Thought of the day
Monday, January 2, 2017

Christmas Weekday (January 2nd)

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church Sermon 293, 7th for the Nativity of John the Baptist

Christmas Weekday (January 2nd)

Commentary of the day 

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church Sermon 293, 7th for the Nativity of John the Baptist

"I am the voice of one crying out in the desert"

John was the voice but “in the beginning was the Word” (Jn 1,1). John was a voice for a time; Christ, the Word from the beginning, the eternal Word. Take away the word and what is the voice? Where there is nothing to understand there is only an empty sound. A voice without a word may strike the ear, it does not edify the heart. However, let us examine how things are put together in our hearts when they are to be edified. If I think about what I have to say, the word is already in my heart; but when I want to address you then I consider how to cause what is already in my heart to pass over into yours. So if I am seeking how the word already in my heart can meet up with you and take root in your heart, then I make use of the voice. And it is with this voice that I speak to you: the sound of my voice conveys to you the idea contained in the word. Then, it is true, the sound of it evaporates, but the word that the sound conveyed to you is henceforth in your heart without having left mine.

When the word has reached you doesn't its sound seem to say, like John the Baptist: “He must increase; I must decrease”? (Jn 3,30). The sound of the voice rang out to accomplish its task, then vanished away as if to say: “My joy is complete” (v.29). So let us hold on to the Word; do not let us allow the Word conceived in the depths of our hearts to pass away.