Saint Cyril of Alexander Saint Cyrille d ’Alexandrie

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.”
Sunday 21 June 2015

Rm. 8, 26-30 Ps. 88 Jn.10, 27-30

Saint Cyril of Alexander

“The Father and I are One.”

When we celebrate Saint Cyril of Alexandria we are taken back to the first centuries of the Church when it was still divided. The first centuries are first of all full of persecutions, for if anyone said himself to be a Christian he could be sure to be become a martyr. Jesus gave his life for us on the Cross. Christians gave some beautiful examples of what it is to Love in Him. The Church had also to combat on many different levels within her own Body. Saint Cyril of Alexandra rose up in a very generous and loving way. In the forth century, with a temperament that was particularly marked he made himself into an invincible defender of Mary the Mother of God. The Gospel remains discreet in regard to the Virgin Mary. Cyril of Alexander’s combat was to affirm within the Church that Mary is the Mother of God since Jesus is God.

The Father engenders the Son eternally in the Holy Spirit. It is the mystery of a God who lowers himself endlessly because He is Love. In this very lowliness, God is raised up in his Greatness : ’God is Love’. It is the Holy Spirit who covers Mary with his shadow, and it is the Holy Spirit who engenders Jesus in the womb of Mary.

“I give them eternal life; they will never be lost and no one will ever steal them from my hand.”

This is the mystery of humanity that participates in God’s work in this way. A far as Saint Cyril of Alexandra is concerned it is a question of the divine maternity of Mary. In God, all paternity is contained, it is through God that everything comes to be, and it is in Him and for Him that everything blossoms forth. When Jesus is given to Mary the Scripture speaks of the admiration of the shepherds when the angels appear to them " Go and see a child wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger : he is the Saviour.’ God makes himself visible to our eyes,

taking on our human nature. Joseph and Mary are both bearing a mystery.Mary knows this at the Annunciation. Joseph had obeyed God. They both contemplate this incomparable ’something’ : God is an overflowing Love who wants to communicate Himself and wants to give to his little creature the secrets He carries within Himself, as far as his creature can grasp. God our Father engenders eternally His Unique Son. The angel said to Mary : ’The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the Power of the Most High will overshadow you.’ The Holy Spirit is the Engenderment of the Father who engenders, and He is going to’ find Himself ’in the Virgin Mary’s womb. The engenderment of the Eternal Son, of the Beloved Son of the Father, will come about in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“My Father, for what he has given me, is greater than anyone, and no one can steal anything from the Father’s hand; The Father and I are one.”

God has us participate in the power of his Infinite Love, Light and Life and out of Love he has us participate in His Mystery. Cyril of Alexander had an extraordinary grace that had him see what was at stake concerning Mary’s maternity.It is certainly already a surprising an beautiful thing to give flesh to a small creature who will sing the Lord’s praises throughout all of his existence. But parents know quite well that this little one would still need to be baptised in Christ in order to have divine life. Behind the divine maternity of Mary there is hidden spiritual maternity and a spiritual paternity. God alone engenders in his Mystery of God but he introduces his creature despite her littleness into a mystery of engenderment of the spiritual life. The consent of Immaculate Mary will be the place where the Only Son is engendered. The Church will engender in the Holy Spirit the members of her Mystical Body to divine life. The Church will indeed become Mother and in the Holy Spirit gives divine life through Christ’s Sacraments. The Mystery of the Church is such that when she celebrates the Sacraments the Eucharist brings down God from heaven . Jesus the Bread of Life, is amongst us. “We know that when men love God, God Himself contributes to their good since they are called according to the design of his Love.” Jesus , the beloved Son of the Father, destins us to become ’child of the Father’ in Christ. Saint Paul will say ’We are truly of the divine race.’ If God lowered himself here on earth, it is in order to raise us up so high that we are ’made divine.’

We ask God for the grace to love Mary’s mystery, she who is the ’Mother of God.’