Thought of the day
Sunday, December 11, 2016

Third Sunday of Advent

Saint Cyril of Alexandria (380-444), Bishop, Doctor of the Church First Christological Dialogue, 706

Third Sunday of Advent

Commentary of the day 

Saint Cyril of Alexandria (380-444), Bishop, Doctor of the Church 
First Christological Dialogue, 706

“The blind regain their sight (...), the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them”

“The one who is coming after me is mightier than I. (...) He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Mt 3,11). Are we to say that the ability to baptize in fire and the Holy Spirit is the work of a nature similar to ours? How can that be? And yet, talking about a man who has still not presented himself, John declares that this one will baptize “in fire and the Holy Spirit”: not as any other servant would do by blowing into the baptized a spirit that is not his own, but like someone who is God by nature, who gives with sovereign power what comes from him and what is particular to him. It is thanks to this that the divine seal is stamped within us. 

In fact, in Jesus Christ we are transformed in his divine image, not because our body is molded once again but because we receive the Holy Spirit and earn possession of Christ himself, to the point of being able to cry out our joy forever: “My heart exults in the Lord...because he clothed me with salvation and jubilation” (1Sm 2,1). The apostle Paul in fact says: “All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Gal 3,27). 

Therefore, is it into a man that we have been baptized? Silence, you who are only a man; do you want to turn down our hopes? We have been baptized into a God who became man; he frees all those who believe in him from sorrow and from sin. “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ. (...) You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2,38). He delivers those who cling to him...; he binds his own nature to ours...The Spirit belongs exclusively to the Son, who became man, a man similar to us. For he himself is the life of everything that exists.