Lent III 2022
Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the Word of God, and keep it.
St. Luke xi.
It is rather reassuring to know that the cynicism that characterizes the post-modern and post-Christian world is not new. If we have been attentive this morning, we will have found no small dose of it in the Pharisees who are murmuring against Jesus. Jesus had cast a demon out of a dumb (or mute) man, and the man spake. (St. Luke xi. 14) He had no sooner done this, than they who witnessed the immediate and extraordinary transformation claimed that Jesus had cast out the devil through Beelzebub the chief of the devils. (Idem, 16) In the ancient world, men believed that when any man had a physical handicap he was demonically possessed, and so when he was cured, men concluded that a devil had been cast out. In our own age, demonic possession and demons seem to be out of favor-mostly because postmodern psychiatry that has transcended good and evil believes that truth is relative. Postmodern man believes that truth is not objective, but subjective. So, in the end, if there is no difference between right and wrong, good and evil, then there really can be no talk of God and the chief of the Devils, Lucifer.
The theory that truth is relative is the bastard child of cynicism, and cynicism is the misbegotten child of Stoicism. The Stoic believes that reality is what it is, and that man must be responsible for himself in the pursuit of the Universal Good. None of the tension, struggle, and warfare involved in the conflict of other men must interrupt the Stoic’s philosophical journey. Cynicism emerges out of it because the Cynic sees the Stoic and most other men as selfish. Thus, the Cynic remedies the error by seeking to come to be one with Nature through the self. The Cynic is intent upon a subjective possession of truth for himself. The next step into relativism is not so difficult since man seems to become the measure of all things, of what is good, when, why, and how. The Cynic takes his stand defiantly only against traditional religion and philosophy but also against the state, with its laws and customs. Truth, to a great extent, can be found only subjectively. And so long before they ever get around to meeting God in Himself, they have fashioned another god in their own image -one who might even aid and abet the willful rejection of civilization and the sacrifices it entails for any common good. I am sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease (Zech. i. 15), the Lord tells Zechariah in this morning’s Old Testament lesson. And the problem is that most people use God or gods to promote and ensure their own spiritual comfort. They justify their ways of life, think themselves good enough. They think that their faith or knowledge is good for them, and if they are confronted with the truth that their lives are just as relativistic as their neighbors, they will probably say that you are possessed by an unclean spirit. This temptation is as old as ancient Cynicism.
But we, as Christians, can choose to make one of three responses to that temptation to think that truth is relative or that we are the best judges of what is good or evil and right or wrong. Like the ancient conservative Pharisees, who are much like the Cynics, we can refuse to allow the truth to challenge our carefully formulated and jealously guarded religious prerogatives. The Pharisees think that they have God in full, and that their role is to minister the God they have to others. Thus, when they encounter Jesus, they perceive that an interloper and intruder is poaching upon their territory and supplanting their authority. They say that Jesus casts out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils. (St. Luke xi. 15) In other words, they are moved first through pride and arrogance of their position and station as religious leaders. Truth is relative for them, since it depends upon their philosophy. If we identify with them, we begin and end with ourselves, and thus defiantly refuse to identify with the dumb and deaf man in today’s Gospel, or with the need that we all have for the healing and transformation of our lives by God.
Second, we can identify with those for whom the miracle which Jesus performed today was not enough, and so cry out for another. And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. (St. Luke xi. 16) With this group, we can choose to become selfishly intent upon the constant consolation that ongoing miracles bring. So, like the Cynics, we require more spectacular miracles -perhaps like those whose faith fails when the external and visible signs of religion do not perfectly meet our childish appetites. Our religion is then natural or rooted in Nature’s soothing touch upon our emotions and feelings. If spiritual life with Jesus does not always involve Transfiguration Moments, or natural and bodily catharsis, as what is always beautiful, true, and good, then we tend to lose faith, hope, and love. This posture is as selfish as the Pharisees, but here the selfishness is less a matter of power and control, and more an instance of the refusal to admit and accept that suffering and pain are part and parcel of the process of sanctification. Truth is relative to this group also, for its validity and authenticity depend upon an ongoing repetition of ongoing highs, appetitive and emotional surges of temporary happiness and thrills. Signs and wonders are demanded constantly in order to prove and authenticate God’s real presence.
Or, third, we can become like the dumb and deaf man in today’s Gospel. Jesus clearly believes that the model for our humanity is found in this man, but only as a starting point on the road that opens to healing and salvation. Like the Syro-Phoenician woman in last week’s Gospel, the man whom Jesus heals in today’s is one who is truly in need not only of a one-off transfiguration moment of healing, but of that process of redemption that lasts as long as a lifetime. Far from thinking that truth is a personal prerogative or feeling-based, here we find a spiritual disposition of helplessness that reaches out to a healing that tries and tests all spirits and ideas that confront and challenge the human predicament.
