St. Isaac the Syrian on the Incarnation

Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev writes about the Feast of the Nativity of Jesus Christ:

“…The Incarnation identified as the moment when the love of God for human being reveals itself to the highest degree and when human beings are called, in turn, to respond to the love of God with their own love for God:”

Metropolitan Hilarion goes on to quote St. Isaac the Syrian, who makes for us the connection between God’s incarnation in Jesus Christ and Christ’s own voluntary death on the cross for the salvation of all mankind:

“God the Lord surrendered his own Son to death on the cross for the fervent love of creation…Yet this was not because he could not redeem us in another way, but so that his surpassing love, manifested hereby, might be a teacher unto us. And by the death of his Only-begotten Son he made us near to himself. Yea, if he had had anything more precious, he would have given it to us, so that by it our race might be his own. Because of his great love for us it was his pleasure not to do violence to our freedom, although he is able to do so, but he chose that we should draw near to him by the love of our understanding. For the sake of his love for us and obedience to his Father, Christ joyfully took upon himself insult and sorrow…In like manner, when the saints become perfect, they all attain to this perfection, and by the superabundant outpouring of their love and compassion on all men, they resemble God.” (The Spiritual World of Isaac the Syrian by Hilarion Alfeyev, pp 49-50)