In Cycle A (1st year of the 3 year cycle) of the Lectionary readings for Mass, we encounter Jesus at the beginning of his public ministry. We then proceed to portions of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6, 7) and the “greater righteousness” to which we are called now that Jesus gives us the life of the Spirit.
With the First Sunday of Advent we begin a new Lectionary year, Cycle A of our 3 year Lectionary cycle (A-B-C). The Lectionary is the book of Scripture readings used at Mass. The Gospel of Matthew is the Gospel that we hear during this new liturgical year. Make this a part of your regular Bible reading at home!
The winged man is the symbol of St. Matthew the Evangelist. This symbol appears in a vision of the Prophet Ezekiel where four winged creatures represent the four evangelists (Ezekiel 1:10). St. Matthew, represented as a winged man, is also derived from the prophetic visions contained in the verse Revelation 4:7, The first creature resembled a lion, the second was like a calf, the third had a face like that of a human being, and the fourth looked like an eagle in flight. The ox is one of the four living creatures described in the book surrounding the throne of the Almighty and they are chosen as symbols of the four evangelists. Matthew is depicted as a human, Mark as a lion, Luke as an ox, and John as an eagle. To St. Matthew was given the creature in human likeness, because he begins his gospel with an Infancy Narrative which highlights the Incarnation and the human generation of Christ.