Translation of the Holy Gospel According to Luke
At that time there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled. This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, everyone into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child. And it came to= pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him up in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger: because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds watching and keeping the night watches over their flock. And behold an Angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone round about them, and they feared with a great fear. And the Angel said to them: Fear not; for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people: for this day is born to you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto you: you shall find the Infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger. And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will.
From Pope Saint Leo The Great, Sermon XXVII. On the Feast of the Nativity
The bodily Nativity therefore of the Son of God took nothing from and added nothing to His Majesty because His unchangeable substance could be neither diminished nor increased. For that the Word became flesh does not signify that the nature of God was changed into flesh, but that the Word took the flesh into the unity of His Person: and therein undoubtedly the whole man was received, with which within the Virgin’s womb fecundated by the Holy Spirit, whose virginity was destined never to be lost , the Son of God was so inseparably united that He who was born without time of the Father’s essence was Himself in time born of the Virgin’s womb. For we could not otherwise be released from the chains of eternal death but by Him becoming humble in our nature, Who remained Almighty in His own. And so our Lord Jesus Christ, being at birth true man though He never ceased to be true God, made in Himself the beginning of a new creation, and in the “form” of His birth started the spiritual life of mankind afresh, that to abolish the taint of our birth according to the flesh there might be a possibility of regeneration without our sinful seed for those of whom it is said, Who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. What mind can grasp this mystery, what tongue can express this gracious act? Sinfulness returns to guiltlessness and the old nature becomes new; strangers receive adoption and outsiders enter upon an inheritance. The ungodly begin to be righteous, the miserly benevolent, the incontinent chaste, the earthly heavenly. And whence comes this change, save by the right hand of the Most High? For the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil, and has so united Himself with us and us with Him that the descent of God to man’s estate became the exaltation of man to God’s.
From Pope Saint Leo The Great, Sermon XXVI. On the Feast of the Nativity
They who are born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man but of God, must offer to the Father the unanimity of peace-loving sons, and all the members of adoption must meet in the First-begotten of the new creation, Who came to do not His own Will but His that sent Him; inasmuch as the Father in His gracious favour has adopted as His heirs not those that are discordant nor those that are unlike Him, but those that are in feeling and affection one. They that are re-modelled after one pattern must have a spirit like the model. The birthday of the Lord is the birthday of peace: for thus says the Apostle, He is our peace, who made both one; since whether we be Jew or Gentile, through Him we have access in one Spirit to the Father. And it was this in particular that He taught His disciples before the day of His passion which He had of His own free-will fore-ordained, saying, My peace I give unto you, My peace I leave for you; and lest under the general term the character of His peace should escape notice, He added, not as the world give I unto you. The world, He says, has its friendships, and brings many that are apart into loving harmony. There are also minds which are equal in vices, and similarity of desires produces equality of affection. And if any are perchance to be found who are not pleased with what is mean and dishonourable, and who exclude from the terms of their connection unlawful compacts, yet even such if they be either Jews, heretics or heathens , belong not to God’s friendship but to this world’s peace. But the peace of the spiritual and of Catholics coming down from above and leading upwards refuses to hold communion with the lovers of the world, resists all obstacles and flies from pernicious pleasures to true joys, as the Lord says: Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also: that is, if what you love is below you will descend to the lowest depth: if what you love is above, you will reach the topmost height: there may the Spirit of peace lead and bring us, whose wishes and feeling are at one, and who are of one mind in faith and hope and in charity: since as many as are led by the Spirit of God these are sons of God. Who reigns with the Son and Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.