Tractates on the Gospel of John - Vol. 2

By John W. Rettig; Saint Augustine Bishop of Hippo | Go to book overview

TRACTATE 15

On John 4.1-42

T IS NOT STRANGE to your ears, my beloved people, that the evangelist John soars to greater heights like an eagle, that he transcends the murky darkness of earth, and that he looks upon the light of truth with steadier gaze. For through our ministry, with God's help, many things have already been discussed from his gospel; this reading which was proclaimed today follows next in order. The things which I am going to say, by the gift of the Lord, many of you are going to hear more for review than for learning.1 Nevertheless your attention ought not to be lax simply because there is not learning but review.

(2) This was read, and we take this reading in hand to discuss it, as to what the Lord Jesus talked about with the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well. For great mysteries were stated there, and analogies of great matters, feeding the hungering soul, refreshing the faint one.

2. For "when" the Lord "had heard" these things, "that the Pharisees had learned that he was making more disciples

____________________
1
There is no other sermon of Augustine that deals in detail with the Samaritan woman; see Berrouard, Homélies I-XVI, 756, 947-948, 951-952. Augustine does discuss in 4.6-29 at some length, but in less detail than here, in the De Diversis Quaestionibus LXXXIII 64 (CCL 44A.137-146; and FOTC 70-127-135). He interprets there the well, the sixth hour, the Lord's tiredness, sitting, thirst, the living water, the woman's husbands, and the leaving behind of the water jar; what he says is the same or very similar to what is said in this Tractate. He briefly discusses the passage in Sermo 101.2 (PL 38.606-607; SPM 1 [ 1950]) in connection with Lk 10.2; there he says that the Samaritan woman is grain, sown by the prophets and now ripe for har­ vesting by the Lord's laborers, the apostles, though she, too, in proclaiming Christ to her countrymen, is a harvester. The same interpretation will be found here in section 32.

-78-

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Tractates on the Gospel of John - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Abbreviations vii
  • Bibliography ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Tractate 11 9
  • Tractate 12 28
  • Tractate 13 44
  • Tractate 14 63
  • Tractate 15 78
  • Tractate 16 100
  • Tractate 17 108
  • Tractate 18 124
  • Tractate 19 139
  • Tractate 20 163
  • Tractate 21 178
  • Tractate 22 197
  • Tractate 23 212
  • Tractate 24 231
  • Tractate 25 239
  • Tractate 26 259
  • Tractate 27 277
  • Indices 289
  • Index of Holy Scripture 301
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