O God, who makest us glad with the yearly remembrance of the birth of thy only Son Jesus Christ: grant that as we joyfully receive him as our Redeemer, we may with sure confidence behold him when he shall come again to be our Judge; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
We are left in no doubt that, though this Collect comes at the Vigil Mass for the feast of the Nativity of the Lord, Christmas now has come. The yearly remembrance of the birth of the Christ for whom we have so longed over the past days and weeks, has arrived. The one whom we joyfully receive as our Redeemer is the Word made Flesh; the Second Person of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity, who has condescended to us, to commingle the supernatural with the natural, our humanity with his divinity. The “radiant dawn” for which we have prayed has now come to shed its light upon us, to scatter the darkness of this fallen world, and to bring his warmth and health and life.