Saint_Leo_of_RomeContinued from here….

St. Paul…says “even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know Him so no more” (2 Corinthians 5:16).

For the Lord’s Resurrection was not the ending, but the changing of the flesh, and His substance was not destroyed by His increase of power.

The quality altered, but the nature did not cease to exist. The body which it had been possible to crucify was made impassible. It was made incorruptible, though it had been possible to wound it.

And properly is Christ’s flesh said not to be known in that state in which it had been known, because nothing remained passible in it, nothing weak, so that it was both the same in essence and not the same in glory.

But what wonder if S. Paul maintains this about Christ’s body, when he says of all spiritual Christians wherefore henceforth we know no one after the flesh.

Henceforth, he says, we begin to experience the resurrection in Christ, since the time when in Him, Who died for all, all our hopes were guaranteed to us.

We do not hesitate in diffidence, we are not under the suspense of uncertainty, but having received an earnest of the promise, we now with the eye of faith see the things which will be, and rejoicing in the uplifting of our nature, we already possess what we believe.

Let us not then be taken up with the appearances of temporal matters, neither let our contemplations be diverted from heavenly to earthly things.

Things which as yet have for the most part not come to pass must be reckoned as accomplished: and the mind intent on what is permanent must fix its desires there, where what is offered is eternal.

For although “by hope we were saved” (Romans 8:24), and still bear about with us a flesh that is corruptible and mortal, yet we are rightly said not to be in the flesh, if the fleshly affections do not dominate us, and are justified in ceasing to be named after that, the will of which we do not follow.

And so, when the Apostle says “make not provision for the flesh in the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:14), we understand that those things are not forbidden us, which conduce to health and which human weakness demands.

But because we may not satisfy all our desires nor indulge in all that the flesh lusts after, we recognize that we are warned to exercise such self-restraint as not to permit what is excessive nor refuse what is necessary to the flesh, which is placed under the mind’s control.

Leo the Great (c.400-461): Sermon 71, 4-5.

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