Blog Template Theology of the Body: St. Irenaeus on the Eucharist, AD 200

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

St. Irenaeus on the Eucharist, AD 200

But vain in every respect are they who despise the entire dispensation of God, and disallow the salvation of the flesh, and treat with contempt its regeneration, maintaining that it is not capable of incorruption. But if this indeed do not attain salvation, then neither did the Lord redeem us with His blood, nor is the cup of the Eucharist the communion of His blood, nor the bread which we break the communion of His body. For blood can only come from veins and flesh, and whatsoever else makes up the substance of man, such as the Word of God was actually made. By His own blood he redeemed us, as also His apostle declares, "In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins." And as we are His members, we are also nourished by means of the creation, and He Himself grants the creation to us, for He causes His sun to rise, and sends rain when He wills. He has acknowledged the cup, which is a part of the creation, as His own blood, from which He bedews our blood; and the bread, also a part of the creation, He has established as His own body, from which He gives increase to our bodies.