“Behold, goodness and kindness has appeared, the humanity of God our Savior” (Tit 3,4 Vg). Thanks be to God, through whose mercy in this our pilgrimage, in this our banishment, in this our state of misery, has also greatly increased our consolation… Before his humanity appeared, his goodness remained hidden too. Of course, it existed beforehand, for “the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting” (Ps 103[102]. But how could we have known its greatness? It was the object of a promise, not of an experience, which is why many people did not believe in it…

Now, however, people can believe in what they see, since: “The Lord’s decrees are worthy of trust indeed”, and: “He has pitched his tent in the sun” (cf. Ps 93[92],5; 19[18],5). Now peace is no longer promised but sent, not reserved until later but given, not prophesied but set forth. Now God has sent the treasures of his mercy upon earth, treasures that are to be exposed by his Passion to pour forth the prize of our salvation concealed in them… For if it is only a tiny child that has been given to us (Is 9,5), yet “in him dwells the whole fulness of the godhead bodily” (Col 2,9). In the fullness of time it came in the flesh to be visible to our eyes of flesh, that seeing his humanity and his kindness we should recognize his goodness… Does anything better prove his mercy than to see him take on our misery? “What is man, O Lord, that you notice him; the son of man that you take thought of him?” (Ps 144[143],3; Jb 7,17 Vg).”

Saint Bernard, Cistercian monk and doctor of the Church, 1st Sermon of the Epiphany