Ælfric of Eynsham: Now today that same nature went incorruptible into the kingdom of heaven Wednesday, Jun 8 2016 

All_SS_of_BritainJesus taught the holy lore to his disciples before his passion, and after his resurrection he was continuing among them these forty days, from the holy Eastertide until this present day, and in many ways reproved and tried his disciples, and repeated that which he had before taught, for the perfection of doctrine and right faith.

He ate and drank after his resurrection, not because he then had need of earthly food, but because he would manifest his true body. He ate through power, not for need. As fire consumes drops of water, so did the divine power of Christ consume the received meat.

Verily after the universal resurrection our bodies will require no strengthening of earthly meats, for Jesus will supply all our needs with heavenly things, and we shall be enriched with glory, and mighty to execute whatsoever is pleasing to us, and we shall be full swift to go through all the immensities of the kingdom of God.

He promised to his disciples then and frequently that he would send to them the Holy Ghost, and thus said, “When he comes he will stimulate and direct you to all the things which I have said unto you.”

Then came the Holy Ghost in semblance of fire to the holy company on the eleventh day after Christ’s ascension, and inflamed them all with innoxious fire, and they were filled with heavenly lore, and knew all worldly tongues, and fearlessly preached faith and baptism to the powerful and cruel.

[…] All creatures serve their Creator. When Christ was born, heaven sent forth a new star, which announced the birth of God. Again, when he ascended to heaven, the heavenly cloud bowed down towards him, and received him: not that the cloud bare him, for he holds the throne of heaven, but he passed with the cloud from the sight of men.

There were seen two angels in white garments. In like manner at his birth angels were seen; but the holy gospel has not explained how they were adorned; for God came to us very humble.

At his ascension were seen angels adorned with white garments. Joy is betokened by white garments, for Christ departed hence with great joy and with great majesty. At his birth it seemed as though the Godhead were humbled, and at his ascension humanity was exalted and magnified. With his ascension is annulled the writ of our condemnation, and the sentence of our destruction is abrogated.

When Adam had sinned, the Almighty Ruler said to him, “Thou art earth, and thou shalt to earth return. Thou art dust, and thou shalt return to dust.” Now today that same nature went incorruptible into the kingdom of heaven.

Ælfric of Eynsham (c. 955 – c. 1010): Homily 21 (for the Ascension), trans. Benjamin Thorpe; icon of All Saints of Britain and Ireland.

Ælfric of Eynsham: There came a great light, and an awful sound, and blowing trumpets Sunday, May 15 2016 

All_SS_of_BritainGod commanded Moses in Egypt, that he and all the people of Israel should offer, for every household, a lamb of one year to God, and mark with the blood the sign of the cross on their door-posts and lintels, as on that night God’s angel went and slew in every house of the Egyptian folk the firstborn child and the dearest.

And the people of Israel went on the same night from the nation, and God led them over the Red sea with dry feet.

Pharaoh then hastened after them with a great army. When he came into the middle of the sea, the people of God were gone up, and God then sank Pharaoh and all his host.

God then commanded Moses and the people that they should keep that tide with great reverence in the circuit of every year. The tide was then appointed to the people for Easter-tide, because God had saved them from their foes, and destroyed their persecutors.

Then fifty days after this God appointed a law for the people, and the glory of God was seen on a hill which is called Sinai. There came a great light, and an awful sound, and blowing trumpets. Then God called Moses to him, and he was with God forty days, and wrote down the old law by God’s direction. Then was the day called Pentecost in the Old Testament.

The offered lamb betokened the slaying of Christ, who innocent was offered to his Father for our redemption. Now is his passion and his resurrection our Easter-tide, because he redeemed us from the thraldom of the devil, and our persecutors are sunk by the holy baptism, as Pharaoh was with his people in the Red sea.

These fifty days from the day of Easter are all hallowed to one celebration, and this present day is our Pentecost, that is, the fiftieth day from Easter-day.

On the old Pentecost God appointed a law to the people of Israel, and on this day the Holy Ghost came in semblance of fire to God’s company; for as the lamb betokened the passion of Christ, so also the old law betokened the preaching of the gospel under the grace of God.

There are three periods in this world: one is that which was without law; the second is that which was under the law; the third is now after the advent of Christ. This period is called ‘under God’s grace.’

We are not without law, nor may we hold bodily the law of Moses, but God’s grace directs us to his will, if we be mindful of Christ’s commandments and of the precepts of the apostles.

Ælfric of Eynsham (c. 955 – c. 1010): Homily 22 (for the Holy Day of Pentecost), trans. Benjamin Thorpe; icon of All Saints of Britain and Ireland.

