Updated: Jan 8
In truth God as a man was born on earth! Why? That we might live through him (1 John 4:9). For without the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ, human life is wholly and completely a suicidal absurdity, and death is truly the most outright and horrible absurdity on earth. To comprehend death means comprehending life in all its depth, height, and limitlessness. This can only be done by the All-man-loving Lord, Who by His immeasurable love becomes man and forever remains the God-man in the human world. Only as God-life, life in God, can human life acquire its eternal meaning. But outside of God, life is the most ridiculous absurdity, filled with offense and bitterness. Your life, O man, can find its only reasonable, rational, logical meaning in God alone. And your thought, brother, your human thought finds its divine and immortal meaning only in God, only as God-thought. Human thought only becomes God-thought in the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the same with your senses, O man—only in God do they find their divine, immortal meaning. Without this, your senses are your most merciless torturers, continually crucifying you on an eternal cross, after which there is no resurrection. And the conscience? Where does this ferocious stranger come from in us, people? It too only unites with its divine and eternal meaning as God-conscience. Without this, human conscience is a ferocious and ghastly absurdity. And your death, and my death, and the death of all people—isn’t it the cruelest torture for human beings throughout the world? Yes, it truly is. But it too, only as the death of the God-man, gains its eternal meaning through the resurrection of the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ; for through Him and only through Him does victory over death happen and death in the human world can be comprehended. Thus also everything human, the entire human with all his innumerable infinities, only as the grace-filled God-man in the deified and all-vivifying Body of the God-man Christ—the Church—gains his divine, eternal, God-human, and higher meaning.
Through His incarnation, through becoming man, becoming human, has God in the most manifest way entered into the very womb, the very bowels of human life, into the blood, into the heart, into the center of all existence. Squeezed out by voluntary human sin from the world, from the body, from the human soul, through the incarnation, by becoming man He returns to the world, to the body, to the soul. He wholly becomes a man, and being a man He labors for man, settles into the world and among creatures, takes care of the creature, enlightens the creature, saves the creature, transforms the creature, and deifies the creature. God’s incarnation is the greatest upheaval and the most providential event, both on Earth and in Heaven, for the miracle of miracles has happened. If up until then the creation of the world from nothing was the greatest miracle, the incarnation of God in man has without a doubt surpassed it in its miraculousness. If at the creation of the world the words of God were clothed in matter, then at the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ God has clothed Himself in a body, in matter, in flesh. Therefore the incarnation of God became providential throughout the whole creation—for every individual, for every being, for every creature.
You, too, live by Him—live by the God-man and you will be healed of all deaths, all sins, all passions, and all diabolism. May your life become a God-life. In this is your whole heavenly-earthly mystery, O man, the moment you become a member of the church—a member of the God-man Body of Christ. And how should we live in the Church of Christ? We should live through the Holy Mysteries and holy virtues. That is why there is a fast before the Nativity. Fasting is the first virtue, and prayer is always with it. These two foundational virtues bring a person to the God-man and teach him with divine wisdom how to live by Him and in Him. What should we do with the body given to us from God? Purify it, free it from all uncleanness, from all passions, from all evil, from every demon. And what does this mean? It means cleansing it of every sin, for in every sin a devil is hiding, in every sin a devil works apart from your free will. In a great sin is a prince of demons, in a small sin is an imp. You and I and every person has been given all the necessary means to conquer those demons, all the passions, all sins, and all deaths in us and in the world around us. Prayer and fasting are in the first place. The all-true lips of the All-true Lord Jesus Christ have pronounced also this life-creating truth: This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting (Matt. 17:21)—all kinds of sins, all kinds of passions, all kinds of demons.
The Nativity is before you, before me, before us, brothers and sisters: God is born as a man, “so that we would receive life through Him” and thus be filled in soul and body with God. And this is most readily acquired by prayer and fasting. They cleanse and purify the body and the soul, so that wondrous joy would settle into them, and the sweetest God-infant, our Lord Jesus and God would fill completely our human existence, all of its enumerable infinities. It is for this reason, O man, that your body and your soul were created—to be filled with God and to live with God in the divine world on high. Our God-given teachers in this work are humble prayer and humble fasting—these holy foundational Gospel virtues. May they fly with us, may they precede us and ceaselessly announce to all people throughout the world the all-saving and all-joyful glad tidings:
Christ is Born!
From St. Justin Popovic. On the path of the God-man (St. Petersburg, 1999) [Russian].