Day 34/50 of Eastertide (Holy Fifty Days) – In His life He might show our new life – St. Augustine

adam_reation_iconic emailThe Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is the new life of believers in Jesus; and this is the mystery of His Passion and Resurrection, which you ought well to know and to carry out in act. For not without a cause did Life come to death. Not without a cause did the Fountain of life, whence we drink in order that we may live, drink His cup which He was not bound to drink. For death was not Christ’s due portion. As to the question whence death has come, let us look to our origin. Sin is death’s parent. Had there been no sin, no one would have died. The first man received God’s law, that is, God’s commandment, on condition, that if he kept it he should live, if he violated it he should die. By not believing that he would die, he did what caused him to die; and found that to have been true which the Giver of the law had affirmed. Thence came death, thence man became mortal, thence came labour, thence misery, thence the second death after the first, that is, after temporal death, death everlasting. This tradition of death, this law of destruction, binds every man who is born, except that one Man who became Man that man should not perish.

For He came bound by no law of death; therefore He is called in the Psalm, “Free among the dead;” whom in all purity a Virgin conceived; whom she as a Virgin bore, and remained a Virgin; who lived without sin, who did not die because of sin; sharing in our penalty, not in our offence. Death is the penalty of offence; our Lord Jesus Christ came to die, did not come to sin; by sharing in our penalty without our offence, He annulled both our offence and penalty. What penalty? That which was due to us after this life. So He was crucified, that on the Cross He might show the dying-out of our old man; and He rose, that in His own life He might show our new life.

[St. Augustine of Hippo, Sermon CCXXXI] 

Day 33/50 of Eastertide (Holy Fifty Days) – Fear of His Judgement – St. Cyril of Alexandria

“Verily verily I say unto you, the hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the Voice of the Son of God; the hour again that is, when they that hear shall live.” (John 5:25)

“By the words then in the beginning, He means the time of the resurrection, wherein He teaches through the word of the Judge that they that sleep shall rise again to answer for their life in the world, that as I said before, devising the fear thence arising as a bridle, He might persuade them to live full excellently and wisely: by the closing words He shews that the due time of believing is now come, but also says that everlasting life will be the reward of obedience: all but declaring, Ye shall all come to judgement, sirs, that is at the time of the Resurrection, but if it seem bitter to you to be punished, and to undergo endless penalties at the hand of the offended Judge, suffer not the time of obedience to pass by, but laying hold of it while yet present, haste ye to attain to everlasting life.”

[St. Cyril the Pillar of Faith, Commentary on the Gospel of St. John] 

Day 32/50 of Eastertide (Holy Fifty Days) – Ⲧⲉⲛⲛⲁⲩ Ⲉ̀Ⲧ̀̀ⲁ̀ⲛⲁⲥⲧⲁⲥⲏⲥ – The Hymn of the Resurrection – Coptic Orthodox Hymns

 

+ We look at the Resurrection of Christ and we worship the holy Jesus Christ our Lord, who alone is without sin. We bow down to Your Cross O Christ, and we praise and glorify Your Resurrection. For You are our God, and we know none but You, and after Your name we are called. Glory be to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

+ Come all you believers let us bow down to the Resurrection of Christ. For behold through His Cross, joy has entered into the whole world. Let us bless the Lord continually, and glorify His Resurrection. For He was patient and destroyed death by His Death. Now and forever and unto the age of all ages, Amen.

+ All joy befits you O Theotokos. For through you Adam returned to Paradise. And Eve gained grace to replace her sadness. Through you she gained freedom once more, as well as eternal salvation. And we too let us glorify you, as a treasure of the Resurrection. “Hail to the sealed treasure through which we were given life. Hail to her who gave birth to Christ our God, who gave us life through His Resurrection.” Blessed are You O Lord, teach me Your justice.

+ The angelic hosts were amazed when they saw You counted among the dead. Yet You destroyed the power of death O Savior. You raised Adam with You and freed him from Hades. Blessed are You O Lord, teach me Your justice.

+ Why did you mix fragrant oil weeping and mourning with each other, O followers of the Lord? The luminous angel said to the women carrying the spices, “Look and be aware that the Savior has risen from the dead.” Blessed are You O Lord, teach me Your justice.

+ The women rushed very early to Your tomb, carrying fragrant oil while crying. But the angel stood before them saying, “The time of weeping is over, do not weep, but preach the Resurrection to the Apostles.” Blessed are You O Lord, teach me Your justice.

+ The women came to Your tomb carrying fragrant oil and incense O Savior. They heard the angel say to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead.” And He being God has risen from the tomb. Glory be to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

+ We worship the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, one in essence. And we proclaim with the Cherubim saying, “Holy, holy, holy are You O Lord.” Now and forever and unto the age of all ages, Amen. [Three Times]

+ You gave birth O Virgin to the Giver of life, and you saved Adam from sin. You gave joy to Eve instead of sorrow, and gave us life and salvation from corruption and alteration. You became our intercessor before God our Savior, who was incarnate of you.

http://tasbeha.org/hymn_library/view/104?mid=10790

(Hymn prayed by Cantor Ibrahim Ayad)

[Tennav, Hymn for the Resurrection, Midnight Praises, Coptic Orthodox Church]

Day 31/50 of Eastertide (Holy Fifty Days) – Let’s hope in His promise of resurrection – St. Clement of Rome

Consider, beloved, how the Lord keeps reminding us of the resurrection that is to come, of which he has made the Lord Jesus Christ the first fruits by raising him from the dead.

Let us look, beloved, at the resurrection that occurs at its appointed time. Day and night show us a resurrection; the night lies in sleep, day rises again; the day departs, night takes its place. Let us think about the harvest; how does the sowing take place, and in what manner? The sower goes out and casts each seed onto the ground. Dry and bare, they fall into the earth and decay. Then the greatness of the Lord’s providence raises them up again from decay, and out of one many are produced and yield fruit.

In this hope, then, let our hearts be bound fast to him who is faithful in his promises and just in his judgments. He forbade us to tell lies; still less will he himself tell a lie. Nothing is impossible for God except to tell a lie. Then let our faith in him be awakened; let us reflect that everything is close to him.

By the word of his power he established all things, and by his word he can reduce them to ruin. Who shall say to him: What have you done? Who shall stand up against the power of his might? He will accomplish everything when he wills and as he wills, and nothing that he has decreed shall pass away. All things stand in his presence, and nothing lies hidden from his counsel, if the heavens tell forth the glory of God, the firmament reveals the work of his hands, day speaks to day, and night shares knowledge with night; there are no words, no speeches, and their voices are not heard.

Since all things lie open to his eyes and ears, let us hold him in awe and rid ourselves of impure desires to do works of evil, so that we may be protected by his mercy from the judgement that is to come. Which of us can escape his mighty hand? What world will give asylum to one who deserts him? Where will I go, where will I hide from your face? If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go to the limits of the earth, your right hand is there; if I lie down in the deep, your spirit is there. Where, then, can one go, where can one escape to, from the presence of him whose hands embrace the universe?

Let us then approach him in holiness of soul, raising up to him hands pure and undefiled, out of love for our good and merciful Father who made us a chosen portion for himself.

[St. Clement of Rome, First Letter to the Corinthians] 

Day 23/50 of Eastertide (Holy Fifty Days) – Resurrection of the members of the body – St. Irenaeus of Lyons

The Lord himself became the first-fruits of the resurrection of mankind, and when its time of punishment for disobedience is over, the rest of the body, to which the whole human race belongs, will rise from the grave as the head has done. By God’s aid it will grow and be strengthened in all its joints and ligaments, each member having its own proper place in the body. There are many rooms in the Father’s house because the body has many members.

God bore with man patiently when he fell because he foresaw the victory that would be his through the Word. Weakness allowed strength its full play, and so revealed God’s kindness and great power.

[St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies] 

Day 22/50 of Eastertide (Holy Fifty Days) – What the saints receive, they pass on without changing; doctrine and tradition- St. Athanasius the Apostolic

 

Oh! My brethren, how shall we admire the loving-kindness of the Saviour? With what power, and with what a trumpet should a man cry out, exalting these His benefits! That not only should we bear His image, but should receive from Him an example and pattern of heavenly conversation; that as He has begun, we should go on, that suffering, we should not threaten, being reviled, we should not revile again, but should bless them that curse, and in everything commit ourselves to God who judges righteously.

