Thought of the day
Saturday, April 11, 2015

Easter Saturday

"Proclaim the gospel to every creature"

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Sermon 233 ; PL 38, 1112

"Proclaim the gospel to every creature"

You have heard what the Lord said to his disciples after the resurrection. He sent them out to preach the Gospel and they did so. Listen: “Through all the earth their voice resounds, and to the ends of the world, their message” (Ps 18[19],5). Step by step the Gospel has reached even to us and the ends of the earth. In a few words the Lord, addressing himself to his disciples, set out what we are to do and what we have to hope for. Just as you have heard, he said: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.” He asks for our faith and offers us salvation. What he offers us is so precious that what he asks of us is as nothing.

“The children of men take refuge in the shadow of your wings, O my God… from your delightful stream you give them to drink, for with you is the fountain of life” (Ps 35[36],8f.). Jesus Christ is the fountain of life. Before the fountain of life came to us, we had only a human salvation like that of the beasts of which the psalm speaks: “Man and beast you save, O Lord” (Ps 35[36],7). But now the fountain of life has come even to us, the fountain of life died for our sakes. Will he refuse us his life who, for our sakes, gave his death? He is salvation, and this salvation is not worthless like the other one. Why? Because it does not pass away. The Lord has come. He died, but he killed death. In himself he brought an end to death. He assumed it and he killed it. Where is death now, then? Look for it in Christ and it is no longer there. It used to be there but there it died. O life, death of death! Take heart: it will also die in us. What was fulfilled in the Head will also be fulfilled in the members and death will die in us, too.

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