I Too Will Cry the Power of This Day

From Oration 38, On the Theophany, or Birthday of Christ (381)

Clap your hands, all peoples (Ps. 47:1). A child was born for us and a son given to us.  And sovereignty will be on his shoulder, for with the cross it is raised up. His name will be called “Messenger of Great Counsel of the Father” (Isa. 9:6.)  Let John cry out, “Prepare the way of the Lord” (Matt 3:3). I too will cry out the power of this day. The one who is without flesh became flesh. The word takes on the density of matter. The one who is invisible is seen. The one who cannot be touched is palpable. The one outside time enters time. The son of God becomes the son of man, Jesus.

St. Gregory Nazianzus (329-390) was among the most influential theologians and orators of the early church, and is ranked among the four great doctors of the Eastern Church. An uncompromising champion of the Nicene Faith, he went to Constantinople in 379, aiming to reconvert the city to orthodoxy, and was made its archbishop. He led the Second Ecumenical Council in 381, which affirmed the full divinity of the Holy Spirit. Oration 38 was the first in a series of three, called the Epiphany Homilies, which he preached in the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople. Scholars describe them as his most complete treatment of Christian theology and spirituality.  Gregory is commemorated on January 2 by most Anglican churches and the Roman Catholic Church, and on January 25 by the Orthodox churches.  


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