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Treasures of the Fathers: Fifth Sunday of the Holy Fifty Days – The Way, Truth and Life

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An excerpt from Origen’s Commentary on the Gospel According to St. John, Book I, Ante-Nicene Fathers v. 10.

Christ as the Resurrection. Now He is called the light of men and the true light and the light of the word, because He brightens and irradiates the higher parts of men, or, in a word, of all reasonable beings. And similarly it is from and because of the energy with which He causes the old deadness to be put aside and that which is par excellence life to be put on, so that those who have truly received Him rise again from the dead, that He is called the resurrection. And this He does not only at the moment at which a man says, “We are buried with Christ through baptism and have risen again with Him,” [Rom. 6:4] but much rather when a man, having laid off all about him that belongs to death, walks in the newness of life which belongs to Him, the Son, while here. We always “carry about in our body the dying of the Lord Jesus,” [2 Cor. 4:10] and thus we reap the vast advantage, “that the life of the Lord Jesus might be made manifest in our bodies.”

Christ as the Way. But that progress too, which is in wisdom and which is found by those who seek their salvation in it to do for them what they require both in respect of exposition of truth in the divine word and in respect of conduct according to true righteousness, it lets us understand how Christ is the way. In this way we have to take nothing with us [Matt. 10:10], neither wallet nor coat; we must travel without even a stick, nor must we have shoes on our feet. For this road is itself sufficient for all the supplies of our journey; and every one who walks on it wants nothing. He is clad with a garment which is fit for one who is setting out in response to an invitation to a wedding; and on this road he cannot meet anything that can annoy him. “No one,” Solomon says, “can find out the way of a serpent upon a rock.” [Prov. 30:19]. I would add, or that of any other beast. Hence there is no need of a staff on this road, on which there is no trace of any hostile creature, and the hardness of which, whence also it is called rock (petra), makes it incapable of harboring anything hurtful.

Christ as the Truth. Further, the Only-begotten is the truth, because He embraces in Himself according to the Fr.’s will the whole reason of all things, and that with perfect clearness, and being the truth communicates to each creature in proportion to its worthiness. And should any one enquire whether all that the Fr. knows, according to the depth of His riches and His wisdom and His knowledge, is known to our Savior also, and should he, imagining that he will thereby glorify the Fr., show that some things known to the Fr. are unknown to the Son, although He might have had an equal share of the apprehensions of the unbegotten God, we must remind him that it is from His being the truth that He is Savior, and add that if He is the truth complete, then there is nothing true which He does not know; truth must not limp for the want of the things which, according to those persons, are known to the Fr. only. Or else let it be shown that some things are known to which the name of truth does not apply, but which are above the truth.

Christ as Life. It is clear also that the principle of that life which is pure and unmixed with any other element, resides in Him who is the first-born of all creation, taking from which those who have a share in Christ live the life which is true life, while all those who are thought to live apart from this, as they have not the true light, have not the true life either.

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