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samedi 9 juillet 2016

From a discourse on the psalms by Saint Augustine, bishop (Ps. 126,2 CCL 40, 1857, 1858) Jesus Christ, the true Solomon

The temple that Solomon built to the Lord was a type and figure of the future Church as well as of the body of the Lord. For this reason Christ says in the Gospel: Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up again. For just as Solomon built the ancient temple, so the true Solomon, the true peacemaker, our Lord Jesus Christ, built a temple for himself. Now Solomon means peacemaker; Jesus, however, is the true peacemaker, of whom Saint Paul says: He is our peace, uniting the two into one. The true peacemaker brought together in himself two walls coming from different angles and himself became the cornerstone. One wall was formed of the circumcised believers and the other of the uncircumcised gentiles who had faith. And of these two peoples he made one Church, with himself as the cornerstone and, therefore, the true peacemaker.

And so when Solomon the king of Israel, the son of David and Bathsheba, built his temple, he acted as a figure of Christ, the true Solomon and peacemaker. But I do not think it was Solomon of old, the type of Christ, who really built God’s dwelling. As the beginning of the psalm tells us: Unless the Lord build the house, in vain have the builders labored on it. Thus it is the Lord who builds the house; it is the Lord Jesus who builds his own dwelling. Many may toil on its building, but unless he builds it, in vain have the builders labored on it.

And who are those who labor on it? All those who preach God’s word in the Church, who are ministers of his sacraments. All of us now rush, work and build, and before us other men rushed, worked and built; still, unless the Lord build the house, in vain have the builders labored on it. The apostles, and Paul specifically, saw some of them fail, and said: You observe the days, the years, the months and the seasons; I fear that I may have toiled for you to no purpose. For realizing that he was the result of the Lord’s building from within, he was sorrowful because he had toiled for them to no avail. Hence, we are the ones who speak from without, but he builds from within. We notice the fact that you are listening, but he alone knows what you are thinking, for he sees our thoughts. He is the one who builds, admonishes, instills fear, opens the mind, and bends the perceptions to the act of belief. Yet we too, his ministers, labor, and are as it were his workmen.