Tractates on the Gospel of John - Vol. 3

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

TRACTATE 45

On John 10.1-10

THE LORD'S discourse to the Jews began from the enlightenment of that man who was born blind. You ought, therefore, to know and be reminded, my beloved people, that today's reading is closely connected with that one. For when the Lord had said, "I came into the world for judgment that they who do not see may see, and they who see may become blind,"—and we explained this at that time when it was read, insofar as we could—some of the Pharisees said, "Are we also blind?" And he answered them, "If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now you say, 'We see,' and your sin remains." 1. To these words he added those which we heard today when they were read out.

2. "Amen, amen, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate but climbs in some other way is a thief and a robber." For they said that they were not blind; but then they would be able to see if they were Christ's sheep. How did they who were raging against the day appropriate the light to themselves? 2. Because of their vain, proud and incurable arrogance, the Lord Jesus conjoined these words, in which he, looking after our well-being, if we should pay heed to them, advised us.

(2) For there are many who, according to a certain common usage of this life, are called good persons, good men, good women, innocent and, as it were, keeping those precepts which were given in the Law, bearing honor to their parents,

____________________
1.
Jn 9.39-41.
2.
There is a subtle word play in this sentence: The thief (fur) and his fellows who rage (furebant) against the day (i.e., Christ) appropriate (usurpabant), i.e., take possession of by illegal means, the light (lumen).

-187-

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