Saturday, September 28, 2019

Met Ephrem (Kyriakos): Creation (And New Creation in Christ)

Arabic original here

Creation (And New Creation in Christ)

God created man immortal. "God did not create death and He takes no pleasure in the destruction of the living" (Wisdom 1:13).

He enjoyed freedom because he was an immortal, spiritual soul. He created him to stand before Him in communion of love. This means that man was the purpose of all creation. So before sin, there was no death. But after the fall, Christ the God-Man became the purpose of creation.

God created man in God's image.  After the fall, humankind became one body cast out from divine grace. For this reason, our fathers call this humanity "Adam" and Saint Gregory of Nyssa calls it "the lost sheep" for whom Christ came. Of course, all people did not commit the sin of Adam.

We did not inherit original sin in itself. But Adam bequeathed to all of us, to all humankind, a mortal character. The West calls this "original sin". In His eternity, God saw Adam's sin and desired to remove it through the incaration, through the death and resurrection of the Word. The incarnation, the cross and the resurrection were all in God's mind when He encountered Abraham. Humanity's salvation was in His eternal mind. He knew that man, who was created in His image, would not remain faithful to the aim of his love.

In His human body and soul, Christ took on all the results of sin: suffering and death. He took on humanity in its entirety. Therefore He died for every human, no matter his nationality, race or even religion-- past, present and future.

He is Son of God and Son of Man all at once. He made His suffering and death a sign of perfect love towards His Father and towards all people.

Thus, He put an end to suffering and death: "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends" (John 15:13).

He cancelled the power of suffering and death by His death on the cross and all these things became decisive signs of the resurrection and eternal life.

For this reason, we say, "Through the cross, joy came into the whole world."

With Christ, the cross became the sign of victory over our passions and death, victory over our selfishness through sacrificing ourselves out of love for God and for all our brothers in humanity.

All of this causes us to say once more that through His incarnation, suffering, death and resurrection,  Christ the God-Man became the purpose of all creation. He is the purpose of our life. 

Metropolitan of Tripoli, al-Koura and their Dependencies

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