As the season of Advent comes to a close following our celebration of the Divine Liturgy this Sunday, we look ahead to the following evening, Christmas Eve, in which we begin the joyous celebration of the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord. This Sunday's collect reminds us that, “through our sins and wickedness, we are sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us.”Throughout Advent we have examined our lives to seek those areas of darkness inside of us that have hindered us from running the race set before us, and we now turn the corner to welcome the light of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, whose nativity shows us the bountiful grace and mercy of our God who is not slow to come to our help and to deliver us.
What came about in bodily form in Mary, the fullness of the godhead shining through Christ in the Blessed Virgin, takes place in a similar way in every soul that has been made pure. The Lord does not come in bodily form, for 'we no longer know Christ according to the flesh,' but He dwells in us spiritually and the Father takes up His abode with Him, the Gospel tells us. In this way the child Jesus is born in each of us.
~ St. Gregory of Nyssa, ca 340
(As published in St. Luke’s weekly newsletter, 12/19/18)