Sometimes words such as ‘gift’ and ‘giving’ – like the word ‘love’ – seem over-used, employed too often and too superficially, thus inclined to have their true meaning and intent eroded. But to call the Incarnation a ‘gift from God’ is not only appropriate, it is almost understatement. Consider this observation by John Paul II:
“The conception and birth of Jesus Christ are in fact the greatest work accomplished by the Holy Spirit in the history of creation and salvation: the supreme grace – “the grace of union,” source of every other grace, as St. Thomas explains.” (# 50 The Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church and the World)
Here is a very rough paraphrase: The Incarnation of Jesus Christ is the supreme gift – given by God to humanity.
John Paul goes on to say of the Incarnation that it is the “source of every other grace” – and every other Divine gift. Later in the same document, John Paul elaborates on this concept further:
“Creation is thus completed by the Incarnation and since that moment is permeated by the powers of the Redemption, powers which fill humanity and all creation.” #52
As we approach Easter, we know that it is a day to thank God for His plenteous and overflowing gifts, especially the gift of the Risen Jesus. What better place to begin our thanksgiving recollection than in Nazareth?
In the time of Christ there was a rather dismissive popular expression: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (Jn 1:46)
“Yes” we might respond, “All Good – ‘the supreme grace’ of God, the true ‘powers of the Redemption’ filling humanity to overflowing, ‘grace upon grace’, and enduring hope!”