Sunday, January 31, 2016

4th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year C

Icon of Christ Pantocrator,
c. 6th century
Today's Gospel is a continuation of last Sunday's. Jesus has just read the passage from Isaiah:
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,

and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.
He now addresses the synagogue and says,"Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”

St. Cyril of Alexandria, the great Bishop and Doctor of the Church, commenting on Isaiah, writes about blindness, poverty, and the Lord's healing power:
Desiring to win over the whole world and bring its inhabitants to God the Father, raising all things to a higher condition and, in a sense, renewing the face of the earth, the Lord of the universe took the form of a servant and brought the good news to the poor. This, he said, was why he had been sent.
Now by the poor we may understand those who were then deprived of all spiritual blessings and who lived in the world without hope and without God, as scripture says....
To the brokenhearted Christ promises healing and release, and to the blind he gives sight. For those who worship created things, and say to a piece of wood, “You are my father,” and to a stone, “You gave me birth,” thus failing to recognize him who is really and truly God, are they not blind? Are not their hearts devoid of the spiritual and divine light?
To these the Father sends the light of true knowledge of God. Having been called by faith, they know God, or rather, they are known by him. They were children of night and of darkness, but they have become children of light. The Day has shone upon them, the Sun of Righteousness has risen, the Morning Star has appeared in all its brilliance.

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