Oktavdag for julen – del 3 – preken av Ambrosius

7., 8. og 9. lesning til Matutin i dag:

From the Holy Gospel according to Luke (2:21)
In that time after eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised, his name was called Jesus. And so on …

Homily by St Ambrose, Bishop of Milan – Book ii. on Luke ii.
So the Child is circumcised. This is the Child of Whom it is said Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, Isa. ix. 6. Made under the law to redeem them that were under the law. Gal. iv. 4. To present Him to the Lord, 22. In my Commentary on Isaiah I have already explained what is meant by being presented to the Lord in Jerusalem, and therefore I will not enter into the subject again. He that is circumcised in heart gaineth the protection of God, for the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous. Ps. xxxiii. 16. Ye will see that as all the ceremonies of the old law were types of realities in the new, so the circumcision of the body signified the cleansing of the heart from the guilt of sin.

But since the body and mind of man remain yet infected with a proneness’ to sin, the circumcision of the eighth day is also a type of that complete cleansing from sin which we shall have at the resurrection. This ceremony was also performed in obedience to the commandment of God: Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy unto the Lord. These words were written with especial reference to the delivery of the Blessed Virgin. Truly He That opened her womb was holy, for He was altogether without spot, and we may gather that the law was written specially for Him from the words of the Angel That Holy Thing Which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God.

Among all that are born of women the Lord Jesus Christ stood alone in holiness. Fresh from His immaculate Birth, He felt no contagion from human corruption, and His heavenly Majesty drove it away. If we are to follow the letter and say that every male that openeth the womb is holy, how shall we explain that so many have been unrighteous? Was Ahab holy? Were the false prophets holy? Were they holy on whom Elijah justly called down fire from heaven? But He to Whom the sacred commandment of the law of God is mystically directed is the Holy One of Israel; Who also alone hath opened the secret womb of His holy Virginbride the Church, filling her with a sinless fruitfulness to give birth to Christian souls.

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