Tractates on the Gospel of John - Vol. 3

By St Augustine; John W. Rettig | Go to book overview

TRACTATE 30

On John 7.19-24

GODAY'S READING, which has just been read, follows the reading of the holy Gospel about which we spoke to you, my beloved people, a few days ago. Both the disciples and the Jews were listening to the Lord speaking; both the truthful and the lying were listening to the Truth speaking. Both friends and enemies were listening to Love speaking; both the good and the evil were listening to the Good speaking. They were listening, but he was distinguishing [among them]; and he saw and foresaw to whom his sermon was and would be profitable. He saw it among those who were then there; he foresaw it among us who were yet to be.

(2) And so let us listen to the Gospel just as if to the Lord if he were present; and let us not say, "Oh, those happy men who were able to see him!" For there were many among them who saw him and killed him; but there are many among us who have not seen him, and yet have believed. And the fact is, the preciousness which sounded forth from the Lord's mouth was also written down for our sakes, and preserved for us and recited for our sakes and will also be recited for the sake of our descendants even until this age comes to its end. The Lord is on high, but the Lord, the Truth, is also here. For the body of the Lord in which he arose can be in one place; but his truth is spread out everywhere. Therefore, let us listen to the Lord and let us also say what he has bestowed concerning his words.

2. He said, "Did not Moses give you the Law, and none of you keeps the Law? Why do you seek to kill me?" You seek to kill me precisely because none of you keeps the Law; for if you kept the Law, you would recognize Christ in its very letters and you would not kill him who is present. And they an

-22-

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