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Age of Persecution

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Baptism Means Crossing the Jordan – Origen

Origen, commenting on the book of Joshua, shows that the early Church saw the sacrament of baptism not only as the crossing of the Red Sea, but also as the crossing of the Jordan River into the Promised Land....

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Pentecost and the Sending of the Holy Spirit – Irenaeus

This excerpt from 2nd century Church Father, Irenaeus, contains beautiful imagery of the Holy Spirit as the rainfall of God as well as a fascinating allegorical interpretation of parable of the Good Samaritan to illustrate the role of the various persons of the Holy Trinity-...

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Christians, the Soul of the World – Diognetus

This excerpt from the 2nd century Letter to Diognetus explains to pagan readers how the Church is in the world and not of it, and why this is a cause of persecution.  Christians, he explains, are to the world as the soul is to the...

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Eucharist as Pledge of Resurrection – Irenaeus

Written by St. Irenaeus about 185 AD, this excerpt makes clear the Church's realistic interpretation of the eucharist as the risen body of Christ which serves as the medicine of immortality, the pledge of our own future resurrection. The real presence of the body...

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On the Passover – Melito of Sardis

[dropcaps type='normal' font_size='100' color='' background_color='' border_color='']I[/dropcaps]ntroduction (1-10)1. First of all, the Scripture about the Hebrew Exodus has been read and the words of the mystery have been explained as to how the sheep was sacrificed and the people were saved.Therefore, understand this, O beloved:...

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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....