Augustine: Sermon 272

January 23, 2012

Augustine’s Sermon 272 somehow gets assigned to me every Spring semester. Every spring it seems to mean more, and with every new year I find myself amazed at how God has taught me to understand these words in fresh ways after living another year. 

This is a snippet of my perennial favorite part for everyone else’s enjoyment: 

The reason these things, brothers and sisters, are called sacraments is that in them one thing is seen, another is to be understood. What can be seen has a bodily appearance, what is to be understood provides spiritual fruit. So if you want to understand the body of Christ, listen to the apostle telling the faithful, “You, though, are the body of Christ and its members” (1 Cor 12:27). So if it’s you that are the body of Christ and its members, it’s the mystery meaning you that has been placed on the Lord’s table; what you receive is the mystery that means you. It is to what you are that you reply “Amen,” and by so replying you express your assent. What you hear, you see, is “The body of Christ,” and you answer, “Amen.” So be a member of the body of Christ, in order to make that “Amen” true. 

-Augustine; Sermon 272, “On the day of pentecost, To the Infantes (baby Christians)
On the Sacrament

With Love,

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