Sermo Ecce Rex Tuus VenitBehold Your King ComesEcce rex tuus venit tibi mansuetus.Behold, your king comes to you, meek.Matth. 21:5Matthew 21:5ProoemiumPrologueMulta sunt mirabilia divinorum operum. Psalmista: mirabilia opera tua; sed nullum opus Dei est ita mirabile sicut adventus Christi in carnem. Et est ratio quia in aliis Dei operibus Deus impressit suam similitudinem creaturae, sed in opere incarnationis impressit Deus seipsum et univit se naturae humanae in unitate personae; vel univit nostram naturam sibi. Et ideo cum alia Dei opera non sint perfecte scrutabilia, illud opus, scilicet incarnationis, est omnino sine ratione. Unde Job: qui facis magna et mirabilia et discrutabilia absque numero; unum opus est quod videre non possum: si venerit ad me non videbo eum. Et in Malachia: ecce venit dominus exercituum et quis poterit cogitare diem adventus ejus? Quasi dicat: illud excedit cognitionem humanam. Sed Apostolus docet quis poterit cogitare diem adventus ejus dicens: non sumus sufficientes cogitare aliquid a nobis quasi ex nobis, sed omnis sufficientia nostra ex Deo est. Igitur in principio rogabimus dominum ut ipse det mihi aliquid dicere etc.Many are the wonders of the divine works, as the Psalmist says: wonderful are your works (Ps 137 :14). Yet no work of God is as marvelous as the coming of Christ into the flesh, because, while in his other works God imprinted his likeness on the creature, in the work of the Incarnation he impressed his very self, and united himself to human nature through a unity of person (or united our nature to himself). And hence, while the other works of God are imperfectly knowable, this work (namely, the Incarnation), is entirely without reason. Job 5:9: you do great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number. There is one work that I cannot see: if he should come to me, I would not see him (Job 9:11). And in Malachi: behold, the lord of hosts comes, and who can know the day of his coming? (Mal 3:1–2) As though to say: it exceeds the knowledge of man. But the Apostle teaches who would be able to know the day of his coming, saying: not that we are sufficient to think any thing of ourselves, as of ourselves: but all our sufficiency is from God (2 Cor 3:5). Therefore, in the beginning we will ask the Lord that he himself should give me something to say, etc.SermoSermonEcce rex tuus et cetera. Verba ista sumuntur ex Evangelio quod hodie apud nos legitur, et sunt sumpta de Zacharia, licet aliquantulum sub aliis verbis ibi recitentur. In verbis autem istis manifeste praenuntiatur nobis Christi adventus; et ne super ambiguo procedamus, scire debetis quod quadruplex legitur Christi adventus. Primus est quo venit in carnem; secundus ejus adventus est quo venit in mentem; tertius Christi adventus est quo venit in morte justorum; sed quartus Christi adventus est quo venit ad judicandum.Behold, your king comes, meek (Matt 21:5). These words are taken from the Gospel which we read today, and are taken from Zechariah 9:9, although there it is said in slightly different words. In these words, Christ’s coming is clearly prophesied to us. And lest we proceed on the basis of an ambiguity, you should know that Christ’s coming is read in four ways. First is that by which he comes into the flesh. His second coming is that by which he comes into the soul. The third coming of Christ is that by which he comes in the death of the just. And the fourth coming of Christ is that by which he comes to judge.Primus dico adventus Christi est in carnem et non est intelligendum quod venerit in carnem mutando locum, quia dicit in Jeremia: coelum et terram ego impleo. Quomodo ergo venit in carnem? Dico quod venit in carnem descendens de coelo, non dereliquendo coelum, sed assumendo naturam humanam. Unde in Johanne: in propria venit. Et quomodo? Dico quod erat in mundo sed venit in mundo quando verbum caro factum est.First, I say that the coming of Christ is into the flesh. And it is not to be understood as though he came into the flesh by changing place, because he says in Jeremiah: I fill heaven and earth (Jer 23:24). In what way, then, did he come into the flesh? I say that he came into the flesh descending from heaven, not by leaving heaven behind, but by assuming human nature. Thus John says: he came unto his own (John 1:11). And how? I say that he was in the world, but he came in the world when the word became flesh (John 1:14).Et videte quod iste adventus inducit alium Christi adventum qui est in mentem. Nihil prodesset nobis quod Christus venisset in carnem nisi cum hoc venisset in mentem, scilicet nos sanctificando; unde in Johanne: si quis diligit me sermonem meum servabit et Pater meus diliget eum et ad eum veniemus et mansionem apud eum faciemus. In primo adventu