The poet Coventry Patmore once wrote of the Incarnation that it is not merely an event which occurred two thousand years ago, but one that is "renewed in the body of every one who is in the way to the fulfilment of his original destiny" (RRF, "Homo", XIX). In the birth of Christ the revelation of that destiny begins, because the One who is born is the new Adam, the new archetype of humanity. It is like an opening at the centre of the world, just when it seemed that there was no escape. In that opening is a space wider than the world, in which all the possibilities of life and love are set free. Our own humanity is reborn in his, our light rekindled. The beauty that will save us opens his arms to us, and shows us his face.
The Adoration of the Magi, by Lorenzo Monaco, c. 1425.