Thought of the day
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wednesday of the Fourth week of Lent

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church On Genesis in the literal sense, 4, 11-13 [21-24] ( DDB 1972, p. 307f. rev.)

Wednesday of the Fourth week of Lent

Commentary of the day 

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church On Genesis in the literal sense, 4, 11-13 [21-24] ( DDB 1972, p. 307f. rev.)

“My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.”

We should like to explain to you how it is that two texts are equally true: that of Genesis, where it is written that God rested on the seventh day from all his works, and that of the Gospel, where the Lord, through whom all things are made, says: “My Father works until now and I work”... The observance of the Sabbath was laid down for the Jews to prefigure the spiritual rest promised by God to those of the faithful who would do good works – a rest whose mystery was confirmed by our Lord Jesus Christ in his burial. For it was on the Sabbath day that he rested in the tomb... when he had completed all his own work... 

One might suppose that God rested from having created all the various kinds of creatures because afterwards he did not create any further new species, except... that, even on the seventh day, he did not cease to govern heaven and earth and all the other beings he had created – if not, they would at once have fallen into nothingness. For the Creator's power, the Almighty's strength, is the cause through which all creatures subsist... Indeed, it is not the same with God as it is with an architect: when the house has been completed the latter goes away but... his work still stands. To the contrary, the world could not continue in being for even the blink of an eye if God were to withdraw his support... 

This is what the apostle Paul said when he came to preach God to the people of Athens: “In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17,28)... Indeed, we are not in God as his substance, in the sense in which is is said that “he has life in himself”, but, since we are other than he is, we could not be in him unless because he acts in this way: “His Wisdom reaches mightily from end to end of the earth and governs the whole world well” (Wsd 8,1)... 

Now we see the works of goodness God has made (Gn 1,31), but when we have finished our good deeds then we shall see his rest .