cyril_alexandriaThe Father says…unto the Son Himself:

“I have given Thee for a covenant of kindred, for a light of the Gentiles, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out the prisoners from their bonds, and from the guard-house those that sit in darkness, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord”

(cf. Luke 4:18-19; Isaiah 42:6-7; Isaiah 61:1-2).

For the Only-begotten came into this world and gave a new covenant to His kindred, the Israelites, of whom He was sprung according to the flesh, even the covenant long before announced by the voice of the prophets.

But the divine and heavenly light shone also upon the Gentiles: and He went and preached to the spirits in Hades, and showed Himself to those who were shut up in the guard-house, and freed all from their bonds and violence.

And how do not these things plainly prove that Christ is both God, and of God by nature? And what means the sending away the broken in freedom? It is the letting those go free whom Satan had broken by the rod of spiritual violence.

And what means the preaching the acceptable year of the Lord? It signifies the joyful tidings of His own advent, that the time of the Lord, even the Son, had arrived.

For that was the acceptable year in which Christ was crucified in our behalf, because we then were made acceptable unto God the Father, as the fruit borne by Him.

Wherefore He said, “When I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all men unto Myself.” And verily He returned to life the third day, having trampled upon the power of death: after which He said to His disciples, “All power has been given Me….”

That too is in every respect an acceptable year in which, being received into His family, we were admitted unto Him, having washed away sin by holy baptism, and been made partakers of His divine nature by the communion of the Holy Ghost.

That too is an acceptable year, in which He manifested His glory by ineffable miracles: for with joy have we accepted the season of His salvation, which also the very wise Paul referred to, saying, “Behold, now is the acceptable time, behold now is the day of salvation.”

This is the day, when the poor who formerly were sick by the absence of every blessing, having no hope and being without God in the world, such as were the gentiles, were made rich by faith in Him, gaining the divine and heavenly treasure of the Gospel message of salvation.

By this they have been made partakers of the kingdom of heaven, co-partners with the saints, and heirs of blessings such as neither the mind can conceive nor language tell.

Cyril of Alexandria (c. 376-444): Commentary on Luke, Sermon 12 (on Luke 4:18-19) [slightly adapted].

Advertisements