Voices ever ancient, ever new. Advent: 24 December 2013.

“... rescued from the hand of enemies, without fear we might worship him in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.” (Luke 1:74-75)

In commenting upon these verse from today’s Mass Readings, Origen of Alexandria writes:

“Deliverance from our enemies.” We should not think that this means corporeal enemies, but rather spiritual ones. For the Lord Jesus came, “mighty in battle,” to destroy all our enemies and free us from their snares, namely, from the hand of all our enemies “and from the hand of all who hate us.” “To bring about mercy for our fathers.” I believe that, when our Lord came, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were blessed with God’s mercy. Previously they had seen his day and rejoiced. It is not believable that they did not profit from the later, when he came and was born of a virgin. And why do I speak of the patriarchs? I will boldly follow the authority of the Scriptures to higher planes, for the presence of the Lord Jesus and his work benefited not only what is earthly but also what is heavenly. Therefore the apostle too says, “Making peace by the blood of his cross, whether on earth or in heaven.” But if the Lord’s presence was beneficial in heaven and on earth, why do you hesitate to say that his coming also benefited our ancestors? What Scripture said is fulfilled, “To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant, the oath which he swore to our father Abraham,” to grant us deliverance “without fear from the hand of our enemies.” (Homilies on the Gospel of Luke, 10)

Come quickly, we pray, Lord Jesus,
and do not delay,
that those who trust in your compassion
may find solace and relief in your coming.
Who live and reign with God the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to You Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen. Alleluia!