Friday, July 19, 2019

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38–42)

What was Mary enjoying while she was listening? What was she eating? What was she drinking? Do you know? Let us ask the Lord, who keeps such a splendid table for his own people, let us ask him. “Blessed,” He says, “are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, because they shall be satisfied.” It was from this wellspring, from this storehouse of righteousness, that Mary, seated at the Lord’s feet, was in her hunger receiving some crumbs. You see, the Lord was giving her then as much as she was able to take. But as for the whole amount, which he was going to give at His table of the future, not even the disciples, not even the apostles themselves, were able to take in at the time when He said to them, “I still have many things to say to you, but you are unable to hear them now.”

So what, as I was saying, was Mary enjoying? What was she drinking so avidly with the mouth of her heart? Righteousness, truth. She was enjoying truth. In her hunger she was eating truth, drinking it in her thirst. She was being refreshed, and what she was being fed from was not diminishing. What was Mary enjoying, what was she eating? I am persistent on this point, because I am enjoying it too. I will venture to say that she was eating the One she was listening to. I mean, if she was eating truth, didn't He Himself say, “I am the truth”? What more can I say? He was being eaten, because he was the Bread. “I,” He said, “am the bread who came down from heaven.” This is the bread which nourishes and never diminishes.

Augustine, Sermon 179.5

Friday, July 12, 2019

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God. You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. And you shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord. You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning. You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God: I am the Lord. You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor. You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord. You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord (Lev 19:9-18)

During the harvest the owners are prohibited from appropriating what falls from the sheaves; as also in reaping [the Law] enjoins a part to be left unreaped; thereby excellently teaching those who possess to sharing and generosity by foregoing of their own to those who are in need and thus providing means of subsistence for the poor. You see how the Law proclaims at once the righteousness and goodness of God, who dispenses food to all ungrudgingly. And in the vintage it prohibited the grape-gatherers from going back again on what had been left, and from gathering the fallen grapes; and the same injunctions are given to the olive-gatherers. Besides, the tithes of the fruits and of the flocks taught both piety towards the Deity, and not covetously to grasp everything, but to communicate gifts of kindness to one’s neighbors. For it was from these, I reckon, and from the first-fruits that the priests were maintained. We now therefore understand that we are instructed in piety, and in liberality, and in justice, and in humanity by the Law. For does it not command the land to be left fallow in the seventh year and bids the poor fearlessly use the fruits that grow by divine agency, nature cultivating the ground for the benefit of all and sundry? How, then, can it be maintained that the Law is not humane, and the teacher of righteousness? Again, in the fiftieth year, it ordered the same things to be performed as in the seventh; besides restoring to each one his own land, if from any circumstance he had parted with it in the meantime; setting bounds to the desires of those who covet possession, by measuring the period of enjoyment, and choosing that those who have paid the penalty of protracted destitution should not suffer a life-long punishment.

Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis 2.18

Friday, July 5, 2019

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

70 Apostles - courtesy of Wikipedia
Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:17–20)

The authority which they bore to reprove evil spirits, and the power of crushing Satan, was not given them that they might themselves so much be regarded with admiration, as that Christ might be glorified by their means, and be believed on by those whom they taught, as by nature God, and the Son of God; and invested with so great glory and supremacy and might, as to be even able to bestow upon others the power of trampling Satan under their feet. But they, it says, in that they were counted worthy of so great grace, “returned rejoicing, and saying, Lord, even the devils are subject to us in Your name.” For they confess the authority of Him Who honored them, and wonder at the supremacy and greatness of His power. But they seem to have rejoiced, not so much because they were ministers of His message, and had been counted worthy of apostolic honors, as because they had wrought miracles: but it would have been better for them to have reflected, that He gave them the power to work miracles, not that they might be regarded by men with admiration on this account, but rather that what they preached might be believed, the Holy Spirit bearing them witness by divine signs. It would have been better, therefore, had they manifestly rejoiced on account of those rather who had been won by their means, and had made this a cause of exultation.

Even though, therefore, we receive some gift from Christ not unworthy of admiration, we must not think too highly of it, but rather make the hope prepared for us our cause of rejoicing, and that our names are written in the companies of the saints, by Christ’s gift, the Savior of us all, Who, from His love to man bestows, with all besides that we have, this also upon us: by Whom, and with Whom, to God the Father be praise and dominion with the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever, Amen.

Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on St. Luke 64

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

A Case for Sanctuary Cities

Since before the founding of this country, people have made their way to our lands. Some came seeking opportunity, others freedom. This was a land recognized for welcoming all regardless of their prior circumstance or condition. Indeed, the national ethos was recognized worldwide and preserved by Emma Lazarus in “The New Colossus”:
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
These words accurately describe the majority condition for those risking what little they have for something better. A brief recounting is sufficient to remind us from what these seekers fled: religious persecution, governmental ostracization, economic or resource destitution, etc. They have struggled to develop in their respective circumstances under constraints that might give a sense of security but in actuality inhibited freedom. Sadly, many who began the trek did not survive, succumbing to the elements, illness, hunger, or thirst; but those who survived were welcomed to integrate themselves into society as productive members.

Over time, the open borders became more constrained as obstacles were established to slow the influx. Laws enacted to regulate who would be allowed to reside in our country based on a series of predetermined stipulations: Are there familial ties established within our borders? Are they wanted for a unique skill set? Does their presence constitute a public good? Will they place an undue burden on society? These laws had a dual purpose. Our economy would be protected from the additional residents, and those considered undesirable would not be allowed entry.

In recent years, the bureaucracy established to regulate the number of people entering our country to establish residency has become a major impediment to entry. Because of the long waiting period for entry, many have tried to circumvent procedures surreptitiously. While some have had success in prematurely accelerating the process, too many have ended in death. No good comes from this. While these people may not be citizens, they are human beings that should be accorded basic rights until such time as they can take their place in society. What we need are sanctuary cities—in great number. Are you puzzled by this suggestion seeing that there are many already established across the United States? The individuals to whom we should be offering sanctuary are the most vulnerable and least able to care for themselves, those poised to vie for a place on American soil—the unborn.

Unborn children are increasingly being considered less worthy than an immigrant trying to gain residency. Questions are asked:

  • Should this child be brought into this terrible world?
  • Can the child be cared for financially?
  • Can the child be raised to be of benefit to society?
  • How will my immediate and long-term plans change?
  • Does the child have needs that will require specialized care?

Barriers, not of concrete or steel but of personal ideology and autonomy, are emplaced to impede what should be the only humane outcome. In cold, systematic fashion, risks are weighed against the future value of the person on society. Is there a net gain? If so, the baby is allowed entry; if not, entry is denied. The child is deported to the place from whence it came—its Maker.

Abortion is a disgrace for any nation. Americans legitimized abortion in 1973, and groups like Planned Parenthood have done their best to turn a heinous practice into a flourishing industry protected by the American legal system. Have we gone mad? Apparently so. When referring to abortion as a woman’s right to choose or a healthcare option or having autonomy over one’s body, the individual is acknowledging that there is a separate entity living within. Yes, there is a symbiotic relationship, but this is no parasite or bacteria or virus. This is a baby. And calling him or her a fetus does not help because fetus is Latin for “offspring.” That is still a baby, no matter how one wants to slice and dice rhetoric—or the baby. Abortion is not a necessary violence for the convenience of the woman carrying the child or one that should be mandated (as being attempted in England) because it could potentially be a burden. The children must be accorded the same dignity offered to the immigrant population we so readily seek to protect. Waskom, Texas has boldly declared itself a sanctuary city for the unborn. Good for them! Would that all cities follow suit.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Third Sunday after Pentecost

You made known to me the ways of life;
You will fill me with gladness in Your presence;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)

