Friday, June 15, 2007

Ask A Father

Q: Origen, what is a “Gospel”?
The gospel….is a discourse containing a report of things which, with good reason, make the hearer glad whenever he accepts what is reported, because they are beneficial. Such a discourse is no less gospel should it also be examined with reference to the hearer’s attitude. The gospel is either a discourse which contains the presence of a good for the believer, or a discourse which announces that an awaited good is present.

All the definitions which we have already mentioned fit those books entitled the gospels. For each gospel brings cheer with good reason. Each is a composition of declarations which are beneficial to the one who believes them and does not misconstrue them since it produces a benefit in him. Each gospel teaches about the saving sojourn with men of Christ Jesus, “the firstborn of every creature,” a sojourn which occurred on account of men. But it is also clear to everyone who believes, that each gospel is a discourse which teaches about the sojourn of the good Father in his Son with those who are willing to receive him.

We might dare say, then, that the Gospels are the first fruits of all Scriptures, but that the first fruits of the Gospels is that according to John, whose meaning no one can understand who has not leaned on Jesus’ breast nor received Mary from Jesus to be his mother also. But he who would be another John must also become such as John, to be shown to be Jesus, so to speak. For if Mary had no son except Jesus, in accordance with those who hold a sound opinion of her, and Jesus says to his mother, “Behold your son,” and not, “Behold, this man also is your son,” he has said equally, “Behold, this is Jesus whom you bore.” For indeed everyone who has been perfected “no longer lives, but Christ lives in him,” and since “Christ lives” in him, it is said of him to Mary, “Behold your son,” the Christ.

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