Consider, if you will, that in light of the virgin birth (whether symbolically or literally interpreted), the New Testament genealogies– which trace Jesus’ lineage from Abraham to Joseph (Matthew 1: 1-17) or from Joseph back to Adam (Luke 3:23-38) –tell us nothing of Jesus’ true origin which is better accounted for in these verses from the book of John:
Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe (John 6:32-36).
A few verses later, we are told:
41 Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, “I have come down from heaven’?”
Indeed, however much people may think they know about the natural origin of those who, Christlike, are born from above, Jesus suggests that their true origin ultimately eludes natural understanding or rational analysis:
“Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, “You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:5-8).
In the book of Hebrews, Jesus himself is compared to Mechizedeck who, in the book of Genesis, appears without genealogy:
“We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. This ‘King Melchizedek of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham as he was returning from defeating the kings and blessed him’; and to him Abraham apportioned ‘one-tenth of everything.’ His name, in the first place, means ‘king of righteousness’; next he is also king of Salem, that is, ‘king of peace.’ Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever” (Hebrews 6:19 – 7:3).
What a beautiful description of the “I Am” presence which IS the living Christ —“a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul” within the “inner shrine behind the curtain” (transcending the veil of time and at-one with the Father). According to The Book of Privy Counsel, this “I Am” presence is both our being and God’s being–that most intimate point of contact between the temporal and the eternal which IS at once human and Divine. Indeed, this is our point of contact with the living Word or Divine Intelligence through which our world is framed. Thus it can be said that our being IS in God from eternity to eternity (our creation in time notwithstanding and, it might be added, despite our apparently natural origins):
“God is the glorious being of Himself and you, in the naked starkness of his being. . . . because that which you are you have from Him and it is He, Himself. Of course, you had a beginning – that moment in time when He created you from nothing – yet your being has been and shall always be in Him, from eternity to eternity, for He is eternal” (Chapter V, The Book of Privy Counsel).
By trusting in and relying on this “I Am” presence which is our point of contact with the living Word of God (at once, creative and revelatory), the Divine logos is eternally made flesh and dwells among us even as we, in turn, are called to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God (cf. John 1:14; Romans 12:1). In the words of Meister Eckhart:
“We are all meant to be mothers of God. What good is it to me if this eternal birth of the divine Son takes place unceasingly but does not take place within myself? And what good is it to me if Mary is full of grace if I am not also full of grace? What good is it to me for the Creator to give birth to his Son if I also do not give birth to him in my time and my culture? This, then, is the fullness of time. When the Son of God is begotten in us.”
The Roman Catholic Catechism puts it as follows:
The Christmas mystery
525 . . . 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!
526 To become a child in relation to God is the condition for entering the kingdom. 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”. Only when Christ is formed in us will the mystery of Christmas be fulfilled in us. Christmas is the mystery of this “marvelous exchange”:
O marvelous 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 (Roman Catholic Catechism).