Hearts of Jesus and Mary: Teachings of the Saints
the birthday of the lord
is the birthday of peace
From a Sermon of Saint Leo the Great
reading is the second reading from the Office of Readings of the
Liturgy of the Hours for the 7th Day of the Octave of Christmas.
Godís Son did not disdain to become a baby. Although with the passing of
the years he moved from infancy to maturity, and although with the
triumph of his passion and resurrection all the actions of humility
which he undertook for us were finished, still todayís festival renews
for us the holy childhood of Jesus born of the Virgin Mary. In adoring
the birth of our Saviour, we find we are celebrating the commencement of
our own life, for the birth of Christ is the source of life for
Christian folk, and the birthday of the Head is the birthday of the
Every individual that is called has his own place, and all the sons of
the Church are separated from one another by intervals of time.
Nevertheless, just as the entire body of the faithful is born in the
font of baptism, crucified with Christ in his passion, raised again in
his resurrection, and placed at the Fatherís right hand in his
ascension, so with Him are they born in this nativity.
For this is true of any believer in whatever part of the world, that
once he is reborn in Christ he abandons the old paths of his original
nature and passes into a new man by being reborn. He is no longer
counted as part of his earthly fatherís stock but among the seed of the
Saviour, who became the Son of man in order that we might have the power
to be the sons of God.
For unless He came down to us in this humiliation, no one could reach
his presence by any merits of his own.
The very greatness of the gift conferred demands of us reverence worthy
of its splendour. For, as the blessed Apostle teaches, We have received
not the spirit of this world but the Spirit which is of God, that we may
know the things which are given us by God. That Spirit can in no other
way be rightly worshipped, except by offering him that which we received
But in the treasures of the Lordís bounty what can we find so suitable
to the honour of the present feast as the peace which at the Lordís
nativity was first proclaimed by the angel-choir?
For it is that peace which brings forth the sons of God. That peace is
the nurse of love and the mother of unity, the rest of the blessed and
our eternal home. That peace has the special task of joining to God
those whom it removes from the world.
So those who are born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of
the will of man but of God must offer to the Father the unanimity of
peace-loving sons, and all of them, adopted parts of the mystical Body
of Christ, must meet in the First-begotten of the new creation. He came
to do not his own will but the will of the one who sent him; and so too
the Father in his gracious favour has adopted as his heirs not those
that are discordant nor those that are unlike him, but those that are
one with him in feeling and in affection. Those who are re-modelled
after one pattern must have a spirit like the model.
The birthday of the Lord is the birthday of peace: for thus says the
Apostle, He is our peace, who made both one; because whether we are Jew
or Gentile, through Him we have access in one Spirit to the Father.
This page is the work of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and