On December 25 every year, the Christian world celebrates the greatest mystery in human history: the Incarnation. At a moment in time, the eternal, omnipotent, and patently-outside-of-time God entered history to become ephemeral, weak, and finite in time and space. The creator became the created. Wow.
But as we move throughout this twelve-day season (yes… Christmas has just begun) and the romance of the mystery starts to wear off, some of us can’t help but turn into annoying five-year-olds: “But why?” Why did Jesus come? Why did God do something so counterintuitive, humbling Godself to become a part of His limited creation?
For many, the answer is simple: to take away sins. And Jesus certainly did that. But is that the primary reason, the reason that would trump all other reasons? If you say yes, you, like St. Thomas Aquinas, must conclude that had we never sinned the Incarnation would have never happened. If you say no, however, you might just have a Franciscan heart…
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