Ælfric of Eynsham: God can do all things; therefore we should wonder at his might, and also believe. Sunday, Apr 17 2016 

All_SS_of_BritainThe evangelist John says that Jesus wrought many other miracles in the sight of his disciples, which have not been recorded in the book of Christ.

These miracles are written to the end that ye may believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that ye may have eternal life through that belief.

Now the pope Gregory, expounding this gospel, says, that everyone wonders how Jesus came in to his apostles, and yet the doors were shut.

But again St. Gregory says, that Christ’s body came in, the doors being closed, which was born of the Virgin Mary, of a closed womb.

What wonder is it, that Jesus with an everlasting body came in, the doors being closed, who with a mortal body was born of the closed womb of the virgin?

We read in the book which is called The Acts of the Apostles that the chief men of the Jewish people brought Christ’s apostles into prison.

Then by night God’s angel came to them, and led them out of the prison, and on the morrow the prison stood fast shut up.

God can do all things: therefore we should wonder at his might, and also believe.

He showed the body to be touched which he had brought in, the doors being closed.

His body was tangible, and, nevertheless, incorruptible; he showed himself tangible and incorruptible, for his body was of the same nature that it before was, but was yet of another glory.

Jesus said to them, “Peace be among you.” For peace Christ came to men, and peace he enjoined and taught, and nothing is to him acceptable which is done without peace.

“As my Father sent me so I send you. The Father loveth the Son, but yet he sendeth him to suffering for the redemption of men.”

Christ also loved his apostles, and yet he established them not as kings, nor as governors, nor in worldly bliss; but he sent them over all the earth, to preach baptism and the faith which he himself had taught.

They preached until the wicked slew them, and they went triumphant to their Lord.

Christ blew on the apostles, and said, “Receive the Holy Ghost.” Twice came the Holy Ghost over the apostles; once now, and again another time at Christ’s ascension.

Christ blew the Holy Ghost over the apostles, while yet continuing on earth, for a token that every Christian man should love his neighbour as himself.

Again, after he had ascended to heaven, he sent the Holy Ghost in semblance of fire over the apostles, to the end that we should love God above all other things.

Ælfric of Eynsham (c. 955 – c. 1010): Homily 15 (for the First Sunday after Easter), trans. Benjamin Thorpe; icon of All Saints of Britain and Ireland.

Ælfric of Eynsham: The resurrection of Jesus is our festival-tide, for by his resurrection he led us to the immortality for which we were created Thursday, Mar 31 2016 

All_SS_of_BritainMy dearest brothers, ye have heard that the holy women, who followed the Lord in life, came with precious ointment to his sepulchre, and him whom they had loved in life they would when dead serve with human devotion.

But this deed betokens something to be done in God’s church. We who believe in the resurrection of Christ come assuredly to his sepulchre with precious ointment, if we are filled with the breath of holy virtues, and if we with the fame of good works seek our Lord.

The women who brought the ointment saw angels; for they see the heavenly angels, who with the breath of good works yearn after the upward journey.

The angel rolled the lid from the tomb; not that he would make way for Christ’s departure, but he would manifest to men that he was risen. He who came mortal to this world, born of the closed womb of the virgin, he, without doubt, might, when he arose immortal, though in a closed tomb, depart from the world.

The angel sat on the right side of the sepulchre. The right hand betokens the eternal life, and the left this present life. Rightly sat the angel on the right hand, for he manifested that Jesus had surmounted the corruptions of this present life, and was then dwelling immortal in eternity.

The messenger was clad in a shining garment, because he announced the happiness of this festival-tide, and our glories. But we ask, ours or the angels? We say verily, both ours and theirs. The resurrection of Jesus is our festival-tide, for by his resurrection he led us to the immortality for which we were created. His resurrection was bliss to the angels, because God fills up their number when he brings us to heaven.

The angel cheered the women, thus saying, “Be ye not afraid:” as if he had said thus, Let those fear who love not the advent of angels; let those be terrified who are beset with fleshly lusts, and have no joy in the host of angels.

[…] He said, “Ye seek Jesus: he is risen: he is not here.” He was not then bodily in the sepulchre, who is everywhere through his divine power. There lay the garment behind in which he had been wrapt, for he recked not of an earthly garment, after he had arisen from death. Though a dead man be wrapt in a garment, that garment does not the sooner rise again with the man, but he will be clad with the heavenly garment after his resurrection.

Ælfric of Eynsham (c. 955 – c. 1010): Homily 15 (for Easter Sunday), trans. Benjamin Thorpe; icon of All Saints of Britain and Ireland.

