Ugly and beautiful

When the first explorers came to America, they found things that they had never seen. One of those new discoveries was a little bird. This bird had green plumage and the ability to fly up and down, backwards and forwards like a helicopter (or actually it’s a helicopter that imitates the bird). The name of the bird is Colibri.  The Aztecs (in Mexico) called it: “sun’s ray,” the Incas (in Peru) called it “dew’s drop,” and the Ona (in Argentina) called it “wind’s son.”

They also found a legend which said that God created beautiful things and among these things God created the hummingbird.  The Devil wanted to imitate Him and so he created a bird as well: he created bats. The Devil is called the monkey of God, because he is envious of God and always wants to imitate Him.  However, he always imitates Him incorrectly, he always produces the opposite of what God created, like the example of bats and hummingbirds (ugly and beautiful).

The Solemnity of the Incarnation celebrates the most beautiful act of God and the Devil also wants to imitate this act, but actually his imitation produces the opposite. Let’s think about that a bit. 

The Incarnation is the most perfect deed that God has done:  St. Thomas Aquinas says, “The humanity of Christ, from the fact that it is united to the Godhead […]; has a certain infinite dignity from the infinite good, which is God. And on this account, there cannot be anything better than this” (S.Th., I,25,6 ad 4). And again, from Fr. Faber: “The Incarnation exists in the background of all sciences and it is the explanation of all them: it is the beauty of all arts, it is the complement of all the true philosophies, it is the starting point of history and the ending point as well. Around the Incarnation are the destination of all the nations and people. The Incarnation purifies all happiness and glorifies all sorrows as well. The Incarnation is the cause of all we see and the guarantee of all our hopes. It is the great deed that gives life to immortality and when the human intelligence loses sight of it, it gets lost in the midst of the darkness and the Divine Light no longer illuminates its steps. Blessed are the countries where the sun of faith still shines and frequently remembers that true life is in the unique mystery of the Incarnation.” (Belén, pp.49-50). 

However, men following the Devil’s footsteps try to imitate the action of the Incarnation instead of allowing it to illumine their life. And the result is the same of that of the Devil, the opposite of what they are looking for. The result is nothing other than the denial of the Incarnation in the practical realm. 

Think about it: Think, for example, of drugs, alcohol, the sex industry, etc. What is the purpose of those things? The purpose is happiness, no doubt about it. The Devil inspires, or tempts, men to reach happiness through those things but the result is the opposite. Do you know anyone who was able to achieve happiness through drugs or alcohol or sex or anything else? I do not know anyone. John Paul II said: “When Christ is excluded or denied, our vision of human purpose dwindles; and as we anticipate and aim for less, hope gives way to despair, joy to depression.” (Letter to the Master General of the Order of Preachers). God became man in order to give man happiness, but when man does not go to Christ in order to reach this happiness, he ends up producing the opposite of what he was looking for and, practically speaking, his life denies the Incarnation.

But, the Word was made flesh. God became man to give us happiness, “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” (St. Athanasius). This is our hope! This is our happiness!

Fr. Alberto Barattero, IVE

Daily homily


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