A short “Addendum” to my blog on angels:
I noticed today that the OCA gospel reading for this Sunday of the synaxis was Luke 10:16-21, rather than the story of Jesus raising Jairus’ daughter, the reading for the Antiochians. Certainly this is an interesting reading to put alongside Hebrews 2, and on a day when we remember the authority of the archangels, as well as the incomparably great authority of the Son of Man:
16 “He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”
18 And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you.
20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
21 In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.
(Luke 10:16-21 RSV)
In fact, the very same themes emerge as when the Antiochians read Hebrews 2 alongside the story of the little girl being raised. In Luke 10, we see the great power of Jesus, who was able to behold (indeed, to bring about!) the casting down of the “turned” angel, Satan, from heaven. Notice that because of his victory two things happen: He is able to give authority to his apostles and the seventy to speak and act for him; he is able to reach those who are “babes” showing them hidden mysteries. Because the greatest one made himself humble, there is a great revolution, so that humanity is raised (at least potentially, in Christ), even higher than the angels—certainly higher than the fallen “bodiless powers.” Those who are weak are made wise, those who are made of clay are made superior to “the spirits” and “the power of the enemy.” No longer is it simply that they have been created by God, but their names are written in heaven. And if our names are there, so too will our praises be directed, as we join with the celestial Synaxis!