Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Christmas Midnight Introit: Dominus Dixit Ad Me

From Westminster Cathedral's 2009 Midnight Mass:

The text is from Psalm 2:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?

"Advent Ember Days: the absurdity of grace"

Via catholicity and covenant, quoting from a sermon that Austin Farrer preached in Holy Trinity, Norwich, one week before his death on 29th December 1968.
There is inevitably something absurd about our priesthood, because what we stand for is so infinitely greater than our poor little selves.  But there's the same absurdity, really, about being a Christian at all.  None of us can be let off being Christ in our place and our station: we are all pigmies in giants' armour.  We have to put up with it: it's the price (how small a price!) paid for the supreme mercy of God, that he does not wait for our dignity or our perfection, but just puts himself there in our midst; in this bread and this wine: in the priest: in this Christian man, woman, or child.

He who gave himself to us as an infant, crying in a cot, he who was hung up naked on the wood, does not stand on his own dignity.  If Jesus is willing to be in us, and to let us show him to the world, it's a small thing that we should endure being fools for Christ's sake, and be shown up by the part we have to play.  We must put up with such humiliation of ourselves, or better still, forget ourselves altogether.  For God is here: let us adore him.