"Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." John 6:68


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Wednesday of the Fourth week of Lent
Commentary of the day
The letter to Diognetus (c.200)
ch. 9 (trans. Maxwell Staniforth)

"They tried all the more to kill him, because... he also called God his own father"

God left us to live for the meanwhile as we pleased, giving free rein to our unruly instincts and being at the mercy of sensuality and lust. This was not because he took any pleasure in those sins of ours; all he was doing was to put up with them. It was not that he was sanctioning that former era of lawlessness; rather, he was preparing this present era of righteousness, to the intent that we, who in those days had been proved by our own works unworthy to achieve life, might in these days be made worthy of it by the goodness of God...

In that hour, instead of hating us and rejecting us... he bore with us, and in pity he took our sins upon himself and gave his own Son as a ransom for us - the Holy for the wicked, the Sinless for sinners, “the Just for the unjust” (1Pt 3:18), the Incorrupt for the corrupt, the Immortal for the mortal. For was there, indeed, anything except his righteousness that could have availed to cover our sins? In whom could we... have been made holy, but in the Son of God alone? O sweet exchange! O unsearchable working! O benefits unhoped for! that the wickedness of multitudes should thus be hidden in the One holy, and the holiness of One should sanctify the countless wicked! In times past he convinced us that our human nature by itself lacked the power of attaining to life; today, he reveals to us a Savior who has power to save even the powerless. The purpose behind both these acts is that we should believe in his goodness and should look on him as our Nourisher, Father, Teacher, Counsellor, Healer, Wisdom. Light, Honor, Glory, Power and Life.

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