Sixth Sunday of Easter

“This man God raised [on] the third day and granted that he be visible...” (Acts of the Apostles 10:40)

Saint Gregory of Nyssa (part 2 of the background of Saint Gregory of Nyssa is found here) offers the following insight on this verse from today’s First Reading:

“Therefore, since it was necessary that the good Shepherd lay down his life on behalf of the sheep, so that through his own death he might destroy death, the captain of our salvation, by bringing death to pass, becomes a composite in his human nature, both as a priest and a lamb in the ability to receive a share of suffering. For since death is nothing but the dissolution of both soul and body, the one who united himself to both, I mean to both soul and to body, is separated from neither — “incapable of repentance,” as the apostle says, “are the graces of God.” So having distrib uted himself to both body and soul, on the one hand he opens paradise to the thief through his soul, and through his body he establishes the work of destruction. Now this is death’s obliteration, that the destruction annihilated in the lifegiving nature is made impotent, and this, which happens in regard to these [body and soul] becomes a shared benefit and grace of our nature. In this way, he who is in both, through his resurrection fits together all that was separate, he who, according to his power, gives his body to the heart of the earth, as it has been written, while he puts his soul away from himself, saying, on the one hand, to his father, “Into your hands I hand over my spirit,” and on the other, to the thief, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

So in this way he comes both to be in death and not to be mastered by death. The proof is the operation that worked incorruption with regard to the body and a passing over into paradise with regard to the soul. He demonstrates this who says that “God raised him from the dead.” For not as Lazarus or anyone else of those who have returned to life by the power of another is he brought back to life — so clear is it how the resurrection of the Lord is to be conceived. Rather the Only Begotten himself raises up the person who was mixed together with himself, having both separated the soul from the body and having reunited both, and in this way a common salvation of human nature is effected.” (Against Apollinaris)

Grant, almighty God,
that we may celebrate with heartfelt devotion
these days of joy,
which we keep in honor of the risen Lord,
and that what we relive in remembrance
we may always hold to in what we do.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lord is risen. Alleluia!
He is risen, indeed. Alleluia!

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen