Homilies on Luke: Fragments on Luke

By Joseph T. Lienhard; Origen | Go to book overview

HOMILY 10 Luke 1.67-76

On the passage from, "Filled with the Holy Spirit, he prophesied," up to the point where it says, "for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways."

FILLED WITH THE Holy Spirit, Zechariah utters two general prophecies: the first about Christ, the second about John. This is clearly shown by his words. He speaks of the Savior as if he were already present and active in the world; then he speaks of John. "Filled with the Holy Spirit, he prophesied and said, 'Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, because he visited his people and worked their redemption.'"1. For, when God visited and willed to redeem his people, "Mary remained for three months"2. with Elizabeth after the angel had spoken to her. By some ineffable power, the Savior, by his presence, instructed not only John, as we said already, but also Zechariah, as the Gospel now declares.

2. Gradually, in the course of three months, Zechariah kept receiving spiritual sustenance from the Holy Spirit. Although he did not realize it, he was being instructed. Then he prophesied about Christ and said, "He brought redemption to his people, and raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of David,"3. because Christ was born "of the seed of David according to the flesh."4. He was truly "a horn of salvation in the house of David,"5. since the following passage reinforces it: "For a vineyard was planted on the horn-shaped ridge."6

____________________
1.
Lk x.68.
2.
Lk 1.56.
3.
Lk 1.69.
4.
Rom 1.3.
5.
Lk 1.69.
6
Is 5.1. Both Greek and Latin permit a pun here, since the word "horn' in either language can mean either an animal's horn or a horn-shaped plot of land, like the ridge of a hill. Origen probably had in mind Jesus' identifying himself as

-40-

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