Thought of the day
Thursday, January 8, 2015

Thursday after Epiphany

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me"

Rupert of Deutz (c.1075-1130), Benedictine monk
On the Blessed Trinity, 42

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me"

“Today…”(Is 61,1). It is just as though Christ were saying: Because the Lord has anointed me, I have said – yes, indeed, I have said and will say it again now: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. So when was the precise moment when the Lord anointed me? He did so when I was conceived, or rather, he did so in order that I might be conceived in my mother’s womb. For it was not by the seed of man that a woman conceived me, but I was conceived by a Virgin through the Holy Spirit’s anointing. Then it was that the Lord set upon me the royal anointing; he consecrated me as king and priest at the same time. A second time the Lord consecrated me in the Jordan through the same Spirit…

Why, then, is the Spirit of the Lord upon me?… “He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the broken hearted,” (Is 61,1). He has not sent me on behalf of the proud and self-sufficient but as a doctor to the sick and downcast. He has not sent me “for the righteous” but “for sinners” (Mk 2,17). He has made me “a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity,” (Is 53,3), someone “meek and humble of heart” (Mt 11,29). “He has sent me to preach liberty to captives and release to prisoners”… To which prisoners or, rather, out of which prison should I preach release? To which captives preach liberty? Since “through one person sin entered the world, and through sin, death” (Rm 5,12) all men are prisoners of sin, all are captives of death… I have been sent “to comfort all those who mourn in Zion” (Is 61,3), all those who are afflicted at having been taken away and separated from their mother, the “Jerusalem above” (Ga 4,26), because of their sins… Yes, I will console them by giving them “a diadem of glory instead of the ashes” of penitence; the “oil of gladness” – that is to say, the consolation of the Holy Spirit – “in place of the mourning” of being orphaned and exiled, and “a glorious mantle”, namely the glory of the resurrection, “instead of a listless spirit” (Is 61,3).

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