So, with this third kind of person, we learn from Jesus that the Devil believes that truth is relative. Every kingdom divided against itself, he says, is brought to desolation. And a house divided against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? (St. Luke xi. 17, 18) Satan does not unite but divides a man from truth, from truth’s healing of the self, and of truth’s healing of all others. Satan has one end to divide men from God, within himself, and from others. The Devil believes that relativism is the truth. Satan loves relativism’s delusion of self-sufficiency.
Jesus has been accused of healing a man whose life is separated from the civilized world. He cannot speak, and so is prevented from being connected with any kind of order -spiritual or secular. The man cannot speak and is thus alienated from the world of language and words. The devil delights in this, and if he had healed this man, he would have brought about what he hates -he would have connected this man to a deeper form of healing and goodness through language. Jesus insists that the Devil did not heal this man, for then he would have been at odds with himself.
Jesus says this morning that if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. (St. Luke xi. 20) True healing then comes to a man who knows and admits his own powerlessness and then opens to what alone will carry and unite him to his fellow men and God through the language of salvation. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. (St. Luke xi. 21, 22) Pharisees, Relativists, and Miracle-Seekers all stubbornly and dogmatically clutch on to a knowledge that they think will save them. But when some unforeseen pain of body or soul, misfortune, loss or tragedy assaults them, they fall apart and into chaos, divided, as the Devil would have it. The armour wherein they trusted- self-assured knowledge, good works, and even the miracles are taken away. Jesus suggests that this is a good thing. Perhaps the mute man is a model of our condition. Jesus desires to cast out the devils from the human soul. He allows pain and misfortune to visit a man in order that our illusions, fantasies, and lies in which we have trusted may be revealed as impotent. Our relative happiness must be deprived of all force and meaning. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. (St. Luke xi. 24-26) Delusional despair can lead right back to the pursuit of relative and impermanent gods if we do not consider the condition of the mute man.
This morning the Word of God, Jesus Christ, puts His finger on our problem, and desires to cast away our demons. Our demons are any person, place, or thing that resists the Lord’s absolute power to heal us. They can be cast off, but they might return until one stronger than the strong man not only delivers us from them, but overcomes them with His virtue and goodness. Blessed is the womb that bare thee and the paps which thou hast sucked (St. Luke xi. 27) cries a woman who witnesses today’s miracle. Jesus responds, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it. (St. Luke xi. 28) The true miracle we must seek today is that, with St. Paul, we realize that we were sometimes darkness, but now…are light in the Lord. (Eph. V. 8) True healing comes to us from God, who begins to heal us and participate in it. Truth is not relative but Absolute. So, with the dumb mute of today’s Gospel, let us be determined to hear the Word of God and keep it because we can speak the truth that has set us free and walk as children of the light (Idem) so that all other men may realize that the Kingdom of God has come upon us. (Ibid, 20)
Lent II 2022
He is no unkind physician who opens the swelling, who cuts,
who cauterizes the corrupted part. He gives pain, it is true, but
he only gives pain, that he might bring the patient on to health. He
gives pain, but if he did not, he would do no good.
(St. Augustine: Sermon xxvii)
Last week we examined the temptations that Jesus withstood for us to draw us deeper into His love for God our Heavenly Father. And I pray that we came away with a real sense of His desire to serve God alone and to fulfill His will for us. This week we shall come to see and grasp the nature of sin and our powerlessness over it; and, because of this, I pray that we shall come to learn that all sin whether subtle or direct threatens to control us. Lastly, I pray that we shall find deliverance from sin through persistent and humble submission to the Lord’s judgment of our condition and His provision of cure. I pray also that we might be willing to submit ourselves to Jesus’ potent and stinging medicine so that we might be healed fully.
This morning, we read in the Gospel that Our Lord Jesus Christ comes to the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.(St. Matthew 15. 21) He comes to the borders of the pagan Gentile world. Jesus never went into non-Jewish territory. Rather, He visits the periphery and hopes to draw Gentiles into the land of Promise and Salvation. Jesus’ motives should fascinate us. Jesus intends that all men should be saved. He must offer salvation to God’s chosen people first. Yet, isn’t it interesting that more often than not He finds Himself drawn to the borders of heathen nations. Today, He had just finished a discourse to His own people about how sin originates in man’s heart and soul. He said, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. (St. Matthew xv. 8) What Jesus experienced from his own people was the outward shell of meticulous religious observance of the Law but hearts that were not devoted to the Spirit of the Law.
So, the Spirit draws Jesus to the borders of Canaan. He will find the need for what He brings into the world from foreigners, aliens, and outcasts. A Syro-Phoenician woman, a Greek inhabitant of Canaan will approach Jesus. From a distance, she had learned that the Jews had brought those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatics to Jesus for healing. (St. Matthew 4. 24) She had heard that Jesus’ cures were instantaneous. His cure was efficacious, and she was determined to have it also. Jesus was coming, and she wasted no time. We read that she cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. (St. Matthew 15. 22) She comes from afar not for herself but for her daughter who is further away. She bears the burden of her daughter’s illness in her heart. Her daughter’s misery is her misery. She will learn that Jesus’ misery is our misery. She cries out for His mercy, but we read that He answered her not a word. (Ibid, 23) Jesus is silent. St. John Chrysostom writes: The Word has no word; the fountain is sealed; the physician withholds His remedies. (Homily LII: Vol X, NPNF:I)
Jesus, however, will elicit more from her to teach us about true faith –the faith that storms the gates of Heaven until Jesus responds.
We learn that the Apostles cannot see what Jesus is doing. While they have been with Him for some time and have witnessed what He can do, they prefer to hoard Him selfishly, so that seeing, they see, and do not perceive. (St. Mark 4. 12) Like many Christians, they settle for the observing more of what Jesus can do than what all men need. Send her away, for she crieth after us. (St. Matthew 15, 23) The woman is ruining their spiritual friendship with Jesus. They want only to be rid of this pestiferous annoyance. Theirs is that heartless granting of a request, whereof most of us are conscious; when it is granted out of no love to the suppliant, but to leave undisturbed his selfish ease from whom at length it is exhorted. (Trench: Gospel) They are selfishly annoyed. Jesus is not. He will engage the woman, for He knows that in her heart there is a faith that persists in finding the cure that God alone can give.
Jesus is teasing the woman. His first response to the woman is I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (St. Matthew 15. 24) In St. Mark’s Gospel, He says, Let the children first be filled. (St. Mark 7. 27) In both, He means that His mission is first to the Jews because they should be the Children of Promise. Jesus, the Great Physician begins to open this heathen woman’s spiritual swelling. The Apostles are silent. She is neither daunted, disheartened, nor disturbed. She needs more from Jesus than the Apostles, for now. As audacious and brazen as it would have seemed to these Jews, she moves closer to Jesus. The more acute the disease, more urgent is the need for the physician’s immediate attention. Then came she and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, help me. (St. Matthew 15.25) She will insist that Jesus is her Lord and she will submit to His rule. From His heart, Jesus is already healing her. As Calvin writes, We see then that the design of Christ’s silence was not to extinguish the woman’s faith, but rather to whet her zeal and inflame her ardor. (Calvin’s Comm’s. xvii) Jesus is amazed. She is courageous, determined, and true to herself.
Jesus is first silent and then discouraging. Now, He rubs salt into her wound. Jesus says: It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. (St. Matthew 15. 26) He calls her a dog! He takes the ancient Jews’ prejudice of the Gentiles and hurls it at her. Yet, if we look more closely, Jesus is trying to tease out of this woman not only faith but humility. Is he mocking this woman or the Jews? He knows that this woman, no matter what her race or cultural origin, might actually possess a faith that will put His faithful Jewish followers to shame.
