Cyril of Jerusalem Bishop and Theologian (18 March 836)
Readings for Cyril:
“Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:44-48)
Today we remember Cyril of Jerusalem of the fourth century. Cyril had an on again, off again, bishopric in Jersalem where he was born early in the same century. The issue was his decision to stand by our creed as developed in Nicea, known today as our Nicene Creed. It was the affirmation that Jesus was/is of one substance with God. I often ponder that if we love Jesus and realize there is an undisputable connection between Jesus and God, why are we getting so wrapped around the axle about that when we should be out doing the work that Jesus as set for us to do. We should just live with the mystery.
It is a shame that we have closed our minds to doing the work of feeding the hungry that are right next to us because we are concerned about what other people think about the mystical make-up of Jesus. As the verse says in Luke, we really need Jesus to open our minds to understand the scriptures. Jesus also told them that the people around us need consolation and peace. We are focused on the degree of who Jesus is rather than following his instruction and caring for the lost all around us. These are the ones we should be concerned about. The next verse in Luke has Jesus saying, “and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah* is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” (Luke 24:46 – 48)
I am thankful to Cyril of Jerusalem for his steadfast insistence on our Nicene Creed. It keeps us Trinitarian. That’s looking up to God. God on the other hand, asks us to look to our right and left at those less fortunate than ourselves and to be responsive to their needs. Open our minds again Lord.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people and “Ponder anew what the Almighty can do.” John Thomas Frazier Sr.