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First Fruits of the Resurrection - Irenaeus

Jesus Christ, the First Fruits

of the Resurrection

 

St. Irenaeus of Lyons

Early Church Father and Doctor of the Church

 

Saint Irenaeus, Early Church Father, Fathers of the Early Church, Doctor of the Church

St. Irenaeus was bishop of Lyons in what is now France in the last quarter of the 2nd century.  This is an excerpt from his monumental work written about 185AD, Against Heresies (Lib. 3, 19, 1.3--20,1; SC 34, 322) which was in large part responsible for exposing the absurdities of Gnosticism and laying out the first somewhat systematic exposition of the apostolic and Catholic faith.  This reading is used in the Roman Catholic Office of Readings on Tuesday of the 4th week in ordinary time with the accompanying biblical reading taken from I Thessalonians 4:1-18.

 

The Word of God became man, the Son of God became the Son of Man, in order to unite man with himself and make him, by adoption, a son of God. Only by being united to one who is himself immune could we be preserved from corruption and death, and how else could this union have been achieved if he had not first become what we are? How else could what is corruptible and mortal in us have been swallowed up in his incorruptibility and immortality, to enable us to receive adoptive sonship? Therefore, the Son of God, our Lord, the Word of the Father, is also the son of man; he became the son of man by a human birth from Mary, a member of the human race.


The Lord himself has given us a sign here below and in the heights of heaven, a sign that man did not ask for because he never dreamt that such a thing would be possible. A virgin was with a child and she bore a son who is called Emmanuel, which means “God with us.” He came down to the earth here below in search of the sheep that was lost, the sheep that was in fact his own creature, and then ascended into the heights of heaven to offer to the Father and entrust to his care the human race that he had found again. The Lord himself became the first-fruits of the resurrection of mankind, and when its time of punishment for disobedience is over the rest of the body, to which the whole human race belongs, will rise from the grave as the head has done. By God’s aid it will grow and be strengthened in all its joints and ligaments, each member having its own proper place in the body. There are many rooms in the Father’s house because the body has many members.


God bore with man patiently when he fell because he foresaw the victory that would be his through the Word. Weakness allowed strength its full play, and so revealed God’s kindness and great power.

 

For more information on the Early Church Fathers, Click Here, or to visit the Library with other writings of the Fathers of the Church, Click Here.

 

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"I Believe" - The Heart of Catholic Faith

by: Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.

I Believe - The Heart of the Catholic Faith, The Nicence Creed, Catholic FaithWhen people ask you to explain your faith, where do you start?

In this dynamic, four-part series, Dr. D'Ambrosio explains how the very heart of the Christian faith is all about intimate, personal relationship.   In fact part two of this series is all about what it means to call God "Father" and entering into a relationship of intimacy with Him. 

"I Believe" follows the outline of the Nicene Creed, but don't be mistaken--it is far from a stodgy or academic presentation of tenets and beliefs!  Full of enlightening metaphors and colorful anecdotes, "I Believe" leads its audience not only to clearer understanding of the faith, but a deeper love relationship with God the Father, Son, and Spirit.  "I Believe," available in either audio or video format, is perfect either for teens or adults, for individual study, or use by RCIA/Adult Faith sharing groups. 

 

I Believe - DVD - $49.95   

I Believe - CD - $19.95        I Believe - Workbook - $6.95

 


The Early Church Fathers, Catholic Church, Fathers of the Church, Marcellino D'AmbrosioThe Early Church Fathers

 

A society characterized by the violence, loss of respect for life, exotic religious cults, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, and even pedophilia. No, we're not talking about modern times -

 

The Early Church Fathers succeeded in bringing a Pagan society to Christ. If we pay attention to what they taught, we will succeed in doing the same for our own de-Christianized society!

 

Album 1: The Apostolic Fathers and Irenaeus

Album 2: The Apologists, Ambrose, and Augustine

Early Church Fathers 2 VHS Set—$49.95  

Early Church Fathers 2 DVD Set—$49.95

Early Church Fathers 2 CD Set—$18.00  

Early Church Fathers 2 Audio Set—$18.00

 


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