venit solum Filius; in secundo adventu vero venit Filius cum Patre ad inhabitandum animam. Per istum adventum qui est per gratiam justificantem, anima liberatur a culpa, non ab omni poena, quia consequitur gratiam, sed nondum consequitur gloriam.And see how this coming leads to the other coming of Christ, which is into the soul. It would have profited us nothing if Christ had come into the flesh, unless he had also entered into the soul, that is, by sanctifying us. Hence John says: if anyone love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him (John 14:23). In the first coming, the Son comes alone, but in the second, the Son comes with the Father to live within the soul. This coming, which is through justifying grace, frees the soul from fault, though not from all punishment, because it receives grace, although it does not yet receive glory.Et propter hoc necessarius est tertius Christi adventus in quo venit in morte sanctorum, quando ipsos recipit ad seipsum. Unde in Johanne: si abiero, in passione, et paravero vobis locum, tollendo obstaculum, iterum veniam ad vos, scilicet in morte, et tollam vos ad meipsum, scilicet in gloria, ut ubi sum ego illic et vos sitis. Item in Johanne dicit: ego veni ut vitam habeant, scilicet praesentiam meam in animabus, et abundantius habeant, scilicet per gloriae participationem.And because of this the third coming of Christ is necessary, in which he comes in the death of the saints, when he receives these souls unto himself. Hence John says: if I should go, to the Passion, and prepare a place for you, by removing the obstacle, I shall come to you again, namely, in death, and I shall take you to myself, namely, in glory, that where I am, you also may be (John 14:3). And again he says: I came that they may have life, namely, my presence in your souls, and have it in abundance (John 10:10), namely, through participating in glory.Quartus Christi adventus erit ad judicandum, scilicet quando Dominus veniet ad judicium, et tunc gloria sanctorum redundabit usque ad corpus et resurgent mortui. Unde in Johanne: venit hora et nunc est quando omnes quis sunt in monumentis audient vocem filii Dei et procedent qui bona egerunt in resurrectionem vitae.The fourth coming of Christ will be to judge, namely, when the Lord will come as Judge, and then the glory of the saints will overflow even into the body, and the dead will rise again. Hence John says: the hour is coming, and now is, when all who are in the tomb will hear the voice of the son of God and those who did well will enter into the resurrection of life (John 5:25).Et propter istos quatuor Christi adventus celebrat forte Ecclesia quatuor dominicas de Christi adventu. In ista autem dominica celebrat de primo Christi adventu, et possumus in verbis propositis quatuor videre: primo adventus Christi demonstrationem, ibi: ecce; secundo venientis conditionem, ibi: rex tuus; tertio venientis utilitatem: venit tibi, quarto veniendi modum, ibi: mansuetus.And perhaps it is because of these four comings that the Church celebrates Christ’s coming over the four Sundays of Advent. It celebrates the first coming of Christ on this Sunday: and we can see four things in the words set down above. First, the coming of Christ is shown at: behold; second, the condition of the one coming, at: your king; third, the purpose of the coming: comes to you; fourth, the mode of the coming, at: meek.Primo dico possumus videre adventus Christi demonstrationem, ibi: ecce. Et notandum quod per 'ecce' quatuor solemus intelligere: primo rei certificationem: de rebus quae nobis constant dicimus: 'ecce'; secundo intelligimus per 'ecce' temporis determinationem; tertio rei manifestationem, et quarto hominum confortationem.First, I say that we can see that the coming of Christ is shown at: behold. We must note that we normally understand four things by 'behold'. First, showing a thing to be certain: we say 'behold' of things which are evident to us. Second, we understand through 'behold' a determination of time; third, the manifestation of a thing; and fourth, men’s comfort.Primo dico per 'ecce' solemus intelligere rei certificationem. Quando aliquis vult certificare dicit: ecce. Unde in Genesi dicit Dominus: ecce statuam pactum meum vobiscum et cum semine vestro post vos. Arcum meum ponam inter me et vos scilicet in signum pacis. Per arcum istum significatur Dei Filius, quia sicut arcus generatur ex reverberatione solis ad nubem aquosam, sic Christus generatus est ex Verbo Dei et ex natura humana quae est sicut nubes; et sicut anima et caro unus est homo, ita Deus et homo unus est Christus; et de Christo dicitur quod ascendit super nubem levem, id est super naturam humanam sibi eam uniendo; et venit nobis Christus in signum pacis et fuit necessarium