Consonant with both Anglicanism’s and monasticism’s love of patristic theology-spirituality, I occasionally post selections from Durham University’s two-year lectionary for the Divine Office that draws mostly from patristic writings. The lectionary was initially edited by Stephen Mark Holmes (University of Edinburgh School of Divinity) and subsequently re-edited and formatted by Michele Freyhauf (Durham University). Click here for the link to the lectionary.]
Patristic Lectionary—20 June 2020, Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Feria after First Sunday of Trinitytide (Saturday ~ 11th Week in Ordinary Time)
[The image is of St. Cyril of Alexandria.]
Exhortations to the Exiles
And I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, a man with a measuring line in his hand! Then I said, “Where are you going?” And he said to me, “To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its breadth and what is its length.” And behold, the angel who talked with me came forward, and another angel came forward to meet him, and said to him, “Run, say to that young man, ‘Jerusalem shall be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of men and cattle in it.’” For I will be to her a wall of fire round about, says the LORD, and I will be the glory within her.’”
Ho! ho! Flee from the land of the north, says the LORD; for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heavens, says the LORD. Ho! Escape to Zion, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon. For thus said the LORD of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye: “Behold, I will shake my hand over them, and they shall become plunder for those who served them. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me. Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; for lo, I come and I will dwell in the midst of you, says the LORD. And many nations shall join themselves to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in the midst of you, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.
And the LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem.” Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD; for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.
St. Cyril of Alexandria
In Zachariam Prophetam (Patrologia Latina 72:40)
Be delighted and rejoice, daughter of Zion, because I am coming and shall dwell among you, says the Lord. And many nations will flee for refuge to the Lord in that day and become his people, and they will dwell in your midst.
Even from this you may understand that the Saviour’s coming will be the occasion of the sublimest joy for those on earth. For of necessity he commanded the spiritual Zion to be delighted and glad, since she is the Church of the living God, or rather she is the holiest multitude of those saved through faith. And he promised he would come, and would certainly live among her people.
For Saint John tells us: He was in the world, and the Word who was God did not hold aloof from his created beings. But it was he who gave life to those partaking of life, and who also sustains all things for their own well-being in life. But the world refused to recognise him, for it ‘worshiped created things’. Yet he came among us when, assuming our own likeness, he was born of the Holy Virgin.
When too he appeared on earth and lived among men. And holy David will also bear witness, saying: God, our God, will come visibly, and will not keep silence. Then too he became visible to the Gentiles.
For it was no longer only the Israelites who were being taught by the old commandment. But rather the whole world was made splendid by the preaching of the Gospel, and the Lord’s name became great among all the nations and in every land. For he was the expectation of the nations, as the Prophet says. And every knee will bow to him in heaven, on earth and in hell, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. For the nations ran together in faith toward him, and dwelt with him in the holy spiritual Zion, coming from the ends of the earth. And they understood clearly that God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that all who believed in him should not perish but have eternal life. For the Father sent his Son to us from heaven, as Saviour and Redeemer, so that we should believe in him and see in him the Father. And so that looking at him, the exact image of the Father from whom he was born according to nature, we should think of the original.