3 - 4 minutes readSermon of St. Augustine for Monday of the 4th Week of Lent: Cleansing the Temple

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Homily by St. Augustine


10th Tract on John.


What hear we now, my brethren? Behold, that temple was still but a figure, and the Lord drove out therefrom all them that sought their own, even them that were come to deal in merchandise. And what was it that they sold there? Only such things as were needful to men for the sacrifices that then were. For your love knoweth that, because of that people’s carnal-mindedness and the stoniness of their heart, there were commanded unto them such sacrifices as these, thereby to hold them back from idolatry and there, according, they offered up oxen, and sheep, and doves. This ye have read, and know.

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem. Sequel of the Holy Gospel according to John.
Cap. II. Ch. II.
In illo tempore: Prope erat Pascha Judæorum, etascendit Jesus Jerolsymam: et invenit in templo vendentes boves, et oves, et columbas, et nummularios sedentes. Et cum fecisset quasi flagellum de funiculis, omnes ejecit de templo, oves quoque, et boves, et nummulariorum effadit æs, et mensas suvertit. Et his, qui columbas vendebant, dixit: Auferte ista hinc, et nolite facere domum Patris mei, domum negotiationis. Recordati sunt vero discipluli ejus quia scriptum est: Zelus domus tuæ comedit me. Responderunt ergo Judæi, et dixerunt ei: Quod signum ostendis nobis quia hæc facis? Respondis Jesus, et dixit eis: Solvite templum hoc, et in tribus diebus excitabo illus. Dixerunt ergo Judæi: Quadraginta et sex annis ædificatum est templum hoc, et tu in tribus diebus excitabis illus. Ille autem dicebat te templo corporis sui. Cum ergo resurrexisset a mortuis, recordati sunt discipuli ejus, quia hoc dicebat, et crediderunt Scripturæ, et sermoni quem dixit Jesus. Cum autem esst Jerosolymis in Pascha in die testo, multi crediderunt in nomine ejus, videntes signa ejus, quæ faciebat. Ipse autem Jesus non credebat semeipsum eis, eo quod ipse nosset omnes, et quia opus ei non erat ut quis testimonium perhiberet de homine, ipse enim sciebat quid esset in homine. At that time the Pasch of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And he found in the temple them that sold oxen, and sheep, and doves, and the changers of money sitting. And when he had made as it were a scourge of little cords he drove them all out of the temple, the sheep also and the oxen; and the money of the changers he poured out, and the tables he overthrew. And he said to them that sold doves: Take these things hence, and make not the house of my Father a house of traffic. And his disciples remembered that it was written: “The zeal of thy house hath eaten me up,” Then the Jews answered and said to him: What sign dost these thou shew us, seeing thou dost these things? Jesus answered and said to them: Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. The Jews then said: Six and forty years was this temple in building, and wilt thou raise it in three days? But he spoke of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen again from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture, and the word that Jesus had said. Now when he was at Jerusalem, at the Pasch, on the festival day, many believed in his name, seeing his signs which he did. But Jesus did not trust himself to them, because he knew all men, and because he needed not that any should give testimony of man, for he knew what was in man.

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