Monday, May 2, 2011

Sententiae Patristicae: Third Sunday of Easter, Year A

The Fathers of the Church on the Readings of the Lectionary

First Reading Acts 2:14, 22–33
Second Reading 1 Peter 1:17–21
Gospel Luke 24:13–35

For Luke 24:13-35, see also Easter Sunday, Year C.

St. Gregory of Nyssa--Christ's human nature, united to his Godhead overcame death:
‎‎Yea, the prophet David also, according to the interpretation of the great Peter, said with foresight of Him, “Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption,” (Ps 16:8, Acts 2:27, 31) while the Apostle Peter thus expounds the saying, that “His soul was not left in hell, neither His flesh did see corruption.” For His Godhead, alike before taking flesh and in the flesh and after His Passion, is immutably the same, being at all times what It was by nature, and so continuing for ever. But in the suffering of His human nature the Godhead fulfilled the dispensation for our benefit by severing the soul for a season from the body, yet without being Itself separated from either of those elements to which it was once for all united, and by joining again the elements which had been thus parted, so as to give to all human nature a beginning and an example which it should follow of the resurrection from the dead, that all the corruptible may put on incorruption, and all the mortal may put on immortality, our first-fruits having been transformed to the Divine nature by its union with God. (Greg. Nyssa., Cont. Eun. 2.13, NPNF2, vol. 5, pg. 127)

St. Augustine--we, too, know Christ in the breaking of the bread:
‎‎Even as ye have just heard concerning the two disciples whom He met with in the way, how “their eyes were holden that they should not know Him:” (Lk 24:13-28) and He found them despairing of the redemption that was in Christ, and deeming that now He had suffered and was dead as a man, not accounting that as Son of God He ever liveth; and deeming too that He was so dead in the flesh as not to come to life again, but just as one of the prophets: as those of you who were attentive have just now heard their own words. Then“He opened to them the Scriptures, beginning at Moses,” and going through all the prophets, showing them that all He had suffered had been foretold, lest they should be more staggered if the Lord should rise again, and the more fail to believe Him, if these things had not been told before concerning Him. For the firmness of faith is in this, that all things which came to pass in Christ were foretold. The disciples, then, knew Him not, save “in the breaking of bread.” And truly he that eateth and drinketh not judgment to himself in the breaking of bread doth know Christ. (1 Co 11:29) (Augustine, Tract. in ep. Joan. 2.1, NPNF1, vol. 7. pg. 468-469)

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