You are God’s anointed one.
“One day when Jesus was praying alone with his disciples he
asked them: 'Who do the crowds say that I am?'” By praying alone accompanied only by his disciples the Lord
and Savior of the world was setting them an example of a life
befitting saints. However, there was a danger that this might
disturb them and give them mistaken ideas. When they saw praying
like a human being one whom the day before they had seen working
miracles like God, they might well say among themselves: “This
is very strange—who are we to think he is, God or a man?”
To put an end to any such mental turmoil and steady their unsettled
faith, Jesus questioned them. He was not ignorant of what was
being said of him by those outside the synagogue of the Jews
or by the Israelites themselves, but he wanted to withdraw his
disciples from the thinking of the multitude and establish right
belief in them. “Who do the crowds say I am?” he asked.
Then Peter burst out before the rest and became the spokesman
for the whole group, his words full of the love of God giving
expression to a faith in Jesus which was correct and beyond
reproach. The Anointed of God, he said. The disciple
had weighed his words carefully and spoke of holy things
complete understanding. He did not say simply that Jesus was
one anointed by God, but rather that he was The Anointed.
For many were called anointed ones because God had anointed
them in various ways, some as kings, some as prophets. Others
like ourselves are called anointed ones because we have
saved by this Anointed One, the Savior of all the world, and
have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Yes, many have received
an anointing, and are therefore called anointed ones, but there
is only One who is the Anointed of God the Father.
When the disciple had made his profession of faith Jesus gave them strict orders to tell this to no one. “The Son
of Man” he said, “must suffer greatly, and be rejected
and killed, and raised up on the third day.”
Yet why was it not rather their duty to preach him everywhere?
Surely this was the task of those who had been consecrated
him as apostles. However, as holy scripture says,“Every
work has its own time.” Preaching Jesus had to follow events
which had not yet taken place, namely, the crucifixion, the
the physical death, and the resurrection from the deadthat
great and truly glorious miracle by which Emmanuel was attested
as true God and by nature the Son of God the Father.
Jesus therefore commanded that the mystery should be honored
by silence for the time being, until God’s saving dispensation
was brought to its proper conclusion. Then, when he had risen
from the dead, he gave orders for it to be revealed to the whole
world, and for all to be offered justification through faith
and purification through holy baptism. “All authority in heaven
and on earth has been given to me, he said. Go, therefore, and
teach all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and
of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and instruct them to observe
all the commandments I have given you. And remember that I am
with you always, till the end of the world.”
Luke’s Gospel 49: Edit. R. M. Tonneau,
CSCO Script. Syri 70, 110-115)
Cyril of Alexandria (d. 444)
succeeded his uncle Theophilus as patriarch in 412. Until 428
the pen of this brilliant theologian was employed in exegesis
and polemics against the Arians; after that date it was devoted
almost entirely to refuting the Nestorian heresy. The teaching
of Nestorius was condemned in 431 by the Council of Ephesus
at which Cyril presided, and Mary’s title, Mother of God, was
solemnly recognized. The incarnation is central to Cyril’s theology.
Only if Christ is consubstantial with the Father and with us
can he save us, for the meeting ground between God and ourselves
is the flesh of Christ. Through our kinship with Christ, the
Word made flesh, we become children of God, and share in the
filial relation of the Son with the Father.