Thursday After Epiphany
1 John 4:19—5:4; Luke 4:14-22a
“…whoever is begotten by God conquers the world.”1 John 5:4
The origin of the Son and all persons begotten by the Father in the Son transcends the world, time, history, politics, sociology, psychology, beginnings and ends.
“I AM WHO I AM.”Exodus 3:14
Beyond the vicissitudes of this passing world, the Being beyond beings is, was, and will be, forever and ever.
“You are my son; today I have begotten you.”Psalm 2:7; Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5 and 5:5
The whispering Spirit of the unseen Father unveiled the eternal Sonship of Christ in a Psalm of David about a millennium before his birth from the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“I am the Immaculate Conception.”Our Lady of Lourdes to St. Bernadette Soubirous, March 25, 1858
From the bosom of the Father, the Virgin Mother of God breathed her name to her children, revealing herself as immaculately conceived from all eternity in the mind of God.
Jesus Christ and Mother Mary have two birthdays like all human beings: an earthly, historical birthday in spacetime, and an eternal, timeless origin in the mind of the Father, Source of all persons.
As St. Paul writes, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ “chose us in him, before the foundation of the world…” (Ephesians 1:4).
Action follows being and identity. Thus the beloved disciple John found the commandment of love “not burdensome” (1 John 5:3), perhaps not even a “commandment” as such, but the very essence and action flowing from divinized humanity. As the light and heat of fire is natural to fire and of its essence, love is of the essence of the Body of Christ.
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God, and everyone who loves the Father loves also the one begotten by him.1 John 5:1
Believing and loving go hand in hand, as intellect and will, head and heart, light and heat are one and inseparable.
After decades of prayer and reflection, Jesus’ prayer to the Father for the baffled disciples at the Last Supper finally sank in:
Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began.John 17:3-5
Loving faith and faithful love is “the victory that conquers the world” (1 John 5:4) because it originates in the ever bubbling Spirit of Love, Son of Love, and Father of Love from all eternity.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,” Jesus declared to the astonished people of his hometown Nazareth (Luke 4:18). The Spirit of the Father divinized our human nature in the Person of the Son of God, enabling us to love as he loves.
St. Cyril of Alexandria writes:
The Father says of Christ, who was God, begotten of him before the ages, that he has been “begotten today,” for the Father is to accept us in Christ as his adopted children. The whole of our nature is present in Christ, in so far as he is man. So the Father can be said to give the Spirit again to the Son, though the Son possesses the Spirit as his own, in order that we may receive the Spirit in Christ… He receives it to renew our nature in its entirety and to make it whole again, for in becoming man he took our entire nature to himself.From the Liturgy of the Hours, Thursday after Epiphany, Office of Readings, From a commentary on the Gospel of John by Saint Cyril of Alexandria, bishop
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.