The person of the Lord Savior is introduced throughout the psalm. In the first theme, in accord with His acceptance of human form, He addresses the Father to ask to be saved, because He has always put His hope in Him. By this He does not in any sense lessen His divinity, but reflects the nature of His humanity (by nature I means the source and strength of the substance of anything). He further adds how His saints are chosen not through desires of the flesh but by spiritual virtues, and claims that all His sufferings have been directed towards the glory of His inheritance. In His second theme He gives thanks to the Father, who by appearing at His right hand has by the power of His omnipotence overcome the wickedness of this world. He maintains that because of this His soul has been freed from hell, and He recounts that after the glory of the resurrection He has been set among the delights at His right hand.

When He had completed all He had to say on the sanctity of His body, this verse, which is appropriate also to the just who choose to obey His commands, introduces the conclusion. You have made known to me the ways of life, in other words, “Through Me You have brought the human race to a knowledge of the path of life, so that by walking humbly in Your commandments they might avoid the poison of deadly pride.” You shall fill me to the brim, that is, quite full. Filling to the brim is adding to fullness, and he who does so pours into a vessel already full. That joy fills in such a way that it is all preserved for ever. The verse also shows that all just men in that blessed state will be filled with the joy of the Lord’s presence, and He attests that He can be filled among them because He is the Lord. But let us examine a little more carefully why He says here that He will be filled with delights at the right hand of the Father, whereas earlier He said: For he is at my right hand, that I be not moved. The fact is that in this world, in which He suffered scourgings in the flesh which He assumed, was struck with slaps, and was spattered with spittle yet defeated by none of its hardships, it was fitting to say that the Lord was always seen at His right hand. He overcame the opposition of the world because He moved not an inch from contemplation of the Father. There He has now laid aside the hardships of this world; and His humanity is filled with the glorification of His whole majesty and rules united to the Word with the Father and the holy Spirit for ever. Even to the end signifies perfection and eternity, for His glory abides in its perfection, and will be limited by no season.

Let us meditate on the immensity of the gift of salvation which this psalm offers for our instruction. It gives us confidence in sufferings and promises eternal glory in hope, so that through this teaching of our future happiness we do not fear the hardships of the present. This is heavenly schooling, learning for life, the lecture-hall of truth, and most indubitably a unique discipline which occupies its pupils with thoughts that bear fruit, not with the flattery of empty words. It is appropriate also to examine the significance of the number fifteen; in our opinion it denotes the fifteen steps by which one mounted the wonderful dimensions of the temple at Jerusalem, thus demonstrating that when we overcome the five bodily senses through the grace of the Trinity, we attain by this blessed gift the basilica of holy Church. This gift will be granted also by this psalm, if with the Lord’s protection we hug close His most salutary preaching.

Cassiodorus, Explanation of the Psalms 16.1, 11

Friday, June 21, 2019

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Second Sunday after Pentecost

But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal 3:23–29)

Since he has said something great and remarkable, he also explains how one is made a son. “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Why didn't he say, “All you who were baptized into Christ have been born of God,” since that is the inference from showing that they were sons? Because what he says is more awe-inspiring. For if Christ is the Son of God and you put him on, having the Son inside yourself and being made like him, you have been made one in kind and form.

Do you see how insatiable his soul is? For having said that we have become sons of God through faith, he does not stop here but seeks out something more to say, which can make still more plain our closer unity with Christ. And having said, “You have put him on,” he is not content with this, but interpreting it he speaks of something more intimate than this association and says, “You are all one in Christ”—that is, you have one form, one character, that of Christ. What words could inspire more awe than these? The former Jew or slave is clothed in the form not of an angel or archangel but of the Lord himself and in himself displays Christ.

