Monday, November 23, 2009



For our God Jesus Christ was , according to God’s dispensation, the fruit of Mary’s womb, of the seed of David; He was born and baptized in order that he might make the water holy by His passion. (Letter to the Ephesians, Ignatius of Antioch, ca 100 AD)


Everything about Jesus’ humanity had a purifying affect on the creation. He was as a kind of filter for the removal of all things evil. The teachings of the fathers tell us that everything He came into contact with was mystically transformed for all eternity. According to Ignatius, the power behind this transformative energy is His passion or sufferings. It may be said that the Passion of Christ restored all things to their proper place in creation. But can we really sense that change?

The fact is that all things are not pure in our reality, all water is not pure, all bread is not pure, and all wine is not pure; that being the case how can this be true? The answer to that is found in the mysteries (sacraments) left to us by Christ. When a physical object is employed in a mystery or sacrament, that object used receives the purity that Jesus procured for it. Whether it is the water used for baptism, the oil used for chrysmation, or the bread and wine used for communion, all of these, once consecrated receive the purity that Jesus procured by his passion and that is to come to all creation in the final resurrection, here and now. Hence, the mysteries are a participation in that purity which Christ will bring to creation in the present. Simultaneously, since the energy that obtained this purity was the passion of Christ, when we partake in these mysteries, we also partake in Christ’s passion. This is the reason why the Apostle can say, Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Rom 6: 3. The mysteries or sacraments are a doorway into the death of this corrupted age, and the purity of the age to come for all who believe now.

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