cyril_alexandriaIn what manner can man upon earth, clothed as he is with mortality, return to incorruption?

This dying flesh must be made partaker of the life-giving power which comes from God.

But the life-giving power of God the Father is the Only-begotten Word.

And He sent Him to us as a Saviour and Deliverer…: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt in us” (John 1).

[…] He was made in our likeness, and clothed Himself in our flesh, that by raising it from the dead He might prepare a way henceforth, by which the flesh which had been humbled to death might return anew to incorruption.

For we are united to Him just as also we were united to Adam, when he brought upon himself the penalty of death.

And Paul testifies thereunto, thus writing on one occasion, “For because by man is death, by man is also the resurrection of the dead”;

and again upon another, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all live.”

The Word therefore, by having united to Himself that flesh which was subject to death, as being God and Life drove away from it corruption, and made it also to be the source of life: for such must the body of (Him Who is) the Life be.

[…] When you cast a piece of bread into wine or oil, or any other liquid, you find that it becomes charged with the quality of that particular thing.

When iron is brought into contact with fire, it becomes full of its activity; and while it is by nature iron, it exerts the power of fire.

And so the life-giving Word of God, having united Himself to His own flesh in a way known to Himself, endowed it with the power of giving life.

And of this He certifies us Himself, saying, “Verily, I say to you, he that believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life.”

And again  “…Whoever eats My flesh, and drinks My blood, has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He that eats My flesh, and drinks My blood, abides in Me, and I in him.

“…As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father; so He that eats Me shall also live because of Me” (John 6).

When therefore we eat the holy flesh of Christ, the Saviour of us all, and drink His precious blood, we have life in us, being made as it were, one with Him, and abiding in Him, and possessing Him also in us.

Cyril of Alexandria (c. 376-444): Commentary on St Luke’s Gospel, Sermon 142.

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