John Chrysostom, Homily on Galatians 3

Friday, June 14, 2019

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to Holy Trinity Sunday

Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. (Acts 2:29–33)

Again [Peter] takes refuge with the Father, and yet it had been enough to say what precedes: but he knows what a great point this is. Here he has hinted at the Ascension also, and that Christ is in heaven: but neither does he say this openly. “And having received,” says he, “the promise of the Holy Spirit.” Observe how, in the beginning of his discourse, he does not say that Jesus Himself had sent It, but the Father: now, however, that he has mentioned His signs and the things done to Him by the Jews, and has spoken of His resurrection, he boldly introduces what he has to say about these matters, again adducing themselves as witnesses by both senses. And of the resurrection he has made continual mention, but of their outrageous deed he has spoken once for all. “And having received the promise of the Holy Ghost.” This again is great. “The promise,” he says before His Passion. Observe how he now makes it all His, covertly making a great point. For if it was He that poured it forth, it is of Him that the Prophet has spoken above, “In the last days I will pour forth My Spirit on My servants, and on My handmaids, and I will do wonders in the heaven above. Observe what he secretly puts into it! But then, because it was a great thing, he again veils it with the expression of “His having received of the Father.” He has spoken of the good things fulfilled, of the signs that He is king, the point that touched them. He has said, that it is He that gives the Spirit. Just as John: “The same,” says he, “shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (Matt.3:11) And it shows that the Cross not only did not make Him less, but rendered Him even more illustrious, seeing that of old God promised it to Him, but now has given it—or “the promise” which He promised to us. He so foreknew it about to be, and has given it to us greater after the resurrection. And, “has poured it out,” he says; not requiring worthiness: and not simply gave, but with abundance.

John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles VI

Friday, June 7, 2019

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to Pentecost

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.
And on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
And they shall prophesy.
I will show wonders in heaven above
And signs in the earth beneath:
Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.’” (Acts 2:14–21)
Nowhere as yet the name of Christ, nor His promises but the promise is that of the Father. Observe the wisdom: observe the considerate forbearance. He did not pass on to speak at once of the things relating to Christ; that He had promised this after His Crucifixion; truly that would have been to upset all. And yet, you will say, here was sufficient to prove His divinity. True, it was, if believed (and the very point was that it should be believed); but if not believed, it would have caused them to be stoned. And I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh. He offers even to them excellent hopes, if they would have them.… Then he goes on with the prophecy, which has in it also something terrible. And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs. In these words he speaks both of the judgment to come, and of the taking of Jerusalem. Blood and fire, and vapor of smoke. Observe how he describes the capture. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood. This results from the internal affection of the sufferers. It is said, indeed, that many such phenomena actually did occur in the sky, as Josephus attests. At the same time the Apostle strikes fear into them, by reminding them of the darkness which had lately occurred, and leading them to expect things to come. Before that great and notable day of the Lord come. For be not confident, he means to say, because at present you sin with impunity. For these things are the prelude of a certain great and dreadful day. Do you see how he made their souls to quake and melt within them, and turned their laughter into pleading for acquittal? For if these things are the prelude of that day, it follows that the extreme of danger is impending. But what next? He again lets them take breath, adding, And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved. This is said concerning Christ, as Paul affirms, but Peter does not venture as yet to reveal this.

John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles 5

Friday, May 31, 2019

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Seventh Sunday of Easter

Christ, the Tree of Life
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place. (Rev 22:1-6)

The river flowing out from the Church in the present life hints at a baptism of regeneration being activated through the Spirit, those cleaned and washed, polished up, surpassing snow and crystal. The river of God, having been filled with waters running through the heavenly Jerusalem, is the Life-giving Spirit which proceeds from God the Father and through the Lamb, through the midst of the most supreme powers which are called throne of divinity, filling the wide streets of the holy city, that is, the multitude in her being “increased more than the grains of sand,” according to the Psalmist.… By the river, as has been said, the gifts of the Life-giving Spirit, those which through the throne of the Father and the Son, that is, the cherubic ranks upon whom God is enthroned, go out into the wide street of the city, that is, the thickly populated crowd of the saints, as out from the first into the second, being derived according to the harmonious arrangement of the heavenly hierarchies. by Tree of Life is meant Christ, whom we apprehend in the Holy Spirit and in relation to the Spirit. For the Spirit is in him, and he is worshiped in the Spirit and is the Bestower of the Spirit, and through him the twelve fruits of the apostolic choral assembly are granted to us, the unfailing fruit of the knowledge of God through whom the “acceptable year of the Lord and the day of recompense” are proclaimed to us, having been foretold by the prophet.

