Thought of the day
Thursday, January 5, 2017

Christmas Weekday (January 5th)

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church Tractate on St John’s Gospel, no.7

Christmas Weekday (January 5th)

Commentary of the day 

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church Tractate on St John’s Gospel, no.7

                     "I saw you under the fig tree."

Nathanael was under the fig-tree, as it were under the shadow of death. The Lord saw him, concerning whom it was said, "They that sat under the shadow of death, unto them has light arisen," (Is 9:2). What then was said to Nathanael? You ask me, O Nathanael, "Whence do you know me?" Even now you speak to me because Philip called you. But before ever he was called by his apostle, Jesus already perceived him to belong to his Church. O you, Christian Church, true son of Israel…  you have known Christ even now through his apostles just as Nathanael knew Christ through Philip. Yet his compassion beheld you before you knew him, when you were still lying under sin. 

For did we first seek Christ? Was it not he who sought us? Did we approach sick to the Physician and not the Physician to the sick? Was that sheep not lost and did not the shepherd, leaving the ninety and nine in the wilderness, seek and find it and joyfully carry it back on his shoulders? (Lk 15:4). Was not that piece of money lost and the woman lighted the lamp and searched the whole house until she found it? (Lk 15:8)… Our Shepherd found the sheep, but he began by seeking it; like the woman, he found the piece of money, but only after having sought it... Therefore we were sought that we might be found; having been found, we are able to speak. Let pride, then, be far from us. For we should have been lost without hope of return if God had not sought us until he found us.