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134

Part One

of the patriarchs,” and acquires

Israelitica dignitas

215

(“the dignity

of Israel’s birthright”).

529

The

presentation of Jesus in the temple

shows him to be the

firstborn Son who belongs to the Lord.

216

With Simeon and Anna,

all Israel awaits its

encounter

with the Savior—the name given to

this event in the Byzantine tradition. Jesus is recognized as the

long-expected Messiah, the “light to the nations” and the “glory of

Israel,” but also “a sign that is spoken against.” The sword of

sorrow predicted for Mary announces Christ’s perfect and unique

oblation on the cross that will impart the salvation God had “pre-

pared in the presence of all peoples.”

530

The

flight into Egypt

and the massacre of the innocents

217

make manifest the opposition of darkness to the light: “He came to

his own home, and his own people received him not.”

218

Christ’s

whole life was lived under the sign of persecution. His own share

it with him.

219

Jesus’ departure from Egypt recalls the exodus and

presents him as the definitive liberator of God’s people.

220

The mysteries of Jesus’ hidden life

531

During the greater part of his life Jesus shared the condi-

tion of the vast majority of human beings: a daily life spent without

evident greatness, a life of manual labor. His religious life was that

of a Jew obedient to the law of God,

221

a life in the community.

From this whole period it is revealed to us that Jesus was “obedi-

ent” to his parents and that he “increased in wisdom and in stature,

and in favor with God and man.”

222

532

Jesus’ obedience to his mother and legal father fulfills the

fourth commandment perfectly and was the temporal image of his

filial obedience to his Father in heaven. The everyday obedience of

Jesus to Joseph and Mary both announced and anticipated the

obedience of Holy Thursday: “Not my will. . . .”

223

The obedience

of Christ in the daily routine of his hidden life was already inaugu­

215 St. Leo the Great,

Sermo 3 in epiphania Domini

1-3,5: PL 54, 242;

LH,

Epiphany, OR

; Roman Missal,

Easter Vigil 26, Prayer after the third reading.

216 Cf.

Lk

2:22-39;

Ex

13:2, 12-13.

217 Cf.

Mt

2:13-18.

218

Jn

1:11.

219 Cf.

Jn

15:20.

220 Cf.

Mt

2:15;

Hos

11:1.

221 Cf.

Gal

4:4.

222

Lk

2:51-52.

223

Lk

22:42.

583

439

614

574

2427

2214-2220

612