Thought of the day
Sunday, March 19, 2017

Third Sunday of Lent

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church Tractate 15 on the Gospel of St. John, 6-7 "He gave everything for you"

Third Sunday of Lent

Commentary of the day 

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church Tractate 15 on the Gospel of St. John, 6-7

"He gave everything for you"

Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well. It was about the sixth hour. Now begin the mysteries. For it is not without a purpose that Jesus is weary, nor indeed without a purpose that the strength of God is weary... It was for you that Jesus was wearied on his journey. We find Jesus to be strength and we find Jesus to be weakness; we find a strong and a weak Jesus: strong because, “in the beginning was the word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”... Do you wish to see how this Son of God is strong? “All things were made by him, and without him nothing was made” (Jn 1:1-2): and they were made without labor, too! Then what can be stronger than the one by whom all things were made without labor? Do you wish to know him weak? “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14). 

The strength of Christ created you, the weakness of Christ recreated you. The strength of Christ caused that to be which was not, the weakness of Christ caused that which was not to perish. He fashioned us by his strength, he sought us by his weakness. As weak, then, he nourishes the weak like a hen her chickens, for he likened himself to a hen: “How often”, he said to Jerusalem, “would I have gathered your children under my wings as a hen her chickens; but you would not!” (Lk 13:34)... 

Jesus was weak, wearied with his journey, in just such a manner. His journey is the flesh assumed for us. For how can he, who is present everywhere, be on a journey? He who is nowhere absent? Where is he going, from where does he come, except that he could not come to us at all unless he had assumed the form of visible flesh? Therefore, just as he deigned to come to us in such a manner that he appeared in the form of a servant by means of the flesh he assumed, so that same assumption of flesh is his journey. Thus, to be “wearied with His journey”, what else is it but to be wearied in the flesh? Jesus was weak in the flesh: neverthless don't become weak yourself but in his weakness be strong since that which is “the weakness of God" is "stronger than men” (1Cor 1:25). Christ's weakness is our strength.