“We have heard him promised from the beginning of time; we have seen and touched with our hands the one who is now shown to us at the end of time”

You have assembled here to listen to the Word of God, but God has provided something better. Today it is given us not only to hear the Word of God, but even to see it, if only we will  go over to Bethlehem and see this Word which the Lord has brought to past and shown to us.

God knew that human perceptions could not reach to things invisible. Human beings were incapable of learning heavenly teaching, finding it difficult to believe anything not brought visibly before their senses. The fact of the matter is that although faith comes by hearing, it comes much more readily and quickly by sight. We learn this from the example of the apostle to whom it was said: “You believe because you have seen me; as long as you only had the evidence of your ears, you remained in unbelief.”

But God desires to accommodate himself to our slowness in every way, and therefore his Word, which formerly he had made audible, he has today made visible and even tangible. For this reason people of flesh and blood like ourselves have been able to talk of that which was from the beginning, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands. They could speak of the Word of Life.

From the beginning the Word was of that eternity which had no beginning. We have heard him promised from the beginning of time; we have seen and touched with our hands the one who is now shown to us at the end of time. Sometimes I have noticed that God’s words arouse no interest when they are merely heard with the ears, but if anyone actually saw the Word which is God, how could he fail to rejoice? I will pass judgment on myself in the first place. The Word which is God offers himself to me today to be seen in my own nature. If this does not fill me with joy, then I am an unbeliever; if it does not instruct me, I am a castaway.

If anyone here finds it tedious to listen to this second-rate sermon, far be it for me to weary him with my poor words. Let him go over to Bethlehem and there let him contemplate that Word on which the angels desire to gaze, the Word of God which the Lord has shown to us. Let him picture in his heart what the living and active Word of God was like as he lay there in the manger.

This is a faithful saying and worthy to be received: your almighty Word, O Lord, which made its way down in deep silence from the Father’s royal throne into the cattle stall, speaks to us better for its silence.

Blessed Guerric of Igny

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