quod ita fieret quia modo sunt aliqui qui dubitant de secundo Christi adventu. Unde Apostolus: in novissimis quidem temporibus venient illusores discedentes a fide, juxta proprias concupiscentias ambulantes et dicentes: ubi est nunc promissio et adventus ejus? Dicent enim tales quod anima non erit post corpus, et propter hoc ad certificationem adventus Christi dicit Propheta: ecce. Et in Habacuc: apparebit dominus in finem et non mentietur. Et Isaias: dominus exercituum veniet.First, I say that through 'behold' we normally mean to make a thing certain. When anyone wants to make a thing certain, he says, behold. Hence the Lord says in Genesis: behold, I will establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you. I shall set my bow between me and you (Gen 9:9, 13), namely, as a sign of peace. This bow signifies the Son of God, for, as the bow is generated from the reflection of the sun on the watery clouds, so is Christ generated from the Word of God and human nature, which is like the clouds. And as the soul and body are one man, so God and man are the one Christ; and it is said of Christ that he ascended on a light cloud (cf. Acts 1:9), that is, on human nature, by uniting it to himself. And Christ came to us as a sign of peace, and it was necessary that he should become such because of how some doubt Christ’s second coming. Hence the Apostle says: in the last days there shall come deceitful scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, “where is his promise or his coming?” (2 Pet 3:3-4). Such men will say that the soul will not endure after the body, and because of this, to show the certainty of Christ’s coming, the prophet says: behold. And it says in Habakkuk 2:3: the Lord will appear in the end, and will not lie. And Isaiah says: the Lord of hosts will come (Isa 3:14).Secundo per 'ecce' solemus intelligere temporis determinationem. In adventu Christi ad judicium non est nobis tempus determinatum; unde Job: nescio quamdiu subsistam et quando tollet me factor meus; et in Luca: regnum Dei non veniet cum observatione. Et quare non fuit in isto adventu tempus nobis determinatum? Forte quia dominus voluit nos esse semper vigilantes; sed in adventu Christi in carnem fuit nobis tempus determinatum; unde Isaias: ecce dies venient et suscitabo David germen justum et regnabit et sapiens erit.The second thing we usually understand through ‘behold’ is a determined time. In the coming of Christ to judge, we do not have a determined time; hence Job says: I know not how long I shall continue, and when my Maker may take me away (Job 32:22). And in Luke: the kingdom of God will not come with observation (Luke 17:20). Why was there not a time determined for us for that coming? Perhaps because the Lord wished us to be always watchful. But for the coming of Christ into the flesh we had a determined time; hence Isaiah says: behold, the days shall come, and I shall raise up to David a just seed, and he shall reign and be wise (Jer 23:5).Tertio per 'ecce' solemus intelligere rei manifestationem. Quidam adventus Dei ad nos est occultus, scilicet adventus quo venit in mentem, et iste non potest sciri per certificationem; unde Job: si venerit ad me non videbo eum et si abierit non intelligam; sed in adventu isto qui est in carnem Christus manifestus et visibilis venit; unde Isaias: propter hoc intelliget populus meus nomen meum, quia ego ipse qui loquebar ecce adsum. Et Johannes digito eum demonstravit ut praesentem, dicens: ecce agnus Dei. Zacharias vero demonstravit eum per ecce ut futurum.The third thing we normally understand by ‘behold’ is the manifestation of a thing. A certain coming of God to us is hidden, namely, the coming in which he enters into the soul, and cannot be known through showing it to be certain. Hence Job says: if he come to me, I shall not see him, and if he depart, I shall not understand (Job 9:11). But in this coming, which is into the flesh, Christ comes manifest and visible; hence Isaiah says: therefore my people shall understand my name, because I am myself who spoke; behold, I am here (Isa 52:6). And John points him out, saying as though in the present: behold, the Lamb of God (John 1:36). But Zechariah showed him through behold in reference to the future.Quarto per 'ecce' solemus intelligere hominum confortationem et hoc in duobus. Si homo patitur molestias ab inimicis suis et inimici ejus subjuguntur ei, ecce dicit; unde in Threnis: aperuerunt inimici mei os suum, en venit dies quam desideravi. Similiter quando homo consequitur aliquid boni quod diu desideravit 'ecce' dicit; unde Psalmista: ecce quam bonum et quam jucundum habitare fratres in unum. Et ista duo consecuti sumus in adventu Christi quia liberatus est homo de insultibus daemonum et gaudet de