Gregory Nazianzen on Advent: “A bearer of flesh, but, even so, beyond all body.”

He was a man, but God. David’s offspring, but Adam’s Maker. A bearer of flesh, but, even so, beyond all body. From a Mother, but she is a Virgin. Comprehensible, but immeasurable. And a manger received him, while a star led the Magi, who so came bearing gifts, and fell on bended knee. As a man he entered the arena, but he prevailed, as indomitable, over the tempter in three bouts. Food was set before him, but he fed thousands, and changed the water into wine. He got baptized but he washed sins clean, but he was proclaimed by the Spirit, in a voice of thunder, to be the Son of the One Uncaused. As a man he took rest, and as God he put to rest the sea. His knees were wearied, but he bolstered the strength and knees of the lame. He prayed, but who was it who heard the petitions of the feeble? He was the sacrifice, but the high priest: making an offering, but himself God. He dedicated his blood to God, and cleansed the entire world. And a cross carried him up, while the bolts nailed fast sin.

But what’s it for me to say these things? He had company with the dead, but he rose from the dead, and the dead, the bygone, he raised up: there a mortal’s poverty, here the incorporeal’s wealth. Don’t you dishonor, then, his divinity on account of his human things, but for the divine’s sake, hold it renown the earthly form into which, thoughtful towards you, he formed himself, the incorruptible Son.

Gregory Nazianzen

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