cyril_alexandriaAnd it came to pass, that when all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized: and as He was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Ghost descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove.

And there was a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased. And Jesus Himself was beginning to be about thirty years old (Luke 3:21-23).

Continued from here….

Having been baptized, He prays that you, my beloved, may learn that never-ceasing prayer is a thing most fitting for those who have once been counted worthy of holy baptism.

And the Evangelist says that the heavens were opened, as having long been closed. For Christ said, “Forthwith shall ye see the heavens opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”

For both the flock above and that below being now made one, and one chief Shepherd appointed for all, the heavens were opened, and man upon earth brought near to the holy angels.

And the Spirit also again came down as at a second commencement of our race: and upon Christ first, Who received it not so much for His own sake as for ours: for by Him and in Him are we enriched with all things.

Most suitably therefore to the economy of grace does He endure with us the things of man’s estate: for where otherwise shall we see Him emptied, Whose in His divine nature is the fulness?

How became He poor as we are, if He were not conformed to our poverty? How did He empty Himself, if He refused to endure the measure of human littleness?

Having taken therefore Christ as our pattern, let us draw near to the grace of holy baptism, that so we may gain boldness to pray constantly, and lift up holy hands to God the Father, that He may open the heavens also unto us, and send down upon us too the Holy Ghost, to receive us as sons.

For He spake unto Christ at the time of holy baptism, as though having by Him and in Him accepted man upon earth to the sonship, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.”

For He Who is the Son by nature and in truth, and the Only-begotten, when He became like unto us, is specially declared to be the Son of God, not as receiving this for Himself – for He was and is, as I said, very Son – but that He might ratify the glory unto us.

For He has been made our firstfruits, and firstborn, and second Adam: for which reason it is said, that “in Him all things have become new:” for having put off the oldness that was in Adam, we have gained the newness that is in Christ.

Cyril of Alexandria (c. 376-444): Commentary on St Luke’s Gospel, Sermon 11.

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