himself, that is, from the form of God, without becoming less than God is a mystery.
A poor person aspires typically to become rich, but for a rich person to want to be poor is unthinkable.
To be a Christian is not an affiliation to an institution but participation in the life of Christ. It took the miracle-working of God for Christ to be born of a virgin and for what reason, mystery?
God become man so man can become like God! So, man can participate-partake, live -experience divine life, elevating the dignity of human nature to a level of divinity.