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St. Augustine Reads St. Matthew

Fra Angelico – The Conversion of St. Augustine

This week in the lectionary we read from the 11th chapter of St. Matthew’s Gospel. The chapter focuses on John the Baptist. Here St. Augustine explains Christ’s teaching in Matthew 11:25-27, which follows right after Christ’s description of John’s prophecy.

We have heard the Son of God saying, I confess to Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth. What doth he confess to Him? Wherein doth he praise Him? Because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Who are the wise and prudent? Who the babes? What hath He hid from the wise and prudent, and revealed unto babes? By the wise and prudent, He signifieth those of whom St. Paul speaks; Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? Yet perhaps thou still askest who they are. They are they peradventure who in their much disputation concerning God, have spoken falsely of Him; who, puffed up by their own doctrines, could in no wise find out and know God, and who for the God whose substance is incomprehensible and invisible, have thought the air and sky to be God, or the sun to be God, or any thing which holds high place among the creatures to be God. For observing the grandeur and beauty and powers of the creatures, they rested in them, and found not the Creator.

St. Augustine, Sermons on Selected Lessons of the New Testament (A Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church, Anterior to the Division of the East and West; Oxford; London 1844–1845)

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