This is a re-post from last Advent. I thought I would share it once again. As usual, the words of a Saint are imbued with that special gift of going straight to one’s heart.
Hope you enjoy this beautiful piece by St. Alphonsus Liguori
“Lo, here I am…send Me!”
Adam, our first parent, sins. Ungrateful for the great benefits conferred on him, Adam rebels against God by a violation of the precept given him not to eat of the forbidden fruit. On this account, God is obliged to drive him out of the earthly paradise in this world and, in the world to come, to deprive not only Adam but all his descendants of the heavenly and everlasting paradise which He had prepared for them after this mortal life.
There was not one innocent person on the earth. “Since, therefore,” said the Eternal Father, “amongst men there is no one who can satisfy My justice, let someone come forward who will go down to redeem man.” The angels, the cherubim, the seraphim, –all are silent. Not one replies. Only one voice is heard: that of the Eternal Word, Who says: “Lo, here I am! Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)
“But think,” answered the Heavenly Father; “Think, O My Son that, in taking upon Thyself the burden of man’s satisfaction, Thou wilt have to lead a life full of sufferings.”
“No matter,” replied the Son: “Lo, here I am –send Me!”
“Think that Thou wilt have to be born in a cave, the shelter of beasts; from there Thou must flee into Egypt whilst still an infant to escape the hands of those very men who, even from Thy tenderest infancy, will seek to take away Thy life.”
“It does not matter: Lo, here I am — send Me!”
“Think that, on Thy return Thou shalt lead a life most arduous, most despicable, passing Thy days as a simple boy in a carpenter’s shop.”
“It does not matter — send Me!”
“Think that, when Thou goest forth to preach and to manifest Thyself, Thou wilt indeed have very few to follow Thee; the greater part will despise Thee and call Thee imposter, magician, fool, Samaritan. And, finally, they will persecute Thee to such a pass that they will make Thee die shamefully on a gibbet by way of torments.”
“No matter! Send Me!”
The decree then being passed, the Archangel Gabriel speeds on his way to Mary. Mary accepts the Word for her Son: “And the Word was made flesh” (John 1:14). Thus behold Jesus in the womb of Mary! Having now made His entry into the world in all humility and obedience, He says: “Since, O My Father, men cannot make atonement to Thy offended justice by their works and sacrifices, behold Me, Thy Son, now clothed in mortal flesh, behold Me ready to give Thee satisfaction in their stead with My sufferings and My death!”
Wherefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and oblation Thou wouldst not; but a body Thou has fitted to Me…Then I said: Behold, I come!” (Hebrews 10:5)
From: The Incarnation, Birth, and Infancy of Jesus Christ, by St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori