Tuesday, January 26, 2010

On Sacrament, Belief, And Eating

In understanding Jesus' words of eating flesh and having eternal life, Augustine explains: "believe and you have already eaten" stating:
“They said therefore unto Him, What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” For He had said to them, “Labor not for the meat which perishes, but for that which endures unto eternal life.” “What shall we do?” they ask; by observing what, shall we be able to fulfill this precept? “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He has sent.” This is then to eat the meat, not that which perishes, but that which endures unto eternal life. To what purpose dost thou make ready teeth and stomach? Believe, and thou hast eaten already. Faith is indeed distinguished from works, even as the apostle says, “that a man is justified by faith without the works of the law:” (Rom. 3: 28) there are works which appear good, without faith in Christ; but they are not good, because they are not referred to that end in which works are good; “for Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.” (Rom. 10:4) For that reason, He wills not to distinguish faith from work, but declared faith itself to be work. For it is that same faith that works by love. (Gal. 5:6) Nor did He say, This is your work; but, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He has sent;” so that he who glories, may glory in the Lord.
- St. Augustine, John: Tractate XXV:12 trans. Philip Schaff

No comments: