What man knows all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden in Christ, concealed in the poverty of his flesh? Scripture says: "Although he was rich he became poor for our sake to enrich us by his poverty." He showed himself poor when he assumed our mortal nature and destroyed death, yet he promised us riches, for he had not been robbed of his wealth but was keeping it in reserve.
How great are the blessings of his goodness which he reserves for those who fear him and shows to those who hope in him! Until he gives them to us in their plentitude, we can have only the faintest conception of them; but to enable us to receive these blessings, he who in his divine nature is the equal of the Father assumed the condition of a slave and became like us, and so restored to us our likeness to God. The only Son of God became a son of man to make many men sons of God. He instructed slaves by showing himself in the form of a slave, and now he enables free men to see him in the form of God.
For "we are the sons of God, and although what we shall be has not yet been revealed, we know that when he appears we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is." For what are those treasures of wisdom and knowledge, what those divine riches, if not the one thing that can fulfill our longing? What are the great blessings of his goodness, if not the one thing that will content us? Therefore: "Show us the Father, and all our desires will be satisfied."
Christ speaks both in us and for us when, in one of the psalms, he says to the Father: "I shall be satisfied when your glory is revealed." For he and the Father are one, and whoever sees him sees the Father also. "The Lord of hosts is himself the king of Glory." He will transform us and show us his face, and we shall be saved; all our longing will be fulfilled, all our desires will be satisfied.
But this has not yet been accomplished; he has not yet given us the vision that will satisfy every desire; we have not yet drunk our fill of the fountain of life. So while all this remains in the future and we still walk by faith, justice and, with inexpressible longing, yearn for God?s beauty, let us reverently celebrate the day he was born into our own servile condition.
Since we can as yet form no conception of his generation by the Father before the daystar, let us keep the festival of his birth of a virgin in the hours of the night. Since it is still beyond our understanding that "his name endures for ever and existed before the sun," let us at least recognize "his dwelling" that he has been placed beneath the sun. We cannot yet behold him as the only Son, abiding for ever in his Father, so let us recall "his coming forth like a bridegroom from his chamber." We are not yet ready for the banquet of our Father, so let us contemplate the manger of Jesus Christ our Lord.
The vision of the Word will fulfill all our desires
From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop
The Liturgy of the Hours, Vol. I, Office of Readings
Thursday before Epiphany