EPIPHANY 4; YEAR B SUNDAY 1
reading from Revelation is a gift to those who love the Blessed Virgin Mary but
we can leave that over for tomorrow, Candlemas day. In fact all three of
today’s readings are intensely interesting. It is difficult to keep a sermon
within manageable bounds. In these post Epiphany Sundays, we see the Lord’s
ministry unfolding rapidly.
the Old Testament reading, Moses is
quoted as saying:
Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me. Jesus is indeed The
Prophet and the new Moses. Here Deuteronomy seems to speak of more
than one prophet but by the time of Our Lord, Judaism was interpreting Moses’
words eschatologically, to mean a single Messianic prophet, at the end of time;
hence rather urgent questions like “Are you
the first New Testamemt reading, it
speaks of the woman clothed with the Sun. This passage owes a lot to folklore in
the pagan ancient world. A usurper, who is doomed to be killed by a prince,
attempts to cheat the fates by killing the prince at birth.
prince is miraculously snatched from his clutches and hidden away until old
enough to claim his inheritance.
the woman is indeed the Mother of the Messiah, personified Wisdom, Spouse of
God. She is herself the Messianic community, the twelve stars refer to the
twelve tribes. Mother Zion, church members are her other children; she is the
above who is our mother. All this can and has been applied to Our Lady herself
but the actual text itself doesn’t speak of her, although it can be applied to
her. Her Son had indeed to be snatched away from the hands of another Dragon,
the Wicked Herod and had to live a hidden life for quite a few years, in fact
until he had grown into his inheritance of Wisdom as a mature Man, very
likeness and image of the Father.
in the Gospel reading, having
called his disciples, having picked his team, Jesus begins to reveal Who He is
to the world, God in Man made manifest. Not,
as at first, a rather limited manifestation just to shepherds and those
three wise men from the East but openly, in the face of the sun, to his people,
. He teaches with authority; how could it be otherwise, if He is
Prophet? Jesus himself, Son of God, Son of Man, coming to share our
earthly existence, spells the end of the rule of demons.
y knew that he had come to defeat them, once and for all.
y shrieked and can still shriek but, since
, they no longer have authority.
world has been claimed by the powerful and loving authority of God in Jesus,
who tells us at the cost of His life, at the cost of our lives, to love our
enemies. Since the end of the Second World War, if not much much earlier, it
becomes increasing clear that commandment is an absolute one and without it the
world, the world created by God, has no future.
Antony Grant CR