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Welcome to Epiphany-tide. In this week we transition from Christmas to the public ministry of Christ, with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord scheduled for this coming Sunday. Before we leave Christmas altogether, we do well to ponder certain less-obvious questions about the Lord’s incarnation and birth. These questions are taken from St. Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologica. St. Thomas’s answers are presented in italics, while my inferior commentary appears in plain red text.
There is this difference between Christ and other men, that, whereas they are born subject to the restrictions of time, Christ, as Lord and Maker of all time, chose a time in which to be born, just as He chose a mother and a birthplace. And since “what is of God is well ordered” and becomingly arranged, it follows that Christ was born at a most fitting time.
Argument - Authority - Sovereignty - God - Simply
This argument is based on the authority and sovereignty of God. Simply put, God was free to choose a time; whatever He does is properly ordered and best, therefore the time He chose was most fitting.
Moreover, at that time, when the whole world lived under one ruler, peace abounded on the earth. Therefore, it was a fitting time for the birth of Christ, for “He is our peace, who hath made both one,” as it is written (Ephesians 2:14). Wherefore Jerome says on Isaiah 2:4: “If we search the page of ancient history, we shall find that throughout the whole world there was discord until the twenty-eighth year of Augustus Caesar: but when our Lord was born, all war ceased”; according to Isaiah 2:4: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation.”
St - Thomas - Claim - World - Peace
St. Thomas’s claim that the world was at peace at that time is rather sweeping and bold. Does he mean that there was peace everywhere, even within households?...
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