‘Yesterday I was crucified with Him. Today I am glorified with Him!’

From St Gregory of Nazianzus

Yesterday I was crucified with Him. Today I am glorified with Him! Yesterday I died with Him. Today I am made alive with Him! Yesterday I was buried with Him. Today I rise again with Him! To Him who suffered and rose for us, let us offer — what? Maybe you’ll think I’m going to say we should offer Him gold, silver, costly tapestries, or crystal-clear precious stones. But such things are the earth’s mere vanishing stuff, forever limited to this world, generally owned by bad people — the world’s slaves, the bondsmen of this world’s Prince.

No, let’s offer Him our very selves, that which is most valuable to God, and most fitting as an offering! Let’s give back to the Divine Image what is made according to that Image. Let’s acknowledge the dignity of our own creation; let’s honour Him who is our Model. Let’s experience the power of the Mystery of His salvation, and the purpose of His death. Let’s become like Christ, since Christ became like us. Let’s become divine people for Him, since He became human for us.

He took upon Himself the worse, to bestow on us the better; He became poor that we, through His poverty, might become rich; He came down to lift us high; He was tempted that we might gain victory; He was shamed to glorify us; He embraced death that He might give us salvation; He ascended heavenwards that He might draw to Himself those who were lying prostrate, fallen through sin. Let us give all, let us offer all, to Him who gave Himself as the price of our redemption and our reconciliation. But we can give Him nothing as precious as ourselves.

Oration 1.4-5, trans. Nick Needham, Daily Readings: The Early Church Fathers, 25 March

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