December 7th is the feast of St Ambrose of Milan.

On Luke 21:25-33.

ambrose_of_milanFor the powers of heaven shall be moved: and then they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud (Luke 21:26-27). 

And in like manner the coming of the Son of man is longed for, so that by His presence there may be accomplished in the whole world of angels and of men, that which is wrought in single souls, who, with all fitting dispositions, receive Christ.

So the Powers of heaven, at the Coming of the Lord of salvation, will also attain to an increase of grace; for He is the Lord of the Powers as well, and they will tremble at this appearance among them of the fulness of the glory of the divinity.

Then too the Powers that proclaim the glory of God (Ps. 18) shall also tremble before this fuller revealing of His glory, as they gaze on Christ.

[…] Paul also tells how we may see Christ: for when they shall be converted to the Lord, a veil shall be taken away, and you will behold Christ (2 Cor. 3:16).

You will behold Him in the clouds. Not that I believe that Christ will come in lowering mist, or in the chill rain torrent, for when they appear, they cloak the sky in gloomy darkness.

How then shall He set His Tabernacle in the sun (Ps. 18:6), if His coming be in the rain clouds?

But there are clouds which serve, as is fitting, to veil the splendour of the divine mystery. There are clouds which moisten with the dew of spiritual refreshment.

Consider the cloud in the Old Testament: He spoke to them, it says, in the pillar of the cloud (Ps. 987). He spoke indeed through Moses, and by the mouth of Joshua, who bade the sun stand still that he might have the light of the lengthened day. So Moses and Joshua were clouds.

And observe also that the Holy Ones are clouds, who fly as clouds and as doves to their windows (Is. 60:8).  Above me, like clouds, are Isaiah and Ezekiel, of whom the former has shown me, through the Cherubim and Seraphim, the holiness of the Divine Trinity.

The Prophets all are clouds; in these clouds Christ came. He came in a cloud in the Canticle, serene and lovely, refulgent with the joy of the Bridegroom (Cant. 3:11).

He came and in a swift cloud, becoming Incarnate through the Virgin, for the prophet saw Him come as a cloud from the east (Is. 19:1).

And rightly did he call Him a swift cloud Whom no stain of earth weighed down. Consider the cloud in which the Holy Spirit descended, and from wherein the power of the Most High shadowed forth (Lk. 1:35).

Ambrose of Milan (c. 337-397): Homilies 38 (PL 76, col. 1281), Translated by M.F. Toale, D.D. @ Lectionary Central.

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