Heavenly Round-Table Discourse on the Mystery of the Incarnation by Church Scholars

Setting: The scene opens in the celestial realm, where some saints and scholars sit around a round table, engaged in lively discussion. St. Luke and the Blessed Virgin Mary, adorned in celestial splendour, join them as special guests. The air is filled with anticipation as they prepare to discuss the mystery of the Incarnation on the Solemnity of the Incarnation.

St. Athanasius: Greetings, dear learned colleagues! On this joyous Solemnity of the Incarnation, let us reflect on the depths of this divine mystery.

St. Augustine: Thank you, great Bishop of Alexandria, for opening up this discourse! The Word became flesh, dwelling among us. This is a profound mystery that transcends human understanding. But let us not forget the heresies that sought to distort this truth.

St. Cyril of Alexandria: Awesome, the renowned Bishop of Hippo of all time! Your wit and wisdom continue to shine through your numerous writings and sermons. One of the heresies that sort to distort the truth of the Incarnation is the heresy of Nestorianism. Sadly, Nestorius’ claim of Christ as two separate persons led many astray. Yet, we must remain vigilant against the distortions of this mystery. Docetism also threatened to divide the nature of Christ.

Blessed Virgin Mary: (with a gentle smile) beautifully put, the “Episcopal seer” of Alexandria. Your fiery temperament and passionate defence of orthodox doctrine led you to engage in a heated debate with a group of heretics, only to win them over with his persuasive arguments and charismatic presence. Against these heresies hovering around the incarnation, I the handmaid of the Lord, bore witness to the truth of my Son’s divine-human nature, for He was incarnate by the power of the Holy Spirit in my womb. And let us not forget the pivotal role of faith and humility. For it was through my “fiat” that the Incarnation became a reality.

(Heavenly cheers rent the air, as they applaud and honour the great mother of God for her awesome testimony of evangelical truth.)

St. Ignatius of Loyola: “Ave Maria!” Our Queen and Mother! You exemplify perfect obedience and humility. Your “YES” to God’s plan paved the way for our salvation, a mystery of love, of divine condescension, wherein the infinite embraces the finite. On this, we can only give glory to God – “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!”

St. Thomas Aquinas: The learned Jesuit has spoken! The famous expression “Ad maiorem Dei gloriam,” which originated from you, still resounds in this heavenly realm perennially. “The infinite embracing the finite,” which you just affirmed is love beyond all telling, and through the wisdom of the Church, we articulated the doctrine of hypostatic union, affirming the unity of Christ’s divine and human natures. In addition to the heresies, let us not overlook the subtleties of Apollinarianism and Eutychianism, which threatened to undermine the fullness of Christ’s humanity.

St. Anselm: Truer words, dear Angelic Doctor! In my treatise “Cur Deus Homo,” (Why God became man), I sought to elucidate the necessity of Christ’s true humanity and divinity for the redemption of humanity, looking into the reasons behind God’s decision to become human, emphasizing concepts such as divine justice, human sinfulness, and the necessity of Christ’s sacrifice to reconcile humanity with God.

St. Thomas Aquinas: (with a twinkle in his eye) Ah, Anselm! Your rational arguments are as sharp as a double-edged sword. Your keen intellect and a love for philosophical inquiry often describe you. Little wonder you once pondered the nature of God while washing dishes, leading to the formulation of his famous ontological argument for the existence of God (LOL). Good one, great Bishop of Canterbury!

St. Bernard of Clairvaux: (chuckling) Indeed, Aquinas, I agree with you! Anselm is a theological giant. But let us not neglect the heart’s intuition in this mystery, which is known as a deep-seated understanding or insight that arises from one’s emotions, feelings, or innermost thoughts rather than from logical reasoning or external evidence alone.

St. Ignatius of Loyola: (smirking) As they say, “The heart has reasons that reason knows not of.” No wonder many heresies on the Incarnation still thrive.

St. Ephrem the Syrian: Yet, the heresies continued to surface like weeds in a garden. Monophysitism and Arianism threatened to uproot the truth of Christ’s nature, but the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, stood firm. We proclaimed Christ as true God and true Man, without confusion or division. Lemme remind you of the poetic beauty of Christ’s Incarnation, which I sought to capture in my hymns.

St. John of Damascus: indeed! Dear Ephrem, as a fellow skilled musician and composer, I  dare to say that your hymns are like sweet melodies that resound through the ages, reminding us of the wonder of God made flesh. The heretics failed to grasp the profound mystery of the Word made flesh, dwelling among us.

St. Thomas Aquinas: (smiling.) These musicians are at it again! Well done Ephrem and John Damascene! Brother John, your hymns and chants to praise God with sweet melodies, drawing inspiration from the beauty of creation, continue to enrich the liturgical traditions of the Church. Indeed, Christ took on our human nature completely, without diminishing his divine nature.

St. Bonaventure: Greatly put, Angelic Doctor! The depth of the mystery of love revealed in the Incarnation is a love that descends to the lowest depths of humanity to lift us to the heights of divinity.

