cyril_alexandriaThe Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; therefore He hath anointed Me: He hath sent Me to preach the Gospel to the poor (Luke 4:13).

He plainly shews by these words that He took upon Him the humiliation and submission to the emptying (of His glory), and both the very name of Christ and the reality for our sakes:

for the Spirit, He says, which by nature is in Me by the sameness of Our substance and deity, also descended upon Me from without.

And so also in the Jordan It came upon Me in the form of a dove, not because It was not in Me, but for the reason for which He anointed Me.

And what was the reason for which He chose to be anointed? It was our being destitute of the Spirit by that denunciation of old, “My Spirit shall not abide in these men, because they are flesh.”

These words the incarnate Word of God speaks: for being very God of very God the Father, and having become for our sakes man without undergoing change, with us He is anointed with the oil of gladness, the Spirit having descended upon Him at the Jordan in the form of a dove.

For in old time both kings and priests were anointed symbolically, gaining thereby a certain measure of sanctification:

but He Who for our sakes became incarnate, was anointed with the spiritual oil of sanctification, and the actual descent of the Spirit, receiving It not for Himself, but for us.

For inasmuch as the Spirit had taken its flight, and not made His abode in us because of our being flesh, the earth was full of grief, being deprived of the participation of God.

And He proclaimed also deliverance to captives, which also He accomplished by having bound the strong one, Satan, who in tyrant fashion lorded it over our race, having torn away from Him us his goods.

As the words “He anointed Me” befit the manhood: for it is not the divine nature which is anointed, but that which is akin to us: so also the words “He sent Me” are to be referred to that which is human.

Those also whose heart was of old obscured by the darkness of the devil, He has illuminated by rising as some Sun of Righteousness, and making them the children no longer of night and darkness, but of light and day, according to Paul’s word: and those who were blind–for the Apostate had blinded their hearts–have recovered their sight, and acknowledged the truth;

and, as Isaiah says, “Their darkness has become light:” that is, the ignorant have become wise: those that once were in error, have known the paths of righteousness.

Cyril of Alexandria (c. 376-444): Commentary on Luke, Sermon 12 (on Luke 4:13).

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