Ælfric of Eynsham: “The multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David” Sunday, Mar 20 2016 

All_SS_of_BritainMatthew 21:1-11.

Christ did not command them to lead to him a proud steed adorned with golden trappings, but the mean ass he chose to bear him.

For he ever taught humility, and in himself gave the example, and thus said, “Learn of me, who am meek and very humble, and ye shall find rest for your souls.”

[…] Sion is a hill, and it is interpreted, A place of contemplation; and Jerusalem, Sight of peace.

The daughter of Sion is the congregation of believing men, who belong to the heavenly Jerusalem, in which is ever a sight of peace, without any strife, to which Jesus will bring us, if we follow him.

Christ’s disciples laid their garments upon the ass, because he would not ride on a naked ass. Garments betoken works of righteousness, as the prophet said, “Lord, thy priests are clothed with righteousness.”

[…] The people who cast their garments under the feet of the ass, are the martyrs, who for Christ’s faith gave their own bodies to torments.

[…] Those who hewed branches of trees, and with them prepared Christ’s way, are the teachers in God’s church, who cull the sayings of the apostles and their successors, and with them direct God’s people to the faith of Christ, that they may be prepared for his way.

The people who walked before Christ, and those who followed him, all sung “Hail, Son of David.”

Those who walked before Christ, are the patriarchs and prophets, who were before Christ’s incarnation; and those who went after him, are those who inclined to Christ after his birth, and daily incline to him:

and all these sing one hymn; because we and they all hold one faith, as Peter the apostle said, when he spake of the patriarchs, “We believe that we shall be saved by Christ’s grace, as well as they.”

They said, “Son of David,” because Christ is, according to his human nature, of the great race of David. Of that race was the blessed Mary his mother.

They sung, “Blessed is he who is come in the name of God.” Jesus came in the name of God, for the Heavenly Father sent him for our redemption; and in all the miracles which he wrought, he praised and glorified his Father’s name.

“Hail, Son of David, in the highest.” The Saviour’s advent and his passion were salutary both to men and angels; because we increase their host which the fallen devil had diminished; concerning which the apostle Paul said, “That all heavenly and earthly things should be re-established in Christ.”

Ælfric of Eynsham (c. 955 – c. 1010): Homily 14 (for Palm Sunday), trans. Benjamin Thorpe; icon of All Saints of Britain and Ireland.

Ælfric of Eynsham: We are children of God, and Christ is our brother, if we will duly obey the Father, and with all our mind worship him Monday, Mar 7 2016 

All_SS_of_BritainGod, the Father Almighty, has one Son naturally, and many adoptively.

Christ is the Son of God, seeing that the Father begot him of himself without any mother.

The Father has no body, nor begot he his Son in that wise which men do: but his Wisdom, with which he wrought all creatures, is his Son, who is ever of the Father and with the Father, God of God, as mighty as the Father.

We men are children of God, because he made us; and afterwards, when we were undone, he sent his own Son for our redemption.

Now are we children of God, and Christ is our brother, if we will duly obey the Father, and with all our mind worship him.

Christ is our head, and we are his limbs: he is invested with our humanity, and he has our body, which he received of the holy maiden Mary;

therefore may we manifestly cry to him, as to our brother, if we so observe our brotherhood as he has taught us; that is, that we should not allow the devil with any evil practices to seduce us from the brotherhood of Christ.

[…] The man who makes himself acceptable to God is a child of God, not naturally, but by creation and by good deserts, as Christ said in his gospel, “He who doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother, and my mother, and my sister.”

[…] We say, “Pater noster qui es in cœlis,” that is, “Our Father which art in heaven;” for God the Father is in heaven, and he is everywhere, as he himself said, “I fill with myself heaven and earth.”

And again, the holy gospel says thus concerning him, “Heaven is his throne, and earth is his footstool.”

We turn eastward when we pray, because from thence the heaven rises; not as though his dwelling be particularly in the east part, and that he forsakes the west or other parts, who is everywhere present, not through the space of the place, but by the presence of his majesty.

When we turn our face to the east part, where the heaven rises, which rises over all bodily things, then should our mind be thereby admonished that it turn to the highest and first nature, that is, God.

We should also know that the sinful is called earth, and the righteous is called heaven; for in righteous men is a dwelling-place of God, and the good man is a temple of the Holy Ghost.

Ælfric of Eynsham (c. 955 – c. 1010): Homily 19 (On the Lord’s Prayer), trans. Benjamin Thorpe; icon of All Saints of Britain and Ireland.