For those who are thus disposed, and fashion themselves according to the Gospel, will be partakers of Christ, and imitators of apostolic conversation, on account of which they shall be deemed worthy of that praise from him, with which he praised the Corinthians, when he said, ‘I praise you that in everything you are mindful of me 1 Corinthians 11:2.’ Afterwards, because there were men who used his words, but chose to hear them as suited their lusts, and dared to pervert them, as the followers of Hymenæus and Alexander, and before them the Sadducees, who as he said, ‘having made shipwreck of faith,’ scoffed at the mystery of the resurrection, he immediately proceeded to say, ‘And as I have delivered to you traditions, hold them fast.’ That means, indeed, that we should think not otherwise than as the teacher has delivered.

For not only in outward form did those wicked men dissemble, putting on as the Lord says sheep’s clothing, and appearing like whited sepulchres; but they took those divine words in their mouth, while they inwardly cherished evil intentions. And the first to put on this appearance was the serpent, the inventor of wickedness from the beginning — the devil — who, in disguise, conversed with Eve, and immediately deceived her. But after him and with him are all inventors of unlawful heresies, who indeed refer to the Scriptures, but do not hold such opinions as the saints have handed down, and receiving them as the traditions of men, err, because they do not rightly know them nor their Matthew 22:29 power.

Therefore Paul justly praises the Corinthians 1 Corinthians 11:2, because their opinions were in accordance with his traditions. And the Lord most righteously reproved the Jews, saying, ‘Wherefore do you also transgress the commandments of God on account of your traditions Matthew 15:3.’ For they changed the commandments they received from God after their own understanding, preferring to observe the traditions of men. And about these, a little after, the blessed Paul again gave directions to the Galatians who were in danger thereof, writing to them, ‘If any man preach to you anything else than that you have received, let him be accursed Galatians 1:9.’

For there is no fellowship whatever between the words of the saints and the fancies of human invention; for the saints are the ministers of the truth, preaching the kingdom of heaven, but those who are borne in the opposite direction have nothing better than to eat, and think their end is that they shall cease to be, and they say, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die Isaiah 22:13.’ Therefore blessed Luke reproves the inventions of men, and hands down the narrations of the saints, saying in the beginning of the Gospel, ‘Since many have presumed to write narrations of those events of which we are assured, as those who from the beginning were witnesses and ministers of the Word have delivered to us; it has seemed good to me also, who have adhered to them all from the first, to write correctly in order to you, O excellent Theophilus, that you may know the truth concerning the things in which you have been instructed Luke 1:1.’

For as each of the saints has received, that they impart without alteration, for the confirmation of the doctrine of the mysteries. Of these the (divine) word would have us disciples, and these should of right be our teachers, and to them only is it necessary to give heed, for of them only is ‘the word faithful and worthy of all acceptation 1 Timothy 1:15;’ these not being disciples because they heard from others, but being eye-witnesses and ministers of the Word, that which they had heard from Him have they handed down.

[St. Athanasius the Great, Festal Letter II, 330 AD] 

Day 21/50 of Eastertide (Holy Fifty Days) – Resurrection and the mystery of repentance – Fr. Tadros Yacoub Malaty

Who would be able to understand the events of that unique day, but those who experience the token of resurrection? The heavenly hosts who revere You, stood by in wonder as they witnessed.

The Holy Word of God girded and bent down to wash the feet of the sinful humanity. Your Resurrection revealed the mystery of what You have done, for we will never be washed from our sins, except with the hands of the Savior who is raised from the dead.

Through His Resurrection we understand the mystery of true repentance: Coming back to You that You may wash our hearts, our thoughts and all what is within us. This is a second baptism – Let us put in practice our sonship to God and wash each other’s feet in the spirit of love and humility that You have granted us by dwelling in us.

You offered to us Your crucified body that is raised from the dead, and Your life – giving offered blood instead of the sacrificed animals, which is unable to sanctify the depth of the soul. Your Resurrection distinguished Your offering from all other offerings, for You are the offering and the Heavenly Priest who is offering it. We partake of It by Your mysterious hand that we may rise with You and make us sit with You in the heavens.

In that day, You gave us a new understanding of worship through Your Resurrection; that is: our union with You, so that we may live the risen life; the token of the heavenly.

[Fr. Tadros Yacoub Malaty, The Resurrection of Christ the Lord]