Sunday, May 14, 2006

Fourth Sunday after Easter

Roman Breviary at Matins: The reading of the holy Gospel according to John:

Lesson vii: c.16, 5-14
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: I go to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me: Whither goest thou? 6 But because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow hath filled your heart. 7 But I tell you the truth: it is expedient to you that I go: for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he is come, he will convince the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment. 9 Of sin: because they believed not in me. 10 And of justice: because I go to the Father; and you shall see me no longer.

8 "He will convince the world of sin"... The Holy Ghost, by his coming brought over many thousands, first, to a sense of their sin in not believing in Christ. Secondly, to a conviction of the justice of Christ, now sitting at the right hand of his Father. And thirdly, to a right apprehension of the judgment prepared for them that choose to follow Satan, who is already judged and condemned.

11 And of judgment: because the prince of this world is already judged. 12 I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth. For he shall not speak of himself; but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak; and the things that are to come, he shall shew you. 14 He shall glorify me; because he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it to you.

Homily of St. Augustine, Bishop
Treatise 94 on John

When the Lord Jesus had foretold to his disciples the persecution they would have to undergo after his departure, he went on to say: But I told you not these things from the beginning, because I was with you: and now I go to him that sent me. The first thing to be noticed here is, whether he had not already predicted their future sufferings. But the three Evangelists make it sufficiently clear that he had foretold these things prior to the approach of the Supper; according to John, it was when the supper was over that he spoke thus, saying: But I told you not these things from the beginning, because I was with you.

Lesson viii
Are we, then, to settle such a question in this way, that they, too, relate that he was near his passion when he said these things?Then it was not when he was with them at the beginning that he so spoke; seeing he was even now about to depart, even now about to go his way to the Father. And so also, according to to these other Evangelists, it is true what is said here: But I told you not to these things from the beginning. But what are we to make of the credibility of the Gospel according to Matthew, who relates that these things were made known to them by the Lord, not only when he was about to eat the Paschal supper with his disciples just before his passion, but also at the beginning, when the twelve apostles were first mentioned by name, and sent out upon their divine work?

Lesson ix
What, therefore, can he mean by what he says here: But I told you not these things from the beginning, because i was with you, but that what he here says about the Holy Spirit, who was to come to them, and to bear witness, when they should have such ills to endure, this he said not unto them at the beginning, because he was with them? The Comforter, then, or advocate, (for the Greek word Praclete may be interpreted in both these senses), had become necessary after Christ's departure; and therefore he had not told them of the Holy Spirit at the beginning, while he himself was with them, because they were consoled by his presence.

Little Chapter: James, 1, 19-21

You know, my dearest brethren; and let every man be swift to hear, but slow to speak, and slow to anger. For the anger of man worketh not the justice of God
Wherefore casting away all uncleanness and abundance of naughtiness, with meekness receive the ingrafted word which is able to save your souls.