Voices ever ancient, ever new. Saturday-AdventTwo-2013. Saint John of the Cross

“... but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased. So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands.” (Matthew 17:12)

Origen of Alexandria offers the following insight on this verse from today’s Gospel:

“The disciples who went up with Jesus remembered the traditions of the scribes concerning Elijah, that before the advent of Christ, Elijah would come and prepare for him the souls of those who would receive him. But the vision on the mountain, in which Elijah appeared, did not seem to be harmonized with what had been said, since Elijah seemed to them to have come with him rather than before him. So they say this thinking that the scribes were wrong. To this the Savior replies, not denying what was handed down about Elijah but saying that there was another coming of Elijah before that of Christ unknown to the scribes. In [this coming] “they did not know him but did to him whatever they pleased,” as though they too were accomplices in his imprisonment by Herod and execution by him. Then he says that he too will suffer what they did to Elijah. The disciples asked these questions as though about Elijah and the Savior replied. But hearing the Savior’s words, “Elijah has already come,” and what followed, they took it as a reference to John the Baptist.” (Commentary on Matthew, 13.)

O God, Who gave the Priest Saint John
an outstanding dedication to perfect self-denial
and love of the Cross,
grant that, by imitating him closely at all times,
we may come to contemplate eternally your glory.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Today’s “Office of Readings” (Liturgy of the Hours) contains an excerpt from a spiritual canticle penned by Saint John of the Cross. In 2011, Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI devoted one of his Wednesday general audience to the life and theology of Saint John of the Cross.

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