Rorate Caeli

He came to save, but he also came to suffer

He came to save, but he also came to suffer. How were both possible? Mere man had no power to save. One who was solely God could not suffer. What happened then? He who was God became man. By what he was, he saved; by what he became, he suffered. ... he both wore the crown of thorns and undid the sentence of the thorns.

For the same one was in the "Father's bosom" and in the Virgin's womb, in his mother's arms and on the "wings of the wind", adored by angels and "dining with tax collectors". The seraphims would not look at him [cf. Is. vi, 2], and Pilate interrogated him. A "servant struck him" and creation trembled. While nailed on the cross, he did not depart from his throne. While shut in the tomb, he was "stretching out the heavens like a curtain". While numbered with the dead, he was plundering Hell.

Below, he was accused as a "deceiver", above he was glorified as the Holy One. What a mystery: beholding his miracles, I extol his divinity; seeing his sufferings, I cannot deny his humanity. As man, Emmanuel opened the gates of human nature; as God, he left the bars of virginity unbroken. ... His entering in was altogether without passion, and his coming out was altogether beyond understanding -- as the Prophet Ezechiel said, "the Lord brought me back to the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary, which looked towards the east: and it was shut. And the Lord said to me: This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall pass through it: because the Lord the God of Israel hath entered in by it, and it shall be shut".

There you have a clear testimony to the Blessed Mary Mother of God. Let all contradiction now cease, and let us be enlightened by the teaching of the Scriptures, so that we may reach the kingdom of heaven in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

Saint Proclus of Constantinople
[First] Homily on the Holy Virgin Mother of God (430)

The Holy Season of Lent is at hand.