Preface IV of the Sundays in Ordinary Time

For more information on the Preface in general, see The Eucharistic Prayer (2) and The Eucharistic Prayer (3)

When Our Lord became flesh he transformed a history of condemnation into a history of salvation.

The history of salvation

History consists of decisions made and events that have transpired. The Fall was an event caused by the bad decisions made by Adam and Eve, and that event has shaped humanity ever since. When a sculpture becomes disfigured, and the model is long gone and forgotten, what hope is there of restoring it to its original, beautiful form? History was disfigured by sin, and mankind along with it. History is a part of humanity; the decisions and actions of those who’ve come before us have shaped our outlooks, our culture, and our behavior. When Christ became flesh, assuming human nature, God not only saved humanity through humanity, but through history.

“For by his birth he brought renewal to humanity’s fallen state, and by his suffering, canceled out our sins; by his rising from the dead he has opened the way to eternal life, and by ascending to you, O Father, he has unlocked the gates of heaven.”

If history became ugly and disfigured by sin, Christ’s Incarnation gave us a model to see how beautiful humanity was in the beginning and should have been. He not only became the New Adam, the model we could imitate, but also through his earthly life he reshaped history and reopened the way to history leading to a happy ending in eternity. By his birth Christ became the new Adam who could pick up where the Old Adam had failed miserably. Through his suffering and sacrifice Christ made expiation and satisfied all that justice demanded in a fallen world separated from God due to sin.

Through his resurrection he conquered sin and death and made it possible for us to have eternal life again. When his disciples were prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (in order to continue his saving work as his Church) he ascended into Heaven and took his place at the right hand of the Father. As the new Head of humanity he opened the path for his Mystical Body, the Church, to follow him into not only eternity, but Heaven.

Each event of our history can shape humanity for better or for worse. Our Lord in his humanity shaped humanity and history for the better. Let’s imitate him by joining our history, our decisions and actions, to his.

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