leo1Let our understandings, illumined by the Spirit of Truth, foster with pure and free heart the glory of the Cross which irradiates heaven and earth.

Let us see with the inner sight what the Lord meant when He spoke of His coming Passion:  “The hour is come that the Son of man may be glorified.”

He says, “Now is My spirit troubled.  And what shall I say?  Father, save Me from this hour, but for this cause came I unto this hour.  Father, glorify Your Son.”

And when the Father’s voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again,” Jesus in reply said to those that stood by:

“This voice came not for Me but for you.  Now is the world’s judgment, now shall the prince of this world be cast out.  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things unto Me.”

O wondrous power of the Cross!  O ineffable glory of the Passion, in which is contained the Lord’s tribunal, the world’s judgment, and the power of the Crucified!

For You draw all things unto Yourself, Lord. And, when You had stretched out Your hands all the day long to an unbelieving people that gainsaid You, the whole world at last was brought to confess Your majesty.

You drew all things unto Yourself, Lord…, when the lights of heaven were darkened, and the day turned into night, and the earth also was shaken with unwonted shocks….

You didst draw all things unto Yourself, Lord, for the veil of the temple was rent, and the Holy of Holies existed no more…, so that type was turned into Truth, prophecy into Revelation, law into Gospel.

You drew all things unto Yourself, Lord, so that what before was done in the one temple of the Jews in dark signs, was now to be celebrated everywhere by the piety of all the nations in full and open rite.

For now there is a nobler rank of Levites, there are elders of greater dignity and priests of holier anointing, because Your Cross is the fount of all blessings, the source of all graces, and through it the believers receive strength for weakness, glory for shame, life for death.

Now, too, the variety of fleshly sacrifices has ceased, and the one offering of Your Body and Blood fulfils all those different victims.

For You are the true “Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world,” and in Yourself You so accomplish all mysteries, that as there is but one sacrifice instead of many victims, so there is but one kingdom instead of many nations.

Leo the Great (c.400-461): Sermon 59, 6-7.