There is a profound passage in Ireneaus' Adversus Haereses where he speaks of how Christ passed through the spectrum of human maturation so that He might have something in common with men of any age. So he was once a baby and can identify with babyhood. He was a child, and can therefore identify with childhood. He was a teenager, a young adult, a grown man. He can identify with all of these then.
On this great feast of the Annunciation, and given the society in which we live, it is fitting to turn our thoughts to one of the stages of human growth that Irenaeus does not mention. Traditionally, today has been regarded as the day when the Incarnation took place. In many ways, it is a more significant commemoration (and really deserves to be a bigger feast) than Christmas. Christmas was a major step in the long road that would lead to the cross and the empty tomb. But the beginning of that process is today. From now until Christmas there is an extended period of nine months. During those nine months of circa 4BC, an extraordinary scientific and theological fact was present in the world. We do well to meditate on its significance somewhat.
What was that fact? Put plainly and without adornment, it is this. There was a time when God was an embryo, a fetus, a pre-born. God was these things. GOD. The Uncaused Cause. The Infinite Personality. The Summum Bonum. The Creator. The Almighty. He Who thundered on Sinai. He was a translucent, unseeing, pink figure floating in amniotic fluid. And before that, He was a microscopic mass of genetically distinct, constantly multiplying cells. Let that sink in for a moment.
God has been these things. By being them, He has hallowed them. Every human life in the womb, though unbaptised and though possessing only the barest rudiments of human personality or consciousness (if that), nevertheless has something in common with the Being behind the universe.
How can that not give us pause as we contemplate it? How can that not scandalise us as we look around?