cyril_alexandria(on Luke 15:1-10; following on from here…)

The parable which follows has the same meaning, that of the woman who had ten pieces of silver, and who we are told lost one, and who thereupon lit a lamp, greatly rejoicing when she finds the piece of silver.

[…] In the second parable, in which the thing lost is compared to a piece of silver, of which there were ten, that is, a perfect number, or one which makes a complete total…, we are shown clearly that we have been created in conformity with a royal image and likeness, that, namely, of the Most High God.

For the drachma, the piece of silver, is a coin upon which is stamped a royal image.  Who is there doubts that we had fallen and were lost, and that we have been found by Christ, and through His grace, and a just way of life, have been again made like unto Him?

Of this the Blessed Paul writes: But we all beholding the glory of the Lord with open face are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the spirit of the Lord (2 Cor. 3:18).

In his Epistle to the Galatians he also writes: My little children, of whom I am in labour again, until Christ be formed in you (4:19).

The woman lighting a lamp, a search was made for the thing that was lost.  For we were found by the Wisdom of God the Father, Which is His Son, kindling again in us the light of the divine and rational Day Star, when the Sun of Justice rose, and the day dawned, as it is written (2 Pet. 1:19).

And elsewhere God through one of the holy prophets says of Christ the Saviour of all men: Speedily my justice draws near, and soon my mercy shall be made known, and my salvation as a lamp shall be lit (Isaiah 62:1 LXX).

Of Himself He says: I am the Light of the world.  And again: I am come a light into the world, He that followeth me walketh not in darkness, but shall have the light of life (John 8:12; 12:46).

Therefore was it in the Light that that which was lost was saved; and this has filled the heavenly powers with joy.  For they rejoice even over one sinner doing penance, as He teaches us Who knows all things.

And if these heavenly beings, ever seeking the fulfilling of the divine will, and given to the unending praise of the most tender divine compassion, rejoice over one sinner saved, what are we to say of their joy at the salvation of the whole world, called to the knowledge of truth, through faith in Christ?

Cyril of Alexandria (c. 376-444): Commentary on St Luke’s Gospel, ch. 15:1-10, Translated by M.F. Toale, D.D. @ Lectionary Central.

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