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Age of Persecution

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Lamb that was Slain – Melito

Melito of Sardis, a 2nd century Father of the Church, shows how the Passover Lamb and many Old Testament realities, prefigure Christ and his suffering. This marvelous Holy Week reading is a great example of the spiritual sense of Scripture....

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Good Friday, True Day of Atonement – Origen

Origen here shows how the Lord Jesus Christ is the true High Priest and sacrifice whose death occurs on Good Friday, the eternal Day of Atonement foreshadowed by the Yom Kippur of the Old Covenant. In this selection we also learn why the early...

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Old and New Covenant – Irenaeus

With the coming of the New Covenant, much in the Old Law of Moses is rendered obsolete. But the Ten Commandments, otherwise known as the Decalogue, has eternal value, says St. Irenaeus, because it enshrines justice to God & neighbor....

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Pedagogy of the Law – Irenaeus

Paul's concept of "pedagogy," further developed here by Irenaeus, holds that the whole period of the Old Testament with all its characters, events, and institutions, was a preparation for and foreshadowing of the fullness of revelation that was to come in Jesus Christ and his...

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Abraham’s Sacrifice of Isaac – Origen

Origen here treats of the Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac on Mount Moriah. It is a good example of the "spiritual interpretation" of the Old Testament whereby persons, places, and things are recognized as prefiguring Christ and the realities of the New Covenant. This spiritual exegesis...

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Repentance & God’s Mercy – Ash Wednesday

This excerpt from St. Clement’s First Letter to the Corinthians on repentance, written around AD 95, urges us to repent, change our lives, seek God’s mercy & fix our attention on the blood of Jesus Christ. It is traditionally read on Ash Wednesday...

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Martyrdom of St. Polycarp

An excerpt from the account of the Martyrdom of St. Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna on the West Coast of Asia Minor (now Turkey). He was apprehended by the Roman authorities when in his eighties, on February 23 around the year 155 AD. ...