Thought of the day
Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Wednesday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

Saint Athanasius (295-373), Bishop of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church Letter to Epictetus, 5-9

Wednesday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

Commentary of the day 

Saint Athanasius (295-373), Bishop of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church 
Letter to Epictetus, 5-9

            "Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary?"

      The Word, God's eternal Utterance, “gave help to the descendants of Abraham; therefore he had to become like his brothers in every way” (Heb 2,16-17) and assume a body like our own. That is why Mary was truly needed for him to assume this body in her and offer it as his own on our behalf... Gabriel had announced this to her in carefully chosen words. He didn't say in the ordinary fashion: “He who will be born in you”... but said: “He who will be born of you”... 

      All these things came to pass so that the Word, in taking on our nature and offering it in sacrifice, would make it wholly his own. Afterwards, he wanted to reclothe us in his own, divine nature, allowing Saint Paul to say: “That which is corruptible must clothe itself with incorruptibility, and that which is mortal must clothe itself with immortality” (1Cor 15.53). Nor, as certain heretics imagined, was this carried out in simulated fashion – not a bit of it! Our Savior became true man and mankind's whole salvation came from that... Our salvation is not in appearance only, it is not for the body only, but it is for the whole person, soul and body, and this salvation came from the Word himself. 

      So that which came from Mary was human in nature, according to Scripture, and the Lord's body was a true body: yes, a true body since it was in every respect like our own. For Mary is our sister since we all descend from Adam.