FOR THE FEAST OF THE NATIVITY
My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, of that Lord by whom all things were made and who was made [flesh] amid all the works of His hands; who is the Manifestor of His Father, the Creator of His Mother; Son of God born of the Father without a mother, Son of Man born of a mother without a father; the great Day of the angels, small in the day of men; the Word as God existing before all time, the Word as flesh existing only for an allotted time; the Creator of the sun created under the light of the sun; ordering all ages from the bosom of His Father, from the womb of His Mother consecrating this day; remaining there, yet proceeding hither; Maker of heaven and earth brought forth on this earth overshadowed by the heavens; unspeakably wise, wisely speechless; filling the whole world, lying in a manger; guiding the stars, a nursling at the breast; though insignificant in the form of man, so great in the form of God that His greatness was not lessened by His insignificance nor was His smallness crushed by - His might. When He assumed human form He did not abandon His divine operations, nor did He cease to reach 'from end to end mightily and to order all things sweetly. When clothed in the weakness of our flesh He was received, not imprisoned, in the Virgin's womb so that without the Food of Wisdom being withdrawn from the angels we might taste how sweet is the Lord.
(2) Why do we marvel at these conflicting powers of the Word of God when the discourse which I utter is apprehended so freely by the senses that the hearer receives it, yet does not confine it? If it were not received, it would give no instruction; if it were confined, it would not reach others. In spite of the fact that this discourse is divided into words and syllables, you do not take individual particles of it as you do of food for your stomach, but you all hear the whole discourse and each individual takes in the whole. While speaking, I do not fear that one listener may, by hearing me, grasp the whole discourse so that his neighbor can get nothing of it. On the contrary, I wish you to be so attentive that, depriving the ear and mind of no other person, you as individuals may hear the entire discourse and, at the same time, may permit others to hear it, also. Nor is this hearing accomplished at successive periods of time so that, after the discourse which is being delivered has come to you first, it leaves you so that it may go to another person. No, it comes to all at the same time and the whole discourse is apprehended by each individual. And if the entire sermon could be retained in memory, then, just as you all came to hear the whole discourse so you individually would go away bearing the whole discourse with you. How much more readily, then, would the Word of God, through whom all things were made and who, remaining in Himself, renews all things, who is neither confined by places nor restrained by time, neither changed by long or short intervals of time, neither adorned by speech nor terminated by silence, be able to make fertile the womb of His Mother when He assumed human flesh, yet not leave the bosom of His Father; to make His way hither for human eyes to gaze upon Him, and still to enlighten angelic minds; to come down to this earth while ruling the heavens; to become Man here while creating men there?
(3) Let no one believe, then, that the Son of God was changed into the Son of Man; rather, let us believe that, with the perfect preservation of His divine nature and the perfect assumption of human nature, He, remaining the Son of God, became also the Son of Man. For the fact that the Scriptures say The Word was God' and The Word was made flesh' does not mean that the Word became flesh in such a way as to cease to be God since, because the Word was made flesh, in that same flesh 'Emmanuel . . . God with us' was born. In like manner, the word which we form within us becomes an utterance when we bring it forth from our mouth; the word is not changed into the utterance, but the voice by which it comes forth is taken on while the inner word remains unchanged; what is thought remains within, what is heard sounds forth. Nevertheless, the same thing is expressed in sound which had previously been expressed in silence; thus, when the word becomes an utterance, it is not changed into this utterance, but remains in the light of the mind; having taken on the voice of the flesh, it reaches the listener without leaving the thinker. Not when the utterance, whether it be in Greek, Latin, or any other language, is being thought out in silence, but when, before all the diversity of language [begins to operate], the matter to be expressed exists bare and unadorned in the chamber of the heart, is it clothed with the voice of the speaker so that it may come forth. Both that which is considered in the mind, however, and that which sounds forth in speech are variable and diverse; the thought will not remain when you have forgotten it, nor will the utterance remain when you are silent. But the Word of the Lord remains forever and remains unchanged.
(4) When the Word assumed flesh in time, so that He might enter into our temporal life, He did not, in this flesh, give up His eternity, but gave immortality to this flesh. Thus He, 'as a bridegroom coming out of his bride-chamber, hath rejoiced as a giant to run the way,' who, 'though he was by nature God, did not consider being equal to God a thing to be clung to,' but, so that for our sake He might become what He was not, 'He emptied himself,' not laying aside the nature of God, but 'taking the nature of a slave,' and by this nature 'being made like unto men,' not in His own nature [as God], but 'appearing in the form of man.' For, all that we are in soul and body constitutes, for us, our complete nature, but, for Him, only a visible nature. If we had not this soul and body, we would still exist; if He had not this soul and body, He would still be God. Remaining God, He became Man; that is, He began to be what had not been before, so that not one but two natures may truthfully be ascribed to Him. Because He was made Man, the statement, 'for the Father is greater than I,' is true; because He remained God, the statement, 'I and the Father are one,' is true. If the Word were changed into flesh, that is, if God were changed into man, only the statement, 'for the Father is greater than I,' would be true because God is greater than man; but the other statement, I and the Father are one,' would be false since God and man are not one. In such a case, He could say: 'I and the Father were one,' but not 'are one,' implying that He has ceased to be what He was; that He was so in the past, but is so no longer. On the contrary, because of the true nature of servant which He had taken upon Himself, He said truthfully: 'The Father is greater than I'; because of the true nature of God which He retained, He said with equal veracity: The Father and I are one.' Therefore, He emptied Himself among men, becoming what He had not been previously, not in such a way as to cease to be what He was, but, hiding what He was, He showed forth only what He had become. Hence, since the Virgin conceived and brought forth a Son, because of His manifest nature of servant, [we read:] 'A child is born to us'; but, because the Word of God, which remains forever, became flesh so that He might dwell with us, on account of His real, though hidden nature of God, we, using the words of the Angel Gabriel, call e his name Emmanuel/ Remaining God, He has become Man so that the Son of Man may rightly be called 'God with us' and so that [in Him] God is not one person and man another. Let the world rejoice In those who believe, for whose salvation He came, by whom the world was made, the Creator of Mary born of Mary, the Son of David yet Lord of David, the Seed of Abraham
 Cf. Wisd. 8.1.
 John 1.1,14.
 Cf. Matt. 1.23.
 Ps. 18.6.
 Phil. 2.6-8.
 John 14.28; 10.30.
 Isa. 9.6.