This Gentile outcast is on a journey after and for Jesus. She is going up to Jerusalem with Him in heart and mind. She needs Him completely. She hangs upon every His every word and refuses to let Him out of her grip. She will follow Him come what may. She believes Jesus is God’s own Son. She responds with, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. (St. Matthew 15. 27) She needs Jesus’ severe mercy and hard love. She may be a dog and not a lost sheep. But she knows herself to be dog who needs the Master’s attention. Jesus can become hers. I am a stray dog who, when found, will sit at my master’s feet. A dog belongs to its master. I sit at his feet but will not be cast out -under but not forsaken. I belong to thee, O Lord. So she says, Let me be a dog. If you are the master, I shall eat of the crumbs that fall from the table that you have prepared for your chosen people. The crumbs shall be more than sufficient for my daughter’s healing. As St. Augustine says, It is but a moderate and a small blessing I desire; I do not press to the table, I only seek for the crumbs. (Serm. xxvii, vol. vi. NPNF) My daughter is sick, and if I am a dog, let me at least eat the crumbs and morsels of mercy that fall from your table. I believe that ‘thou hast the words of eternal life.’ (St. John 6. 68) Lord, evermore give [me] this bread. (St. John 6. 34)
With her words, this woman storms the gates of Heaven and conquers its Lord. Jesus says, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. (St. Matthew 15. 28) Jesus cauterizes her wound, and her faith ensures that her daughter is healed. In the end, it is her faith that secures the healing she seeks. Faith in Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God and the Power of God, is what always obtains Jesus’ healing for our sin-sick souls. This woman’s faith did not demand that Jesus come down in person to heal her daughter. This woman’s faith knew that the Word could easily retrace the distance she traveled to find her daughter. In faith, she believed that Jesus need speak the word only and [her daughter] would be healed. (St. Matthew viii. 8) St. Mark writes that when the woman was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed. (St. Mark 7. 30)
With our opening St. Augustine reminds us that [Christ] the Good Physician gives pain, it is true, but He only gives pain, that He might bring the patient on to health. He
gives pain, but if He did not, H would do no good. (Idem) So, we must be willing to endure the pain of hearing the hard truth we learn about ourselves from Jesus. He comes to diagnose our condition and provide the cure. He intends to empty us of any pride that our faith might persist in finding His loving cure. Matthew Henry warns us that there is nothing got by contradicting any word of Christ, though it bear ever so hard upon us. But this poor woman, since she cannot object against it, resolves to make the best of it. ‘Truth, Lord, yet the dogs eat of the crumbs…. (Comm. Matt. xv.)
With the example of the Syrophoenician’s faith and humility let us confess that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves. (Collect, Lent II) Let us beg deliverance from all evil thoughts that may assault and hurt the soul. (Idem) With her, let us abandon the lust of concupiscence in Gentiles who know not God. (1 Thes. i. 3) Jesus longs to find a faith that will not cease until it finds His cure. Let us all admit that we are dogs. He calls us out as dogs because God call us not to uncleanness, but unto holiness. (Idem) Jesus is always overcome by the faith of dogs who fulfilled with His crumbs can conquer demons and heal human hearts. Jesus may resist us at times, but only to tease out that faith that will have Him, and Him alone as Master.
Lent I 2022
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities;
but was in all points tempted like as we are, yetwithout sin.
(Hebrews iv. 15)
Monsignor Ronald Knox reminds us that the whole story of the Temptation is misconceived if we do not recognize that it was an attempt made by Satan to find out whether our Lord was the Son of God or not. (The Epistles and Gospels, p. 89) Perhaps this is our question too. To be sure Satan tempts Jesus, but we tempt Jesus also. We want to know if He is the Son of God. We want evidence and proof that provide certain facts; we want confirmation. And today on the First Sunday of Lent we are given good evidence that He is, at least, moving towards revealing this truth to us. After all, proofs aren’t bad things; and in this case, we can thank Satan for confronting Jesus and providing Him with the opportunity to reveal to us how He overcomes temptation.
We begin with our Gospel lesson for today, remembering that we have accepted Jesus’ invitation to go up to Jerusalem. Presumably, then, we are going up not merely to be recognized as devout pilgrims, but to find out for ourselves just who this Jesus of Nazareth is. We read that Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. (St. Matthew iv. 1,2) St. Matthew records that this happened just after Jesus was baptized by St. John Baptist in the River Jordan,
when the heavens were opened…and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (St. Matthew iii. 16,17)
Jesus had been doubly blessed by the Father and the Holy Ghost. He had fasted for forty days in order to prayerfully embrace this blessing. But as the Son of God made flesh, He was hungry. Jesus is famished and there is nothing in the desert but stones. So, Satan says to Him, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. (St. Matthew iv. 3) Jesus knows that God sent Him not to destroy human nature but to redeem it. The temptation is fleshly and involves lust and gluttony. Jesus is the Son of God in the flesh is famished. He cannot put His earthly hunger before His spiritual mission. Monsignor Knox reminds us that Jesus remembers Moses and flat stones in the wilderness waiting to receive the new law…for that, men’s souls are hungering. (R. Knox: Sermon, ‘The Temptations of Christ) They reveal to man his duty to God as His Maker and Redeemer. Because the Son of Man is first the Son of God, He will hunger and thirst for [God’s] righteousness. (St. Matthew v. 6) The Son of God was made man so that man might become a son of God once again. Jesus will teach, Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, that….all [other]….things may be added unto you. (St. Matthew vi. 33) Jesus remembers who He is truly and that He has meat to eat that Satan does not know of. His meat is to do the will of Him that sent…. Him. (St. John iv. 32,34) In a world without God, there is only food and drink, sex, and material pleasure. But Jesus knows that Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (St. Matthew iv. 4) St. Paul, in today’s Epistle, reminds us that only with patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, and in fastings (2 Cor. vi. 4) in the flesh, can we share in the sufferings of the Son of God for our salvation.
Jesus’ physical hunger is overcome by His spiritual longing to eat and digest the bread of God’s will. Satan will not be deterred. He will tempt Jesus with pride, envy, and wrath. Fasting in the body often brings anger in the soul. This soon brings envy of God’s pure and simple blessedness. Then comes the pride that tempts the Son of God to leave the body altogether and to fast-track salvation by proving His almighty power. He has denied the good of the body, Satan thinks, so let Jesus dispense with his body entirely, cleaving as he does to this ‘Word’ of God. He trusts in God, then let Him deliver Him now, if he will have Him: for he said, I am the Son of God. (St. Matthew xxvii. 43)Then the devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto Him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou thy foot against a stone. (St. Matthew iv. 5,6) Satan tempts Jesus to prove that He is the Son of God by calling angels to save Him from sure and certain death. Jesus has put the good of His soul over that of His body. If you cannot perform a miracle with regard to the body’s hunger, prove your unbreakable unity with God through the mind or the soul, Satan suggests. Cast yourself down; surely God will not let one perish who places the good of his soul above that of his body. Jesus, however, knows that this is no way for the Son of God to redeem and save all men. Man’s soul is in a body. God doesn’t intend for the Son of God to save us by performing dazzling magic and miracles on Himself to provoke our faith in Him. The Son of God must save us by perfecting faith and reason. That He is the Son of God will require much more than a selfish, rash, and defiant cry to God to save Him after he has irrationally subjected Himself to danger. Jesus knows that as the Son of God He must use His soul in His body to save us selflessly and innocently.
Jesus is the Son of God by that inner determination to cleave to His Father’s will and to reveal His way. Jesus the Son of God came down from Heaven to redeem the whole of human nature. The Son of God can feed the multitudes with a few loaves and fishes later and will perform miracles on others soon enough. Fulton Sheen reminds us that the Son of God had no need to become a Communist Commissar who provides only bread…. He says too that the Son of God would not prove Himself by avoiding His Cross by commanding faith in miraculous powers that would provoke God to contradict reason…and to exempt the Son of God from obedience to natural laws which were the laws of God. (F. Sheen: The Life of Christ, p. 67) Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. (St. Matthew iv. 7)
We come to the final temptation. Satan thinks that only one temptation remains. Surely if He is the Son of God as flesh, He can still be tempted by greed and sloth. Jesus has come to save all men, but He wonders if He is held captive and enslaved to His Father’s will as the Son of God? His last temptation, full of the sloth that these temptations have brought, is to covet with greed His Father’s power and to make off with it for His own selfish glory. He is tempted to think that the Son of God is no Son but His own god. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. (St. Matthew iv. 8,9) Satan tempts Jesus to despair of His Father’s Kingdom and to rule over His own kingdom. Perhaps His power to resist the first two temptations gives Him the freedom to embrace the third. Jesus has forsaken everything for God and His kingdom and has been rendered utterly powerless. His sense of impending weakness is weighing so heavily upon Him that He is tempted to give it all up –to do evil that good may come of it. (Idem, Knox, p. 65) Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (St. Matthew iv. 10) The Son of God is God’s only perfect Son. The Son of God is nothing if He does not come from the Father to embrace what His will requires to lead all men to His Kingdom. The Father rules the whole of creation, and He gives meaning to all creation through His Son. As the Father’s Word, the Son of God must create more than an earthly kingdom that satisfies men’s earthly happiness. Then the devil leaveth Him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.(St. Matthew iv. 11)
The Sons of Man are born to become Sons of God. What the Son of God reveals to us is that if we are to become Sons of God, we must go to the Cross with Jesus to die. The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (St. Matthew xx. 28) At the end of our Gospel lesson for today, we read that, Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. (St. Matthew iv. 11) Luther tells us that the angels came down from Heaven to feed Him. This is the proper order and nature of God’s provision. The Son of God is hungering and thirsting for the Father’s righteousness. God the Father rules Christ’s spirit, nourishes His soul, and now cares for His body. It follows that the Son of God has come to serve and redeem us all. The Son of God will go on to win our salvation on the Cross of Calvary. There Satan will attack Him one last time.
In Lent, Jesus the Son of God calls us to His Cross. With Fulton Sheen, the Son of God says:
All I now want of this earth is a place large enough to erect a Cross; there I shall let you unfurl me before the crossroads of your world. I shall let you nail me in the name of the cities of Jerusalem, Athens, and Rome, but I will rise from the dead, and you will discover that you, who seemed to conquer, have been crushed, as I march with victory on the wings of the morning. (Idem)
St. Michael and All Angels Sermons