The early church Fathers on the Scriptures
Every page of the Bible is a hymn to Christ
by Augustine, c. 354-430

You have heard the account of the two disciples who met the Lord on the road to Emmaus and yet did not recognize him.  When he met them, they had lost all hope of the redemption that is in Christ, they were convinced that the Master was dead like any other man, they did not realize that Jesus inasmuch as he is Son of God was still alive.  According to them he had left this life without being able to return, like one of the many prophets.

Then the Lord revealed to them the meaning of the Scriptures.  Beginning with Moses and quoting one prophet after another he showed that everything that he had suffered had been foretold.

After that, he appeared to the eleven disciples and they thought they were seeing a ghost.  So Jesus let them touch him, the one who had let himself be crucified.  He was crucified by his enemies and touched by his friends.  He healed them all , the former of their wickedness, the latter of their unbelief.

Yet the Lord did not consider it was sufficient to allow them to touch him.  He wanted to appeal to the Scriptures to confirm their hearts in the faith.  He saw us in anticipation, who had not yet been born, who do not have a chance to touch Christ but do have the opportunity to read about him.

The Apostles believed because they had touched him.  But what can folk like us do?  By now Christ is ascended into heaven and will only return at the end to judge the living and the dead.  On what base shall we build our faith, unless it be those Scriptures with which the Lord wanted to confirm the faith of those who touched him?

He revealed to them the meaning of the Scriptures and showed how it was necessary that the Christ should fulfil all that  had been written about him in te books of the Law of Moses, in the Prophets, and in the Psalms.  The Lord went through the whole Old Testament.  He seemed to span it all in his embrace.

The Scriptures are in fact, in any passage you care to choose, singing of Christ, provided we have ears that are capable of picking out the tune.  The Lord opened the minds of the Apostles so that they understood the Scriptures.  That he will open our minds too is our prayer.

(Translation by Thomas Spidlik, Drinking from the Hidden Fountain: A Patristic Breviary, Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, MI - Spencer, MASS, 1994)

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