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Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Christmas mystery

525 Jesus was born in a humble stable, into a poor family. 202 Simple shepherds were the first witnesses to this event. In this poverty heaven's glory was made manifest. 203 The Church never tires of singing the glory of this night:

The Virgin today brings into the world the Eternal
And the earth offers a cave to the Inaccessible.
The angels and shepherds praise him
And the magi advance with the star,
For you are born for us, Little Child, God eternal! 204

526 To become a child in relation to God is the condition for entering the kingdom. 205 For this, we must humble ourselves and become little. Even more: to become "children of God" we must be "born from above" or "born of God". 206 Only when Christ is formed in us will the mystery of Christmas be fulfilled in us. 207 Christmas is the mystery of this "marvellous exchange":

O marvellous exchange! Man's Creator has become man, born of the Virgin. We have been made sharers in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share our humanity. 208


202 Cf. Lk 2:61.

203 Cf. Lk 2:8-20.

204 Kontakion of Romanos the Melodist.

205 Cf. Mt 18:3-4.

206 Jn 3:7; 1:13; 1:12; cf. Mt 23:12.

207 Cf. Gal 4:19.

208 LH, Antiphon I of Evening Prayer for January 1st.

English Translation of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

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