spe adepta; unde Isaias: dicite pusillanimis confortamini; nolite timere: ecce Deus vester ultionem adducet de inimicis vestris, ipse veniet et salvabit vos.Fourth, by ‘behold’ we normally understand men’s comfort; and this in two ways. If a man suffers annoyance from his enemies, and his enemies submit to him, he says, behold. Thus Lamentations 2:16 says: my enemies have opened their mouth, and behold, the day comes which I have longed for. Similarly, when a man obtains some good which he has long desired, he says ‘behold’. As the Psalmist says: behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to live in unity (Ps 132 :1). We obtained these two in the coming of Christ because man is freed from the insults of the devil and rejoices in hope obtained. As Isaiah says: say to the fainthearted, “take courage, and fear not: behold, your God will bring the revenge of recompense over your enemies; God himself will come and will save you” (Isa 35:4).Videamus modo de conditione advenientis. Adventus personae requiritur, expectatur vel praenuntiatur cum solemnitate propter personae magnitudinem si est rex vel legatus domini Papae, vel propter amicitiam et affinitatem; et iste qui venit est rex et propinquus noster et amicus. Propter hoc cum solemnitate ipsum expectare debemus.Now, let us consider the condition of the one coming. A person’s coming requires that he be expected or announced with solemnity because of the person’s greatness, if he is a king or papal legate, or because of friendship and affinity: and this one who comes is a king, our close relation, and a friend.Scitis quod rex imperat auctoritatem dominii sed non quicumque habet auctoritatem dominii dicitur rex, sed requiruntur quatuor ad hoc quod aliquis dicatur rex; quorum si aliquid defuerit non dicitur rex. Debet enim rex habere primo unitatem, secundo plenariam potestatem, tertio amplam jurisdictionem et quarto justitiae aequitatem.Because of this, we must await him with solemnity. You know that a king orders the authority of dominion, yet not just anyone who has authority of dominion is called a king, but four things are required for someone to be called a king; if any one is absent, he is not called a king. A king must first have unity; second, fullness of power; third, wide jurisdiction; and fourth, equity of justice.Primo dico: rex debet habere unitatem quia si in regno fuerint plures dominantes et non pertineat dominium ad unum, non dicitur rex. Unde regnum est sicut monarchia quaedam. Et Christus habet unitatem; unde in Ezechiele: rex unus erit omnium nostrum. Dicit rex unus ad significandum quod non alienus, non alius dominus, sed unus Dominus Filius cum Patre erit rex noster. Unde dicit Christus: ego et Pater unus sumus; quod est contra Arium qui dixit quod alius esset Pater, alius Filius. Apostolus: etsi dii multi et domini multi, nobis unus Deus et Dominus est.First, I say that a king must have unity, because if there are many lords in a kingdom and dominion is not proper to one, we do not say there is a king. Hence the kingdom is like a certain monarchy, and Christ has unity. Thus Ezekiel says: there will be one king of us all (Eze 37:22). He says one king to signify that our king will not be a foreigner, nor another lord, but the one Lord, Son with the Father. Thus Christ says: I and the Father are one (John 10:30), against Arius who said that the Father and Son are different. As the Apostle says: if there are many gods and many lords, we have one God and Lord (1 Cor 8:5-6).Secundo rex importat plenitudinem potestatis. Qui principaretur non cum plenitudine potestatis sed secundum leges impositas non diceretur rex sed consul vel potestas. Futurum autem erat ut Christo veniente, lex a Deo mutaretur quantum ad leges caeremoniales, unde ipse Christus est qui potest legem condere; unde dicit: dictum est antiquis: "non occides"; ego autem dico, quasi dicat: ego habeo potestatem et possum leges condere. Unde Isaias: dominus judex noster, legifer noster, ipse veniet et salvabit nos. Legitur quod Pater omne judicium Filio dedit, et Filius est legifer noster et per consequens rex noster. Unde in Esther: domine rex omnipotens, in ditione tua cuncta posita sunt. Unde dicit Filius: data est mihi omnis potestas in coelo et in terra.Second, ‘king’ conveys fullness of power. Whoever reigned without fullness of power, but according to imposed laws, would not be called ‘king’ but ‘consul’ or ‘magistrate.’ Now, it was going to be that, by Christ's coming, the law was changed by God with regard to the ceremonial laws. Thus Christ himself is the one who can establish the law. Hence he says: it was said to the ancients, “do not kill,” but I say (Matt 5:21), as though to say: I have power, and I can make the laws. Thus Isaiah says: our Lord, our judge, our law-maker, he himself shall come and save us (Isa 33:22). We read that the Father gave all judgement to the Son (John 5:22), and the Son is our law-maker and consequently, our king. Thus Esther says: Lord, all-powerful king, all are placed in your power (Est 13:9); and thus the Son says: all power in heaven and on earth is given to me (Matt 28:18).Tertio, rex importat amplitudinem jurisdictionis. Paterfamilias habet plenitudinem potestatis in domo sua, non tamen dicitur rex. Similiter qui habet villam unam non propter hoc dicitur rex. Sed qui habet dominium super multas terras et super civitatem magnam, talis dicitur rex. Istud videmus in isto qui venit nobis quia omnis creatura est ei subdita, quia rex omnis terrae Deus. Et oportuit quod talis veniret qui talem potestatem haberet, quia olim lex fuit solum data Judaeis et dicebantur Judaei populus peculiaris Dei, sed oportuit omnes adduci ad salutem; ideo oportuit quod esset rex omnium qui omnes posset salvare. Talis fuit iste qui venit nobis. Unde Psalmista: postula a me et dabo tibi gentes hereditatem tuam et possessionem tuam terminos terrae.Third, ‘king’ conveys breadth of jurisdiction. The head of a household has fullness of power in his own home, yet he is not called a king. Similarly, someone who has one estate is not called a king because of this, but he who has dominion over many lands and over a large city is called a king. We see this in he who came to us, for all creatures are under him, because God is king of all the earth (Ps 46 :8). And it was necessary that the sort of man should come who had such power, because the law once was given only to the Jews (and the Jews were called the chosen people of God): but all had to be brought to salvation, and hence there had to be a king of all who could save all. Such was the one who came to us. Hence the Psalmist says: ask of me, and I will give you the Gentiles for your inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for your possession (Ps 2:8).Quarto oportet quod rex habeat aequitatem quia aliter esset tyrannus, quia tyrannus omnia quae sunt in regno convertit ad suam utilitatem; sed rex regnum suum ordinat ad bonum commune. Unde in Proverbiis: rex justus erigit terram, vir avarus destruit eam. Sed iste venit non quaerens utilitatem propriam sed tuam, quia non venit Filius Hominis ministrari, sed ministrare. Et qui venit ministrare? Certe venit animam suam dare in redemptionem multorum, et ut redemptos duceret ad gloriam aeternam, ad quam nos perducat, etc.Fourth, it is necessary that a king have equity, because otherwise he would be a tyrant: for the tyrant turns everything within the kingdom to his own use, but a king orders his kingdom to the common good. Thus Proverbs says: a just king sets up the land; a covetuous man destroys it (Prov 29:4). But he came not seeking his own use, but yours, because the Son of Man did not come to be ministered to, but to minister (Matt 20:28). And who comes to minister? Surely the one who comes to give his soul for the redemption of many (Matt 20:28), and so that he might lead the redeemed to eternal glory, to which may he lead us, etc.Collatio in SeroEvening CollationEcce rex tuus venit, etc. Dictum fuit quod in verbis istis possumus videre adventus demonstrationem cum dicit: ecce; secundo adventientis conditionem, ibi: rex tuus; tertio advenietis utilitatem ibi: venit tibi; et quarto veniendi modum, ibi: mansuetus. Dictum etiam fuit quod per hoc quod dico: 'ecce', quatuor solemus intelligere: primo rei certificationem, secundo temporis determinationem, tertio rei manifestationem et quarto confortationem.Behold, your king comes, etc. It was said that in these words we could see the coming shown when it says: behold; second, the condition of the one coming, at: your king; third, the usefulness of the coming, at: comes to you; and fourth, the manner of the coming, at: meek. It was also said that through ‘behold’ we normally understand four things: first, making a thing certain; second, the determination of a time; third, the manifestation of a thing; and fourth, comfort.De conditione etiam advenientis, quae notatur cum dicit rex tuus, dictum fuit quod adventus personae requiritur, expectatur vel annuntiatur cum solemnitate propter ejus magnitudinem si est rex vel legatus, vel propter personae amicitiam et affinitatem, et ista fuerunt in isto qui venit.Now, we said about the condition of the one coming (which is noted when it says your king) that a person’s coming requires that he be expected or announced with solemnity because of his greatness (if he is a king or a legate), or because of a person’s friendship and affinity: and these were in he who came.Considerandum autem quod ipse est rex universae creaturae. Unde in