Leaves of the tree, that is, of Christ, are the most superficial understandings of the divine decrees, as his fruits are the more perfect knowledge being revealed in the future. These leaves will be for healing, that is, for the purging of ignorance of those pagans inferior in the activity of virtues, because “the glory of the sun is one thing, the glory of the moon is another, and the glory of the stars is something else,” and “there are many mansions in the Father’s house.” They will be worthy, the one of a lesser brightness and the other of greater, according to the correspondence of the deeds of each. And one must also understand this differently. The Tree of Life producing twelve fruits is the apostolic assembly according to their participation in the true Tree of Life, who, by his communion with the flesh, bestowed upon us participation in his divinity. Their fruits are those which have produced a “harvest one hundredfold.” The leaves are those bore harvest of “sixtyfold and thirtyfold,” those who will bring forth healing of the nations, those lesser, transmitting the radiance of the divine lights which they received through those who bore a fruit harvest one hundredfold. For whatever difference there is between the leaves and fruit, then such is the difference between those who were saved then, some being glorified less and some glorified more, as has been written.

Andrew of Caesarea, Commentary on the Apocalypse

Friday, May 24, 2019

Patristic Wisdom: Looking to the Sixth Sunday of Easter

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.… The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Rev 21:9-14, 21-27)

Through these it is shown that not only the angels apply distressing wounds, but they are like doctors, on one occasion cutting and on another pouring on assuaging medicines. For the one, then bringing the wound upon the ones deserving it, now shows to the saint the great blessedness of the Church. Correctly it says the Bride of the Lamb is wife, for when Christ was sacrificed as a lamb, He gave Himself in marriage by His own blood. For just as the woman was formed out of the sleeping Adam, by removal from side, thus also, Christ having voluntarily slept by death on the cross, the Church, constituted by the pouring out of blood from His side, is given in marriage, having been united to the One suffering for us.

Andrew of Caesarea, Commentary on the Apocalypse

The Lord God Almighty is its temple. God established the temple so that the people gathered within the walls of the temple might call on him whom neither the world nor the temple can contain. In this way their minds might obtain through the work of faith what cannot be seen of God. However, where he openly manifests himself to the faithful there a temple is neither desired nor existent, for he who sanctifies the temple is known in the sight of all. What an image there is in these words, that the city, which has no need of a temple, has no need of the brightness of the heavenly luminaries! And what is the reason for this? Because the glory of God gives it light. The glory of God, that is, the presence of his majesty, about which it is said: “We shall see him as he is.” Therefore, why would those who shall see God have need of sun or moon?

By the light, the Lamb is clearly shown to be the city’s lamp, and the kings and the nations will walk in his light. The prophet knew this and said: “In Your light we shall see light.” The apostle also spoke concerning this light: “The night is far gone, the day is at hand.” The Evangelist also writes in a similar way: “The life was the light of people, and the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” This is to say, what the nature of our weakness had concealed and what the shadow of our humanity had rendered dark was made clear by the assumption of the Lord’s body. And while God, who is light, inhabits the lot of our flesh, He enlightens the whole by the greatness of his glory. For this reason the honor and the glory of the kings and the nations are given to Him, because all have been made glorious through Him, and the darkness of night shall not overcome His faithful, whom the presence of the Lamb and the Word of the ineffable, unbegotten Father illuminate.

Apringius of Beja, Explanation of the Revelation