Patristics

29 Feb

St. Cyril of Alexandria :

“If the Word of God had not been born like us according to the flesh, if He had not partaken of the same elements as we do, he would not have delivered human nature from the fault we incurred in Adam, nor would He have warded off the decay from our bodies, nor would He have brought to an end the power of the curse which we say came upon the first woman. For it was said to her, ‘in pain you shall bring forth children’ (Gen. 3:16). But human nature, which fell sick through the disobedience of Adam, now became glorious in Christ through His utter obedience. For it is written ‘that as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous’ (Rom. 5:19). In Adam it suffered the penalty: ‘You are earth and to earth you shall return’ (Gen. 3:19 LXX). In Christ it was enriched by being able to overcome the snares of death and, as it were, exult in triumph over decay, repeating the prophetic text, ‘O death where is thy victory? O Hades, where is thy sting?’ (Hos. 13:14 LXX; I Cor. 15:55). It came under a curse, as I have said, but this too was abolished in Christ. And indeed it has been said somewhere to the holy Virgin, when Elizabeth prophesied in the spirit, ‘Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb’ (Lk. 1:42). Sin has reigned over us and the inventor and father of sin has lorded it over all who dwell under the sky, provoking the transgression of the divine laws. But in Christ we see human nature, as if experiencing a new beginning of the human race, enjoying freedom of access to God. For He said clearly, ‘the ruler of this world is coming and he has no power over Me’ (Jn. 14:30).” (via Holy Fathers)

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