Christ’s Descent and The Destruction of Death

“Since death was unable to devour Him without a body, or Sheol to swallow Him without flesh, He came to a virgin to provide Himself with a means to Sheol… And with a body from a virgin He entered Sheol, broke into its vaults, and carried off its treasures… When death came confidently, as usual, to feed on mortal fruit, life, the killer of death, was lying in wait, so that when death swallowed Life with no apprehension, it would vomit it out, and many others with it.” St. Ephrem the Syrian, Homily on Our Lord, 3.2.

As we approach the Nativity fast let us contemplate the mysteries of the Divine Economy. The Logos has come and taken flesh, become truly human, for our sakes. In our humanity He has overcome the tyranny we had sold ourselves into (as we pray in the Liturgical rubric of Alexandria). The Annunciation and Birth of Christ are the beginnings of all Good with humanity. He has come and conquered within us. Let us contemplate this and many other mysteries as we approach the Nativity our our Lord. Let us enter the fast (beginning November 25th for those in the Alexandrian Patriarchate) with an eye to quenching out and destroying the death dormant in our lives. Whether in the hate or anger we harbour towards others or in the sloth and despondency of our lives, let us pursue Christ who has conquered for us.

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