On the love of Christ becoming a Child

Friends in the Lord, we are here in the 2nd week of Advent, preparing for Christmas. So let us ponder the event that we are preparing to celebrate: God entering the world as a child. St. Augustine says, God came to earth mainly for one reason: so that we might know how much God loves us.
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Jesus could have saved us without dying on the cross. One drop of his Divine blood would have been sufficient for our redemption. As St. Alphonsus says,[i] he could have saved us without suffering, or humiliation, or the mockery he received. The Son of God could have merely offered a little prayer to the Father and we would be saved.
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The Lord could have saved us without becoming a shivering child in a manger, and hungry and crying. The Son of God did not need to grow up as a youth, carrying tools for Joseph as if a servant-boy, stumbling on his first little steps, stuttering in his baby words, and carrying firewood for Mary – God did not need to do this, to share our human life. But he did.
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What if Jesus Christ had asked us: What proof of my love do you want to see from me? And if a person would have been so bold, as to tell Christ, that to be convinced of your love, we would like to see the Son of God become a child like us, embrace our sufferings and fears, and be born very poor; to prove your love for us, we would like you to be despised and hated and put to death amidst curses and slander, and forsaken by all – who would dare to say this to Jesus Christ – that this is what we want, in order to know that you love us?
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But that which we would not have even dared to think of saying, he has not only thought of, but has done it, for love of us!
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St. Francis of Assisi so often thought about what Christ has done for us – coming to earth and dying, that in his frequent weeping over this, he became nearly blind. Being found one day weeping before a crucifix, he exclaimed: I weep over the sufferings of Christ, but even more, over those who forget him and do not love him.
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The Son of God might have appeared in the world at the age of a perfect man, but because little children attract to themselves greater love, Jesus therefore chose to appear upon earth as the poorest infant that was ever born. Why? So that we would love him.

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[i] See Sermons of Alphonsus Liguori, p. 52; also, The Incarnation, birth, and infancy of Jesus Christ, p. 294.

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