The Incarnation God’s Greatest Miracle
But when the right time came, God sent his Son,
born of a woman, born under the law (Gal 4, 4)
By F. Camilo Bernal, Eudist
For John Eudes the Incarnation constitutes the basis for realizing the states and mysteries of Jesus. Without the Incarnation there would be no mystery of the holy infancy of Jesus, his cross, his Resurrection, nor his Heart. This underlines the centrality of the mystery of the Incarnation in Eudist spirituality.
Using theological language, very close to the academic, St John Eudes expresses the essence of the mystery of the Incarnation in this way: "Hypostatically united to the person of the Word, the holy humanity of the Savior, his condition as creature, is perfectly assumed into the perfections and even into the intimate life of God. For this reason, from the first moment of his existence, the holy soul of Jesus was enriched with sanctifying grace, which is, as St. Peter affirms: a participation in the divine nature, and the principle of a truly divine life, realized in man."(OC I, 10)
The great motive of his Incarnation, which is a manifestation of God's love for the world (cf. Jn 3 16), is oriented towards a very concrete perspective: the salvation of all. In turn, with a precise purpose that is to give glory to God: "He put his devotion in his immolation and sacrifice for the glory of his Father" (OC I, 266). The glory of God then becomes the main objective of this mystery.
Within the most genuine Eudist dynamism, the consideration of the mystery of the Incarnation finds an inseparable reference to the person of Mary, who represents the medium chosen by God for the realization of this mystery, as can be perceived in the following statement concerning Mary: "She gave a part of her virginal substance and her most pure blood to form the holy humanity of the Son of God. But not only this, she also cooperated with the Father, with the Son and with the Holy Spirit in the union that has been realized between his substance and the person of the Son of God. She thus cooperated in the realization of the mystery of the Incarnation, and therefore in the greatest mystery that God has ever done, will ever do, and even could do."(OC VIII, 215). Here is a statement that briefly expresses the importance of this mystery in St. John Eudes: "The Incarnation is the greatest mystery that God has ever done." Such an affirmation speaks for itself concerning the centrality that this mystery has in our spirituality and its radiance in the concrete life of every baptized person.
The thinking of St. John Eudes, which is deeply Christocentric, regards Jesus in his essential relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit which in turn reflects the Trinitarian structure of Jesus Christ and his spirituality. However, in considering the mystery of the Incarnation, the position given to Mary, in a very balanced way, is undeniably grounded, above all, in the unity and love between Jesus and Mary. "Don’t you see that Mary is nothing, has nothing and cannot do anything, but Jesus, by and in Jesus; And that Jesus is everything, that he can do everything and that he does everything in Mary"(OC VI, 189).
Such a statement clearly indicates a fundamental theological postulate regarding the mystery of the Incarnation: the role of Mary in this mystery is simultaneously a mystery of Jesus and Mary. You remember the affection that St. John Eudes had for the statue of the Virgin Mother. It represents Mary as Queen, nursing her Son, and according to the saint, is one of the best expressions of the Incarnation: “It is a miracle to see two natures infinitely distant from each other, one divine the other human, united, so closely that they are one person! What a miracle to see the Incarnate Word come from the sacred womb of a Virgin, without affecting her integrity! "(OC VIII, 64).
In our practical life the mystery of the Incarnation takes very concrete form, starting with baptism, in which the believer is invited to be consciously transformed into another Jesus on earth in order to continue Jesus’ life and his works (OC I, 166). St Paul affirms this: "what is lacking in the suffering of Jesus Christ in his body which is the Church is completed in my flesh." (Col I, 21) and "I live, not I, but Christ lives in me."(Gal 2:20).
It is understood that our experience of the practical consequences of the biblical truth of the mystery of the Incarnation is found in the daily life of each baptized person: "When a Christian prays, he continues and completes the prayer that Jesus made on earth, when he works, it is the work of Jesus; when he converses with his neighbor in a spirit of charity, he continues and completes the conversational life of Jesus Christ ... and thus all other actions that are done in a Christian way."(OC I, 165 166).
We have the great blessing of having a spirituality of Incarnation, inseparable from the love of Mary reflected in our lived experience and everyday life. It is to be another Jesus on earth. Each baptized person becomes the presence of the mercy of God, because Jesus is the mercy of the Father: "The Eternal Father is called Father of mercies.”(2 Cor 1: 3), because he is the Father of the Incarnate Word who is the same mercy (OC VIII, 52 and 62).