Monday, April 21, 2014

The Glorious Resurrection




 

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”

Peter therefore went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb.

So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first.

And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in.

Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there,

and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.

Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed.

For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.

Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.

John 20: 1-10




Hidden first in a womb of flesh, He sanctified human birth by His own birth. Hidden afterward in the womb of the earth, he gave life to the dead by His resurrection. Suffering, pain and sighs have now fled away. For who has known the mind of God, or who has been His counselor if not the word made flesh who was nailed to the cross, who rose from the dead and who was taken up into heaven?

This day brings a message of joy: it is the day of the Lord's resurrection when, with Himself, he raised up the race of Adam. Born for the sake of human beings, He rose from the dead with them. On this day paradise is opened by the risen one, Adam is restored to life and Eve is consoled.

On this day the divine call is heard, the kingdom is prepared, we are saved and Christ is adored. On this day, when he had trampled death under foot, made the tyrant a prisoner and despoiled the underworld, Christ ascended into heaven as a king in victory, as a ruler in glory, as an invincible charioteer.

He said to the Father, "Here am I, O God, with the children you have given me." And he heard the Father's reply, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool." To Him be glory, now and for ever, through endless ages. Amen

Hesychius of Jerusalem 


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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Judas Iscariot





Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve.
So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, 
how he might betray Him to them.
And they were glad, and agreed to give him money.
So he promised and sought opportunity to betray Him to them in the absence of the multitude.

Luke 22:3-6




What was this many-headed serpent's invention? it says, "He entered Judas Iscariot, who was one of the Twelve."

Why did he not rather enter blessed Peter, James, John, or some other of the rest of the apostles? Why Judas Iscariot? What did Satan find in him? Satan could not approach any of those we have mentioned here, because their heart was steadfast and their love to Christ immovable.

There was a place for satan in the traitor. The bitter disease of greed, which the blessed Paul says is the root of all evil, had overpowered him. Satan is crafty in working evil. Whenever he gains possession of anyone's soul, he does not attack him by means of general vice. He rather searches for that particular passion that has power over him and by its means makes him his prey.

St. Cyril of Alexandria


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Friday, April 11, 2014

Salvation Through the Death of Christ




For Christ suffered all this on our account, that we might be saved. 
And he really suffered, as he really raised himself.

St. Ignatius


Human and Divine

I perceived that you are settled in unshakable faith, nailed, as it were, to the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in flesh and spirit.  With firm foundations in love in the blood of Christ, with full conviction, with respect to our Lord that he is genuinely of David's line according to the flesh, son of God according to the divine will and power. 

Really born of a virgin and baptized by John that ‘all righteousness might be fulfilled’ by him. Really nailed up in the flesh for us in the time of Pontius Pilate and the tetrarchy of Herod — from this fruit of the tree, that is from his God-blessed passion, we are derived — that he might ‘raise up a standard’ for all ages through his resurrection, for his saints and faithful people, whether among Jews or Gentiles, in one body of his Church.  

For he suffered all this on our account, that we might be saved. And he really suffered, as he really raised himself. 

Some unbelievers say that he suffered in appearance only. Not so — they themselves are mere apparitions. Their fate will be like their opinions, for they are unsubstantial and phantom-like.

St. Ignatius 
The Early Church Fathers






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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fasting






Do not neglect the Fast; it constitutes an imitation of Christ’s way of life
       
St. Anthony the Great



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