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December 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – When I think about Christmas, my mind often wanders far from the babe in the manger to the expansive truth about the Second Person of the Holy Trinity bundled up in swaddling clothes.  I think of the mission of Jesus Christ, born to Mary and Joseph, and of how it stretches from before the beginning of time to that scene in Bethlehem, and then from there to the end of time, extending into eternity, to the Great Wedding Feast.

The Incarnation is the fulcrum, the pivot point of human history.  It is at the center of the vast panorama of salvation history, and assures us that God has––and will continue to––make good on all his promises to humanity.

The sweep of this Panorama is breathtaking, stretching from Creation, to the Fall of Man, and the Promise of Salvation; to the Israelites living in the Hope of The Promise; to the Fulfillment of that Promise, the Incarnation of Jesus Christ; to His Life, Ministry, Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension; to the Day of Pentecost, the Birth of the Church filled with the Holy Spirit; to our current age where we can live our lives for Christ, imbued with the Holy Spirit, as we look forward to His Second Coming and the Great Wedding Feast.

Most of all, when I contemplate the birth of Jesus, I’m led to think about the Primordial Sacrament––Christ’s spousal love for his people.  All of God’s interventions into human history, in the end, are aligned to prepare us for the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.

I am reminded of  Pope St. John Paul II’s words in 1982:

The analogy of spousal love permits us to understand in a certain way the mystery which for ages was hidden in God, and which in turn was

realized by Christ, as a love proper to a total and irrevocable gift of self on

the part of God to man in Christ. . . .

[T]here is constituted a primordial sacrament, understood as a

sign which effectively transmits in the visible world the invisible mystery

mystery of the divine life in which man really shares… .. .

Can we not perhaps deduce that marriage has remained the platform for the actuation of God’s eternal designs . . . ?

At Christmas, we are confronted with this enormous truth that far exceeds our ability to grasp on our own: All the intentions of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, in pursuit of His Bride, are there in the child in the humble manger.  I find I am most often like the sheep standing near the manger, barely perceiving the magnificent truth that is in front of and all around me all the time.

In a special way at Christmastime, through His Incarnation, Christ allows us to glimpse a little more, “with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth” of Christ’s great love for us (Ephesians 3:18).  We live in the hope of the promise, awaiting the Wedding Feast.

An Eternal Perspective

Everything else in creation which currently absorbs our attention and which we perceive to be so crucial to our happiness will pass away and fall off like dross. But the Bridegroom and His Bride are the eternal reality which stands forever, and we are invited to participate.

Wonderfully, our own marriages are an echo of the Primordial Sacrament, of God’s betrothal to humanity––His spousal love for us––through which He breaks through into our lives, and we come as close as we ever will to Heaven on earth, participating in God’s creative activity born of love.

No wonder Satan has always sought to destroy and undermine marriage, to tear spouses and families apart, to rob it of its meaning.  He hates Christian marriage as much as he hated the Christ Child, and sought, through King Herod, to kill him.

The history of the Western World over the last several decades is a compendium of Satan’s intentions and aggressive tactics: Easy divorce, cohabitation, premarital sex, extramarital sex, recreational sex, homosexuality, bisexuality, polygyny, polyandry, gender dysphoria in all its manifestations, non-marital childbearing, contraception, abortion, pornography, and more. In the middle of the last century the world moved toward rejecting marriage all together. And when that proved not to be enough to efface marriage from the earth, the world now seeks to eviscerate it by thoroughly undefining it through genderless, anti-complementary, anti-conjugal “marriage.” These relentless attacks are all an expression of Satan’s contempt for Christ and His Bride.

The arc of salvation history establishes the rock solid foundation for the great Wedding Feast that is yet to come. Marriage, however, provides the blueprint for that eternal feast: It clues us into the spousal relationship awaiting the Church in eternity. And the more committed we are to love our spouses as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25-32), the more we lay down our lives for each other and show relentless, unconditional love according to all that God has revealed to us, the more we are able to lay hold of the mystical component of marriage and begin living a heavenly reality on earth.

And, dare I say, the more we will be able to grasp the meaning of Mary’s child in the manger.

Marriage is an inestimable gift from God, expressed solely through complementarity. How great is the love of God which barely pierces our consciousness each day!

This is the supreme Truth about marriage, the pinnacle, the summit of Truth about marriage, yet day by day we fail to recognize it:  Your marriage, above all else, is both mystical and spiritual, and is the key which unlocks so many deep mysteries regarding the Love of God here and now, and in eternity.

No matter the current condition of your marriage, treasure it as a great gift from God.

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