Thought of the day
Friday, January 6, 2017

Christmas Weekday (January 6th)

Saint Irenaeus of Lyons (c.130-c.208), Bishop, theologian and martyr Against the heresies, Book III, 22,3 ; 23,1 (SC 211, p. 439f. rev.)

Christmas Weekday (January 6th)

Commentary of the day 

Saint Irenaeus of Lyons (c.130-c.208), Bishop, theologian and martyr 
Against the heresies, Book III, 22,3 ; 23,1 (SC 211, p. 439f. rev.)
                          "Son of Adam"

Luke gives us a genealogy that goes from Our Lord's birth to Adam, comprising seventy-two generations. In a certain sense he joins the end to the beginning and gives us to understand that our Lord is he who recapitulated in himself every nation spread abroad since the time of Adam, every human language and generation including that of Adam himself. For the same reason Paul calls Adam «the type of the one who was to come» (Rm 5:14) since the Word, the Creator of the universe, had sketched beforehand in Adam the future history of the humanity in which the Son of God would clothe himself... 

In becoming the Firstborn from the dead (Col 1:18) and receiving the Fathers of old into his bosom, our Lord caused them to be reborn into the life of God. He became the first, the principle of the living, since Adam had become the principle of the dead... By beginning his genealogy with the Lord to make it go back to Adam Luke shows that it was not the forefathers who had given life to the Lord but, to the contrary, that it was he who caused them to be reborn into the Gospel of life. In the same way, the knot tied by the disobedience of Eve had been untied by the obedience of Mary, since what the virgin Eve had tied by her unbelief the Virgin Mary had untied by her faith. 

Thus it was indispensable that, by coming to meet the lost sheep (Mt 18:12), recapitulating such a great history, seeking out the work he himself had fashioned (Lk 19:10; Gn 2:7), the Lord should save the man made in his own image and likeness (Gn 1:26), namely Adam.