leo1(Following on from here…)

Let us, then, dearly-beloved, confess what the blessed teacher of the nations, the Apostle Paul, confessed, saying:

“Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”

For God’s mercy towards us is the more wonderful that Christ died not for the righteous nor for the holy, but for the unrighteous and wicked.

And though the nature of the Godhead could not sustain the sting of death, yet at His birth He took from us that which He might offer for us.

For of old He threatened our death with the power of His death, saying by the mouth of Hosea the prophet, “O death, I will be thy death, and I will be thy destruction, O hell.”

For by dying He underwent the laws of hell, but by rising again He broke them, and so destroyed the continuity of death as to make it temporal instead of eternal.

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

And so, dearly-beloved, let that come to pass of which S. Paul speaks, “that they that live, should henceforth not live to themselves but to Him who died for all and rose again.”

And because the old things have passed away and all things are become new, let none remain in his old carnal life, but let us all be renewed by daily progress and growth in piety.

For however much a man be justified, yet so long as he remains in this life, he can always be more approved and better.

And he that is not advancing is going back, and he that is gaining nothing is losing something.

Let us run, then, with the steps of faith, by the works of mercy, in the love of righteousness, that keeping the day of our redemption spiritually, “not in the old leaven of malice and wickedness, but in the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth,” we may deserve to be partakers of Christ’s resurrection.

Leo the Great (c.400-461): Sermon 59, 8.