Tractates on the Gospel of John - Vol. 2

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

TRACTATE 20

On John 5.19

HE WORDS OF OUR LORD, Jesus Christ, especially those which John the Evangelist relates, are so special and of such deep meaning as to upset those misguided in their heart and to tax the upright of heart. Not without reason did [ John] recline on the Lord's bosom1 except to absorb the secrets of more profound wisdom and, by propagating the gospel, to give utterance2 to what he had imbibed by his love. Accordingly, my beloved people, give your attention to these few words which have been read.3 With the favor and aid of him who intended his words to be read out to us, words which at that time were heard and were written down that they might now be read, let us see if we can, in any way, say what that which you have just now heard him say means. "Amen, amen, I say to you, the Son cannot do anything of himself, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatsoever things the Father does, these the Son also does in like manner."

2. Now, you must be reminded of the occasion for this discourse because of the previous parts of the reading, where the Lord had cured a certain man among those who were lying in the five porticoes of the well-known pool of Solomon and had said to him, "Take up your bed, and go into your

____________________
1
Cf. Jn 13.23-25 and 21-20.
2
The Latin verb here, ructaret, literally means "to belch." It is a strong verb widely used in Christian Latin with an ameliorative connotation, to express from deep within, and is regularly applied to prophetic or mystical pronouncements. See Blaise, 726, and Berrouard, Homglies XVII-XXXIII, 224-225.
3
This sermon is not part of the original series of sermons on John's Gospel, but a later insertion; see Tractate 19.20, note 44.

-163-

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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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