St. Athanasius: (nodding) Indeed, Bonaventure! The Incarnation is the ultimate expression of God’s solidarity with humanity, inviting us to share in His divine life. This is why I came up with the expression: “The Son of God became man that men might become sons of God.”

St. Ephrem the Syrian: (with fervour) And what a wondrous mystery it is, my friends! To contemplate the Almighty God taking on the frailty of human flesh, to dwell among His creatures.

St. John of Damascus: Truly, Ephrem! The Incarnation is the ultimate revelation of God’s love and mercy towards us sinners. This truth resides in John 3:16 “For God so loves the world, that He gave his only begotten Son…”

(And everyone joined in completing the statement in joyful chorus… Then the Mother of God steps in)

Blessed Virgin Mary: I nostalgically recall the event of the Annunciation. All I could see was the love the Almighty God has for humanity that His only Son should be incarnate to redeem it, and because I also love Him with all my being, I firmly responded “YES” to His divine will as his lowly handmaid. And through this “Fiat,” God entered into human history, transforming the world forever.

St. Thomas Aquinas: O great Mother of God! Your Fiat embodies the perfect response to God’s call. In your obedience and humility, you become the new Eve, undoing the disobedience of our first parents.

St. Augustine: (nodding in agreement) Yes, Thomas! Our Lady’s “YES” to God’s plan of salvation reverses the effects of original sin and paves the way for the redemption of humanity in Christ. Thus, celebrating this solemnity already disposes us to reflect on its redemptive effects in Christ.

St. Anselm: (leaning forward) And in Christ, we find the perfect union of divinity and humanity, reconciling the rift between God and man.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux: (with a smile) Ah, Anselm! Your satisfaction theory of atonement may be debated, but there is no denying the profound truth of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross.

St. Anselm: Ah, Bernard the “Doctor Mellifluus” (Honey-Sweet Doctor), let us not dwell solely on theological disputes. The mystery of the Incarnation is also a cause for joy and celebration!

St. Luke: Indeed, Anselm! As the Gospel writer who chronicled the events surrounding the Incarnation, I can attest to the joy that filled heaven and earth at the advent of the Saviour: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord […] And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!'” (Luke 2:8-14)

St. Augustine: Thanks, our Marian Evangelist and special guest, for reminding us all of the joy that accompanies this great mystery! How could we have known more about the mystery of the Incarnation if your gospel were not written and canonized? Your evangelical writings have enriched theology, particularly Mariology. And let us not also forget the humour amid theological debates. After all, positive laughter is a gift from God!

[Laughter erupts around the table as the saints and scholars share lighthearted anecdotes and jokes, and raising their “cups,”  they cheer and render profound adoration to the Most Blessed Trinity. Then Athanasius who initiated this discourse, steps in…]

St. Athanasius: (raising his cup) To the mystery of the Incarnation, the greatest love story ever told, which fills our hearts with wonder and gratitude!

All: (raising their cups) Cheers to the Word made flesh, Emmanuel, God with us!

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, Grant us the grace to embrace the mystery of the Incarnation with awe and reverence, and the grace to love one another more deeply and to seek holiness in all that we do. May the knowledge of Christ’s divine and human nature transform our hearts and minds, guiding us on the path of righteousness and love. We ask for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints who have pondered this mystery. May their prayers strengthen us in our journey of faith and lead us closer to your eternal kingdom, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

N.B: The personalities and interactions were beautifully juxtaposed for an informative dialogue and better comprehension of the mystery of the Incarnation

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Shalom!
© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ (Fada Cjay)
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Loreto, Vila Medeiros, São Paulo, Brazil
nozickcjoe@gmail.com / fadacjay@gmail.com

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Chinaka Justin Mbaeri

A staunch Roman Catholic and an Apologist of the Christian faith. More about him here.

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Ogbankwa Ann
Ogbankwa Ann
1 month ago

Although very lengthy but very rich and educative. I also smiled aloud while reading them. Thank you Padre.

Roselyn Ariteshurma Okuku
Roselyn Ariteshurma Okuku
1 month ago

I appreciate the round table dialogue of the anounciation and ask for the intercession of our blessed Mother Mary for practical practice in my daily life..

Emeka Odugu
Emeka Odugu
1 month ago

Emeka Odugu: Thank you very much Fr Chinaka. The wisdom behind the compilation of this erudition can only be inspired by the Word Incarnate Himself.
I am particularly happy in the sense that the heretics and the free masonry will continue to have sleepless nights if ever they come across these testimonies of erudite scholars on the mystery of incarnation.

John Omolafe
John Omolafe
1 month ago

Wow, what a Message dramatically presented ! The concept beyond the letters is well grasped. More grace Father !

Vivian Oyih
Vivian Oyih
1 month ago

Amen, may the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Holy Saint of God continue to intercede for us and may we remain faithful to the teaching of the church on the Incarnation of the Word

Phyllis Joseph Nweke
Phyllis Joseph Nweke
1 month ago

A great love story, God thank you for loving me so much

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