Judith: creator aquarum et rex universae creaturae. Specialiter autem dicitur rex tuus, scilicet hominis, propter quatuor: primo propter imaginis suae similitudinem, secundo propter specialem dilectionem, tertio propter specialem curam et sollicitudinem, et quarto propter naturae humanae societatem.We then must consider that he himself is the king of all creation. Hence Judith 9:17 says: creator of the waters and king of all creation. But he is specifically called your king, namely, of man, because of four things: first, because of the likeness of his image; second, because of special love; third, because of special care and solicitude; and fourth, because of the society of human nature.Primo dico: Christus dicitur rex tuus, id est hominis, propter imaginis suae similitudinem. Scitis quod specialiter ad regem pertinere dicuntur qui insignia regis portant quasi ejus imaginem, et cum omnis creatura Dei sit, specialiori tamen modo creatura Dei dicitur qui imaginem Dei portat, et hic est homo; unde in Genesi: faciamus hominem ad similitudinem et imaginem nostram. In quo consistit ista similitudo? Dico quod non attenditur secundum similitudinem corporalem, sed secundum intelligibile lumen mentis. In Deo autem est fontalitas intelligibilis luminis, et nos habemus signum hujus luminis; unde Psalmista: signatum est super nos lumen vultus tui, Domine. Luminis hujus habet homo sigillum, unde in homine creata est ista imago, sed contingit quod denigratur et obscuratur per peccatum; Psalmista: et imagines eorum ad nihilum rediges. Propter hoc misit Deus Filium suum ut imaginem istam per peccatum deformatam reformaret. Studeamus igitur reformari secundum Apostolum qui dicit: exuentes veterem hominem, induite novum hominem qui secundum Deum creatus est et qui renovatur in imagine ejus qui creavit eum. Et quomodo renovamur? Certe quando imitamur Christum. Ista autem imago, quae in nobis est deformata, in Christo est perfecta. Debemus igitur imaginem Christi portare, unde apostolus ad Corinthios: sicut portavimus imaginem terreni, ita portemus imaginem coelestis et in epistola hodierna: induimini Christum, id est imitamini Christum. In hoc consistit perfectio vitae Christianae.First, I say that Christ is called your king, that is, of man, because of the likeness of his image. You know that things are especially said to pertain to a king which bear his insignia, like his image; and while every creature is God’s, yet there is a special way in which a creature is God’s that bears his image: and this is man. Thus Genesis says: let us make man toward our image and likeness (Gen 1:26). In what does this likeness consist? I say that it is not according to a bodily likeness, but according to the intelligible light of the mind. Now, the fount of intelligible light is in God, and we have a sign of this light. Thus Psalm 4:7 says: the light of your countenance, O Lord, is signed upon us. Man has a seal of this light: thus this image is created in man; but it is blackened and obscured through sin. Psalm 71(72):20: you will bring their image to nothing. Because of this, God sent his Son to reform that image which was deformed through sin. Therefore, let us strive to be reformed, following the Apostle who says: putting off the old man, and put on the new man, who is created after the likeness of God, and who is renewed in the image of he who created him (Eph 4:24). And how are we renewed? Surely insofar as we imitate Christ. For that same image which is deformed in us is perfect in Christ. Therefore we ought to bear the image of Christ. Hence the Apostle says to the Corinthians: as we have borne the image of the earthly, thus let us bear also the image of the heavenly (1 Cor 15:49); and in today’s epistle: let us put on Christ (Rom 13:14), that is, let us imitate Christ. The perfection of the Christian life consists in this.Secundo dicitur Christus rex tuus, id est hominis, propter specialem amorem. Consuetum est in collegiis quando episcopus diligit aliquos specialiori modo quam alios, quod dicitur episcopus eorum. Deus diligit omnia quae sunt, sed specialiori modo diligit homines, unde Isaias: ubi est zelus tuus et fortitudo tua, multitudo viscerum tuorum super me? Videte quod specialiter diligit Deus naturam humanam. Invenimus enim diversos gradus naturae, sed non invenimus quod Deus gradum inferioris naturae transferat in gradum superioris naturae ut gradum stellae in gradum solis, vel gradus inferiorum angelorum in gradus superiorum angelorum; sed hominem Deus transtulit in gradum et equalitatem angelorum. Unde in Luca: filii resurrectionis, sancti, equales erunt Angelis. Deus igitur dilexit homines specialiter; igitur non debemus esse ingrati tantae dilectioni, sed debemus nostrum amorem totaliter in ipsum