Dec. 17, 2021
5Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
6Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
7(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
8We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
9Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
11Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
12For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.
13For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.
14For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
15And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
16Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
That Infant, in His mother’s arms, is the beginning of our being reconciled to the Father. Cooing his little baby sounds or looking around with eyes that don’t yet see, He is both the Son and the Father – Emmanuel; God with us. The Baby will become the Man and the Man will become (as He always was) King in heaven.
Verse 17 is laden with information that the Christian Jews, to whom St. Paul is writing, will understand (and now with a new insight) the prophets of old such as Isaiah (42: 6-9: 43: 18-21; 65:17; 66:22) and Ezekiel (36: 33-35) and also Psalm 103:12. (Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, footnotes)
In Advent, as we again prepare for Christmas, we are looking forward to the Cross and the Resurrection, we are remembering the Incarnation, and we are looking back to the heralds who foretold of His coming.