St_Hilary_of_Poitiers_cassienJanuary 13th is the feast of St Hilary of Poitiers.

He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth. I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O LORD; for it is good. (Psalm 53[54]:5-6).

Continued from here….

Then He  [Jesus] gives thanks to God the Father for the accomplishment of all these acts:

I will give thanks unto Thy name, O Lord, for it is good, for Thou hast delivered Me out of all affliction.

He has assigned to each clause its strict fulfilment. Thus at the beginning He had said: Save Me, O God, by Thy name.

After the prayers had been heard it was right that there should follow a corresponding ascription of thanks.

This was in order that confession might be made to His name by Whose name He had prayed to be saved.

Moreover, inasmuch as He had asked for help against the strangers that rose up against Him, He wished to set on record that He had received it in the burst of joy expressed in the words: Thou hast delivered Me out of all affliction.

Then in respect of the fact that the violent in seeking after His soul did not set God before their eyes, He has declared His eternal possession of unchangeable divinity in the words: And Mine eye hath looked down upon Mine enemies.

For the Only-begotten Son of God was not cut off by death. It is true that in order to take the whole of our nature upon Him He submitted to death.

That is, He submitted to the apparent severance of soul and body, and made His way even to the realms below – paying the debt [i.e. to death] which man must manifestly pay.

But He rose again and abides forever and looks down with an eye that death cannot dim upon His enemies.

He has been exalted unto the glory of God and born once more Son of God after becoming Son of Man – just as He had been Son of God when He first became Son of Man – by the glory of His resurrection.

He looks down upon His enemies to whom He once said: Destroy this temple, and in three days I will build it up (John 2:19).

And so, now that this temple of His body has been built again, He surveys from His throne on high those who sought after His soul.

And, set far beyond the power of human death, He looks down from heaven upon those who wrought His death, He who suffered death, yet could not die, the God-Man, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is blessed for ever and ever. Amen.

Hilary of Poitiers (c.300-368): Homily on Psalm 53 [54], 14.

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