St.-Gregory-NazianzenThe Holy Day of the Lights…, which we are celebrating to-day, has for its origin the Baptism of my Christ.

He is the true Light that lightens every man that comes into the world, and effects my purification, and assists that light which we received from the beginning from Him from above, but which we darkened and confused by sin.

[…] “The Light shines in darkness”, in this life and in the flesh, and is chased by the darkness, “but is not overtaken by it”.

I mean, it is not overtaken by the adverse power which leaps up in its shamelessness against the visible Adam, but which encounters God and is defeated.

This happens so that we, putting away the darkness, may draw near to the Light, and may then become perfect Light, the children of perfect Light.

See the grace of this Day; see the power of this mystery.

[…] At His birth we duly kept festival, both I, the leader of the Feast, and you, and all that is in the world and above the world.

With the star we ran, and with the magi we worshipped, and with the shepherds we were illuminated, and with the angels we glorified Him.

With Symeon we took Him up in our arms, and with Anna the aged and chaste we made our responsive confession.

[…]  Now, we come to another action of Christ, and another mystery.  I cannot restrain my pleasure; I am rapt into God.

Almost like John I proclaim good tidings; for though I am not a Forerunner, yet am I from the desert.

Christ is illumined, let us shine forth with Him.  Christ is baptized, let us descend with Him that we may also ascend with Him.

[…] John baptizes, Jesus comes to Him…, perhaps to sanctify the Baptist himself, but certainly to bury the whole of the old Adam in the water.

And before this, and for the sake of this, He comes to sanctify Jordan; for as He is spirit and flesh, so He consecrates us by Spirit and water.

[…] But further—Jesus goeth up out of the water…, for with Himself He carries up the world….

He sees the heaven opened which Adam had shut against himself and all his posterity, as the gates of Paradise by the flaming sword.

And the Spirit bears witness to His Godhead, for he descends upon One that is like Him, as does the voice from heaven (for He to Whom the witness is borne came from thence).

He descends like a dove, for He honours the body (for this also was God, through its union with God) by being seen in a bodily form.

Gregory Nazianzen (c.330-390): Oration 39, 1-2; 14-16.

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