Saturday, January 06, 2007

Today the Church celebrates : Bl. Andre Bessett

Saint Irenaeus of Lyons: "Son of Adam"

First Letter of John 5,5-13.
Who (indeed) is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ, not by water alone, but by water and blood. The Spirit is the one that testifies, and the Spirit is truth. So there are three that testify, the Spirit, the water, and the blood, and the three are of one accord. If we accept human testimony, the testimony of God is surely greater. Now the testimony of God is this, that he has testified on behalf of his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has this testimony within himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar by not believing the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever possesses the Son has life; whoever does not possess the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you so that you may know that you have eternal life, you who believe in the name of the Son of God.

Psalms 147,12-13.14-15.19-20.
Glorify the LORD, Jerusalem; Zion, offer praise to your God,
Who has strengthened the bars of your gates, blessed your children within you,
Brought peace to your borders, and filled you with finest wheat.
The LORD sends a command to earth; his word runs swiftly!
The LORD also proclaims his word to Jacob, decrees and laws to Israel.
God has not done this for other nations; of such laws they know nothing. Hallelujah!

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 3,23-38.
When Jesus began his ministry he was about thirty years of age. He was the son, as was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Commentary of the day :

Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, (about 130-about 208), bishop, theologian and martyr
Against Heresies, III, 22, 3.4; 23,1

"Son of Adam"

Luke points out that the genealogy which traces the birth of our Lord back to Adam contains seventy-two generations, connecting the end with the beginning, and implying that it is he who has summed up in himself all nations dispersed from Adam downwards, and all languages and generations of men, together with Adam himself. This is why Adam himself was called by Paul "the prefiguration of him that was to come," (Rom 5:14) because the Word, the Maker of all things, had formed beforehand for himself the future history of the human race, assumed by the Son of God…

For the Lord, having become "the First-born of the dead" (Col 1:18), and receiving into his bosom the ancient forbears, has given them new life in the life of God. He has become the beginning of all those that live, as Adam became the beginning of all those who die. This is why Luke, beginning the genealogy with the Lord, carried it back to Adam, indicating that it was he who gave life to them in the Gospel of life, and not they who gave life to him. And so it was also that the knot of Eve's disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, the Virgin Mary set free through faith.

It was necessary, therefore, that the Lord, on coming to the lost sheep (Mt 18:12), and gathering together such a great history, seeking his own handiwork (Lk 19:10; Gn 2:8), should save that very person who had been created in his image and likeness (Gn 1:26), that is, Adam.


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