transferre. Si diligeret aliquem pauperem, miserum se reputaret ille pauper si non recompensaret regi amorem suum pro posse suo. Dominus ex immensitate amoris ad hominem dixit: deliciae meae sunt esse cum filiis hominum. Ergo debemus ei recompensare amorem istum.Second, Christ is called your king, that is, of man, because of special love. It is the custom in groups of clerics that when a bishop loves certain ones in a more special way than others, that he is called their bishop. God loves all that there is, but he loves men in a special way. Thus Isaiah says: where is your zeal, and your strength, the multitude of your bowels over me? (Is 63:15) Observe that God specially loves human nature. For we find diverse levels of nature, but we do not find that God lifts up a lower level of nature to a higher level of nature, such as the level of a star to the level of the sun, or the level of the inferior angels to the level of the higher angels. But God raised man to the level of and equality with the angels. Hence in Luke: the sons of the Resurrection, the saints, will be equal with the angels (Luke 20:36). Thus God especially loves men. Therefore, we ought not to be ungrateful for such great love, but we ought to wholly transfer our love to him. If the king should love some poor man, that poor man would consider himself wretched if he should not repay the king his love as much as he could. Out of immense love, God said to man: my delights are to be with the sons of men (Pro 8:31). Therefore, we ought to return him this love.Tertio dicitur Christus rex tuus, id est hominis, propter singularem curam et sollicitudinem. Verum est quod Deus habet curam de omnibus, unde in libro Sapientiae: est ei cura de omnibus. Non est res ita parva quod subtrahatur a divina providentia, quia sicut res est a Deo, ita et ordo est a Deo, et providentia idem est quod ordo. Specialiter autem homines subduntur divinae providentiae; unde Psalmista: homines et jumenta salvabis domine, scilicet salute corporali, filii hominis in tegmine alarum tuarum sperabunt. Et quomodo sperant? Dico quod non solum spiritualia bona, immo etiam aeterna, praeparantur eis a Deo, quos producit ad vitam aeternam, et quantum ad hoc non est Deo cura de aliis; unde apostolus: non est Deo cura de bobus. Deus actum hominis non permittit indiscussum, unde in libro Sapientiae: tu autem dominator, peccatum cum magna tranquilitate judicas.Third, Christ is called your king, that is, of man, because of his singular care and solicitude. It is true that God has care of all things; thus Wisdom 12:13 says, the care of all things is his. There is no thing so small as to be taken away from divine providence: for as a thing is from God, so is its order from God, and providence is the same as that order. Yet men are under divine providence in a special way. Thus the Psalmist says: men and beasts you will preserve, O Lord, namely, by bodily health, but the children of men will hope in the covert of your wings (Ps 35 :7-8). And how do they hope? I say that not only spiritual goods, but also eternal ones are prepared by God for those he leads to eternal life, and in regard to this God’s care is not for others. Thus the Apostle says: God’s care is not for oxen (1 Cor 9:9). God does not allow the act of man to be untried. Thus Wisdom 12:18 says: but you, the master, judge sin with great tranquillity.Quarto dicitur Christus rex tuus, scilicet hominis, propter naturae humanae societatem, unde in Deuteronomio: non poteris alterius gentis regem facere qui non sit frater tuus. In hoc est prophetia de Christo. Dominus disponebat quod hominibus regem constitueret; noluit quod esset alterius gentis, id est alterius naturae, qui non esset frater noster. Unde Apostolus dicit de Christo: nunquam angelos apprehendit, sed semen Abrahae, in quo videtur homo habere privilegium super angelos. Christus rex est angelorum, et est homo, non angelus. Angeli etiam serviunt homini, unde apostolus: omnes sunt administratorii spiritus. Oportuit etiam quod Christus esset homo ad hoc quod salvaret, quia dicit Apostolus ad Hebraeos: qui sanctificat et sanctificatur ex uno sunt, propter quod compungitur nos fratres dicens: narrabo nomen meum fratribus meis. Patet modo de adventus demonstratione et advenientis conditione.Fourth, Christ is called your king, that is, of man, because of the society of human nature. Thus Deuteronomy 17:15 says: you may not make a man of another nation king who is not your brother. In this is a prophecy about Christ. The Lord was ordaining that he should establish the king for men; he did not want that he should be of another nation, that is, of a different nature, who would not be our brother. Thus the Apostle says of Christ: never does he take hold of the angels, but of the seed of Abraham (Heb 2:16), in which it appears that man has a privilege over the angels. Christ is the king of angels, and is a man, not an angel. The angels also serve man. Thus the Apostle says: all are ministering spirits (Heb 1:14). Now it was necessary that Christ be man for this, that he might save, for the Apostle says to the Hebrews: he who sanctifies and he who is sanctified are one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying: "I will declare my name to my brethren" (Heb 2:11-12). Now the demonstration of the coming and the condition of the one coming are clear.Sequitur videre advenientis utilitatem, quae notatur cum dicit: venit tibi; scilicet non compulsus propter suam utilitatem, sed propter nostram. Venit autem propter quatuor.Next, we should consider the usefulness of the coming, which is noted when he says: comes to you, namely, not compelled by his own usefulness, but by ours. Now, he came because of four things:Primo venit ad manifestandam divinam majestatem; secundo ad reconciliandum nos Deo; tertio ad liberandum nos a peccato; et quarto ad donandum nobis vitam aeternam.First, he came to make manifest the divine majesty; second, to reconcile us to God; third, to free us from sin; and fourth, to give us eternal life.Primo dico: venit Christus ad manifestandam nobis divinam majestatem. Homo maxime desiderat habere cognitionem veritatis, et praecipue veritas considerata est de Deo. Homines autem in tanta erant ignorantia quod ignoraverunt quod esset Deus. Aliqui dicebant quod esset corpus, alii dixerunt quod non habebat curam de singularibus; et ideo venit Filius Dei ut nos veritatem doceret, unde dicit: in hoc natus sum, ad hoc veni in mundo ut testimonium perhibeam veritati. Et in Johanne: Deum nemo vidit unquam, et propter hoc Filius Dei venit ut tu veritatem cognosceres. Parentes nostri in tanto errore fuerunt quod divinam veritatem ignoraverunt; sed nos per adventum filii Dei reducti sumus ad veritatem fidei.First, I say that Christ came to manifest to us the divine majesty. Man had ardently desired to have knowledge of the truth, and the truth principally to be considered is about God. But men were in such ignorance that they did not know what God is. Some were saying that he was a body, others said that he did not have care for individuals: and hence the Son of God came to teach us the truth. Thus he says: for this was I born, and for this came I into the world: that I should give testimony to the truth (John 18:37). And in John: no one has seen God (John 1:18), and because of this the Son of God came so that you might know the truth. Our parents were in such great error that they did not know the divine truth. But we, through the coming of the Son of God, are brought back to the truth of faith.Secundo venit Christus ad reconciliandum nos Deo. Poteras dicere: Deus erat mihi inimicus propter peccatum; melius igitur fuit mihi ipsum ignorare quam cognoscere. Propter hoc venit Christus non solum ad manifestandum nobis divinam majestatem, sed ad reconciliandum nos Deo. Unde Apostolus ad Ephesios: et veniens evangelizabit pacem hiis qui prope et hiis qui longe sunt, et alibi dicit Apostolus: reconciliati sumus Deo per mortem Filii ejus. Et propter hoc in nativitate Christi cantabant angeli: gloria in excelsis Deo. Et post resurrectionem Dominus portavit pacem discipulis suis dicens: pax vobis.Second, Christ came to reconcile us to God. You were able to say: God was my enemy because of sin; therefore it was better for me to not know than to know him. Because of this, Christ came not only to manifest the divine majesty to us, but to reconcile us to God. Thus the Apostle says to the Ephesians: and coming, he will preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near (Eph 2:17). And elsewhere the Apostle says: we were reconciled to God through the death of his son (Rom 5:10); and because of this at the birth of Christ the angels sang: glory to God in the highest (Luke 2:14); and after the Resurrection the Lord brought peace to his disciples, saying: peace to you (John 20:21).Tertio venit ut nos a servitute peccati liberaret, unde Apostolus: Jesus Christus venit in mundum peccatores salvos facere. Qui facit peccatum servus est peccati, indiget igitur liberari. Dicitur: si Filius vos liberaverit, vere liberi eritis. Et: Filius hominis venit quaerere et salvum facere quod perierat.Third, he came to free us from the slavery of sin. Thus the Apostle says: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners (1 Tim 1:15). He who commits sin is the slave of sin (John 8:34); therefore, he must be freed. It is said: if the son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed (John 8:36). And: the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10).