Saturday, June 28, 2008

St. Augustine on today's Gospel (Sat., June 28th)

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 8,5-17.

When he entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully." He said to him, "I will come and cure him." The centurion said in reply, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, "Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven, but the children of the kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth." And Jesus said to the centurion, "You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you." And at that very hour (his) servant was healed. Jesus entered the house of Peter, and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and waited on him. When it was evening, they brought him many who were possessed by demons, and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick, to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet: "He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases."

Commentary of the day :

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Sermon 231

"Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof"

When he came here from another country, Christ found nothing here but what there is in abundance: afflictions, sorrows and death. That is what you have here; that is what there is here in abundance. He has eaten with you what is to be found in abundance in the poor house of your misfortune. He has drunk vinegar, he has tasted gall (Jn 19,29): this is what he has found in your poor house.

Yet he has invited you to his splendid table, his table in heaven, to the table of angels where he himself is the bread (Jn 6,35). Coming down to be with you and finding misfortune in your poor house, he was not too proud to be seated at your table, such as it was, and promised you his own... He has taken away your misfortune; he will give you his own happiness. Yes indeed, he will give it you: he has promised us his life.

And what he has accomplished is yet more unbelievable: he has given us his own death in pledge. As if he were to say to us: «I am inviting you into my life, to the place where none dies, where true happiness is to be found, where the food never stales, where it revives, where it never lacks but satisfies all. See, this is where I am inviting you: to the land of angels, to friendship with the Father and Holy Spirit, to the meal of eternity, to my brotherly friendship. In sum, I invite you to myself, to my own life. Are you unwilling to believe that I will give you my life? Take my death as your witness.

No comments: