Monday, April 8, 2013

Closed Doors and a Miracle: A Sermon by Saint Augustine of Hippo

What did we hear in the reading today?

That on the very day on which He rose again, that is, on the Lord's Day, when it had become late and the disciples were together in one place, with the doors closed for fear of the Jews, the Lord appeared in the midst of them.

Hence, on that day, as John the Evangelist is witness, He appeared twice to His disciples, once in the morning and once in the evening...Let us see, therefore, what today's reading presents to us for discussion.

Obviously, the passage urges us, and in a certain manner tells us to say something as to how the Lord was able to appear to His disciples when the doors were closed, since He had risen in such physical substantiality that He was not only seen by His disciples but even touched by them. 

Some persons are so disturbed about this matter that they endanger themselves, setting up the prejudice of their own reasoning against divine miracles.

In fact, they argue in this fashion:

"If there was a body, if there were flesh and bones, if that body which hung on the cross rose again from the tomb, how could it enter through closed doors?

"If it could not do this," they say, "then it was not done.  If it could do this, how was it able to do so?"

If you understand the way, there is no miracle; and if there seems to you to be no miracle, you are close to denying that He rose again from the tomb.

                                                             St. Augustine of Hippo

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