Christ’s Weakness Our Strength
DotCom readers have been enriched this Lent by the Augustinian feast that Joseph Komonchak is providing. Here is another morsel from the Bishop of Hippo’s commentary on a verse from this Sunday’s gospel:
“Jesus therefore, being wearied with His journey, sat thus at the well. It was about the sixth hour.” Now begin the mysteries. For it is not without a purpose that Jesus is weary; not indeed without a purpose that the strength of God is weary; not without a purpose that He is weary, by whom the wearied are refreshed; not without a purpose is He weary, by whose absence we are wearied, by whose presence we are strengthened. Nevertheless Jesus is weary, and weary with His journey; and He sits down, and that, too, near a well; and it is at the sixth hour that, being wearied, He sits down.
All these things hint something, are intended to intimate something, they make us eager, and encourage us to knock. May He Himself open to us and to you; He who has deigned to exhort us, so as to say, “Knock, and it shall be opened to you.” It was for you that Jesus was wearied with His journey. We find Jesus to be strength, and we find Jesus to be weak: we find a strong and a weak Jesus: strong, because “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God: the same was in the beginning with God.” Do you desire to see how this Son of God is strong? “All things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made:” and without labor, too, were they made. Then what can be stronger than He, by whom all things were made without labor? Would you know Him weak? “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” The strength of Christ created you, the weakness of Christ re-created you. The strength of Christ caused that to be which was not: the weakness of Christ caused that what was should not perish. He fashioned us by His strength, He sought us by His weakness.
(Tractates on the Gospel of John, XV, 6)