The Genealogy of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Part II)

My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ! ΚΑΙ ΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.

HOMILY FIFTY-SEVEN

Delivered on the Sunday of the Holy Fathers Concerning the Genealogy According to the Flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ and The Ever-Virgin Mother of God who bore Him in Virginity
by Saint Gregory Palamas Archbishop of Thessaloniki

And how worthy of a type of Christ is Seth? "Seth was born to Eve", as she herself says, "instead of Abel" (cf. Genesis 4:25), whom Cain envied and murdered, whereas the Virgin's son, Christ, was born to the human race instead of Adam, whom the prince and father of evil killed out of envy. Seth, however, did not raise up Abel, as he was merely a prefiguration of the resurrection, whereas our Lord Jesus Christ resurrected Adam, for He is the True Life and Resurrection of mankind (cf. St. John 11:25), through whom Seth's descendants were deemed worthy, in hope, of divine adoption, being called sons of God. That they were referred to as God's sons on account of this hope is demonstrated by the first person to be so called and to inherit God's election. This was Seth's son Enos who, as Moses wrote, "was the first to hope to be called by the Lord's name" (cf.  Genesis 4:26)...

"..."The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee" (St. Luke 1:35). The Spirit also arranged beforehand for the Virgin to come into being, choosing from the beginning, and cleansing, the line of her descent, accepting those who were worthy, or were to become fathers of eminent men, but utterly casting out the unworthy.

This is why the Lord God said on that occasion of those rejected ones, "My spirit shall not abide with these men, for they are flesh" (cf. Genesis 6:3). Although the Virgin, of whom Christ was born according to the flesh, came from Adam's flesh and seed, yet, because this flesh had been cleansed in many different ways by the Holy Spirit from the start, she was descended from those who had been chosen from every generation for their excellence. Noah, too, "a just man and perfect in his generation", as the Holy Scripture say of him (Genesis 6:9), was found worthy of this election.

Observe also that the Holy Spirit makes it clear to such as have understanding that the whole of divinely inspired Scripture was written because of the Virgin Mother of God. It relates in detail the entire line of her ancestry, which begins with Adam, then passes through Seth, Noah and Abraham, as well as David and Zerubbabel, those in between them and their successors, and goes up to the time of the Virgin Mother of God. By contrast, Scripture does not touch upon some races at all, and in the case of others, it makes a start at tracing their descent, then soon abandons them, leaving them in the depths of oblivion. Above all, it commemorates those of the Mother of God's forebears who, in their own lives and the deeds wrought by them, prefigured Christ, Who was to be born of the Virgin.

"...All who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ, according to Saint Paul (Galatians 3:27), and although they are other people's children according to nature, they are born supernaturally of Christ, who in this way conquers nature. For as He became incarnate without seed of the Holy Spirit and the Ever-Virgin Mary, so He grants potential and power to those who believe in His name to become children of God. For as many as received Him", says the evangelist, "to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (St. John 1:12-13)...

"...Everyone who has been baptized, if he is to obtain the eternal blessedness and salvation for which he hopes, should live free from all sin. Saint Peter and Saint Paul, the leaders of the highest company of the Holy Apostles made this clear. Saint Paul said of Christ, "In that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God", adding, "likewise we also ought to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God" (cf. Romans 6:10-11), whereas Saint Peter wrote, "Forasmuch then as Christ hath died for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: that ye no longer should live the rest of your time by the lusts of men, but by the will of God" (cf. 1 Peter 4:1-2). If it was for our sake that the Lord lived His time on earth, to leave us an example, and He passed His life without sin, we too must live without sin, in imitation of Him. Since He said even to Abraham's descendants according to the flesh, "If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham" (St. John 8:39), how much more will He say to us who have no physical kinship with Him, "If you were My children, you would do My works"? It is therefore consistent and just that anyone who, after divine baptism, after the covenants he made then to God and the grace he received from it, does not follow Christ's way of life step by step, but transgresses and offends against the benefactor, should be utterly deprived of divine adoption and the eternal inheritance.

But, O Christ Our King, Who can worthily extol the greatness of Your love for mankind? What was unnecessary for Him and what He did not do, namely, repentance (for He never needed to repent, being sinless, cf. Hebrews 4:15), He granted to us as a mediator for when we sin even after receiving grace. Repentance means returning once again to Him and to a life according to His will out of remorse. Even if someone commits a deadly sin, if he turns away from it with all his soul, abstains from it and turns back to the Lord in deed and truth, he should take courage and be of good hope, for he shall not lose eternal life and salvation. When a child according to the flesh meets his death, he is not brought back to life by his father, but someone born of Christ, even though he falls into deadly sin, if he turns again and runs to the Father Who raises the dead, is made alive once more, obtains divine adoption, and is not cast out from the company of the just.

May we all attain to this, to the glory of Christ and of His Father without beginning and of the Life-Giving Spirit, now and forever, and unto unceasing ages. Amen. (Source: Saint Gregory Palamas: The Homilies).

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MY BLESSING TO ALL OF YOU

The Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

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"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!"--Saint John Chrysostom

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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+Father George