Voices ever ancient ever new. Lent, Week 4: Saturday

“Some in the crowd who heard these words said, “This is truly the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Messiah.” But others said, “The Messiah will not come from Galilee, will he?” (John 7:40-41)

Saint Cyril of Alexandria reflects on this verse from today’s Gospel:

“They were so astonished at his divine confidence, seeing that his words could no longer be gauged in human terms, that they revert to their recollection of the law as having already declared beforehand concerning the Christ and saying that a prophet would be raised up similar to the all-wise Moses who should interpret to Israel the words from God. From the quality therefore of his words and the superiority of his sayings they say that he is already shown to be the one who was heralded in the law. They thought that the Christ would be someone other than the prophet of the law. Whereas two were supposed to come, I mean, the prophet of the law, that is, Christ, and Elijah — they were looking for three, imagining that the prophet was other than Jesus. But we must observe that they were already fully prepared to believe. They are persuaded by the Savior’s words to marvel at him. And yet, without guidance from their rulers, they are borne along a many-branching path of ideas. Some call him and now believe him to be the Christ, others that he is the prophet.” (Commentary on the Gospel of John, 5)

May the working of your mercy, O Lord, we pray,
direct our hearts aright,
for without your grace
we cannot find favor in your sight.
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. Amen.