Thought of the day
Friday, May 6, 2016

Friday of the Sixth week of Easter

“The whole of creation has been groaning in labor pains until now” (Rom 8:22)

          The apostle Paul… testified concerning the only Son that he had not only created everything, but that it is also he who brings about a new creation, because the former creation has become old and obsolete. And thus, through the Gospel proclaimed to humankind, Christ himself is the firstborn of all creation (Col 1:15)… 

          How did Christ become the “firstborn of a multitude of brothers and sisters” (Rom 8:29)? … For us, he became like us, sharing in our flesh and blood so as to transform us from corruptible beings to incorruptible ones through birth from on high by water and the Spirit (Jn 3:5). He showed us the path to such a birth when, by his baptism, he drew down the Holy Spirit upon the water. Thus, he became the firstborn of all who are reborn spiritually, and all who have a part in this rebirth by water and the Spirit are called brothers and sisters. 

         After giving our nature the power of the resurrection from the dead, Christ also became the first fruit of those who have died and the firstborn from the dead (Col 1:18). Being the first, he opened to us the path of liberation from death. Through his resurrection, he destroyed the bonds of death, which held us captive. Thus, through this double rebirth of holy baptism and of the resurrection from the dead, he became the firstborn of the new creation. 

          This firstborn has brothers and sisters. He said to Mary Magdalen: “Go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” (Jn 20:17) That is why the mediator between God and humankind (1 Tim 2:5), when he opened the cortege of the whole of humankind, sent his brothers this message and told them: “By means of the first fruits which I have assumed, in myself I am bringing back everything that is human to our God and Father.”

Saint Gregory of Nyssa