Tuesday, January 5, 2016

God Is with Us

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

    “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
        and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us).  (Mt 1:22-23)

In a tone worthy of the wonder, with all his might he has uttered his voice, saying, “Now all this was done.”  For when he saw the sea and the abyss of the love of God towards man, and that actually come to pass which never had been looked for, and nature’s laws broken, and reconciliations made, Him who is above all come down to him that is lower than all, and “the middle walls of partition broken,” and the impediments removed, and many more things than these done besides; in one word he has put before us the miracle, saying, “Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord.”  Which same thing Paul also everywhere labors to prove.

And the angel proceeds to refer Joseph to Isaiah.  In order that even if he should, when awakened, forget his own words, as newly spoken, he might by being reminded of those of the prophet, with which he had been nourished up continually, retain likewise the substance of what he had said. … For this reason the angel, to make what he said easy to be received, brings in Isaiah.  And neither here does he stop, but connects the discourse with God.  For he does not call the saying Isaiah’s, but that of the God of all things.  For this reason he said not, “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of Isaiah,” but “which was spoken of the Lord.”  For the mouth indeed was Isaiah’s, but the oracle was given from above.

What then does this oracle say? “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.”  How was it then, one may say, that His name was not called Immanuel, but Jesus Christ?  Because he said not, “thou shalt call,” but “they shall call,” that is, the multitude, and the issue of events.  For here he puts the event as a name: and this is customary in Scripture, to substitute the events that take place for names.  Therefore, to say, “they shall call” Him “Immanuel,” means nothing else than that they shall see God among men.

John Chrysostom, Homilies on Matthew V.2-3

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