Commentary on the Gospel of

Saint Irenaeus of Lyons

Commentary of the day Saint Irenaeus of Lyons (c.130-c.208), Bishop, theologian and martyr. Adversus Haereses, IV, 20, 4-5

“Here is the book of the genesis of Jesus Christ”

There is one God, who by his word and wisdom created all things and set them in order...Because of his greatness, he is unknown by all the beings created by him: no one in fact has seen his origin. Nevertheless, because of his love, since the creation of the world he is known by the one by which he has created all things (Rom 1,20); this one is His Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, who in this last age became man among men to unite end and beginning, that is, man and God.

That is why the prophets, receiving the gift of prophecy from this same Word, foretold his coming in the flesh, which brought about the union and communion between God and man ordained by the Father. From the beginning the word of God prophesied that God would be seen by men and would live among them on earth; he would speak with his own creation (Ba 3,38) and be present to it, bringing it salvation and being visible to it...

The prophets, then, foretold that God would be seen by men. As the Lord himself says: “Blessed are the clear of heart, for they shall see God” (Mt 5,8). Of course, in his greatness and inexpressible glory, “no one can see God and live” (Ex 33,20), for the Father is beyond our comprehension. But in his love and generosity and omnipotence he allows even this to those who love him, that is, even to see God, as the prophets foretold. For “what is impossible to men is possible to God” (Lk 18,27).


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