Saturday, 21 March 2015

John 18:19-40

In this section of St John's Gospel, the scene has now moved to the interrogation of Jesus by the priests.

The text

The Greek, Latin and Knox translation can be found on the New Advent page.  You can listen to it read in Latin and/or the Greek.  Here is the Latin:

19 Pontifex ergo interrogavit Jesum de discipulis suis, et de doctrina ejus. 20 Respondit ei Jesus: Ego palam locutus sum mundo: ego semper docui in synagoga, et in templo, quo omnes Judæi conveniunt, et in occulto locutus sum nihil. 21 Quid me interrogas? interroga eos qui audierunt quid locutus sim ipsis: ecce hi sciunt quæ dixerim ego. 22 Hæc autem cum dixisset, unus assistens ministrorum dedit alapam Jesu, dicens: Sic respondes pontifici? 23 Respondit ei Jesus: Si male locutus sum, testimonium perhibe de malo: si autem bene, quid me cædis? 24 Et misit eum Annas ligatum ad Caipham pontificem.25 Erat autem Simon Petrus stans, et calefaciens se. Dixerunt ergo ei: Numquid et tu ex discipulis ejus es? Negavit ille, et dixit: Non sum. 26 Dicit ei unus ex servis pontificis, cognatus ejus, cujus abscidit Petrus auriculam: Nonne ego te vidi in horto cum illo? 27 Iterum ergo negavit Petrus: et statim gallus cantavit.28 Adducunt ergo Jesum a Caipha in prætorium. Erat autem mane: et ipsi non introierunt in prætorium, ut non contaminarentur, sed ut manducarent Pascha. 29 Exivit ergo Pilatus ad eos foras, et dixit: Quam accusationem affertis adversus hominem hunc? 30 Responderunt, et dixerunt ei: Si non esset hic malefactor, non tibi tradidissemus eum. 31 Dixit ergo eis Pilatus: Accipite eum vos, et secundum legem vestram judicate eum. Dixerunt ergo ei Judæi: Nobis non licet interficere quemquam. 32 Ut sermo Jesu impleretur, quem dixit, significans qua morte esset moriturus. 33 Introivit ergo iterum in prætorium Pilatus: et vocavit Jesum, et dixit ei: Tu es rex Judæorum? 34 Respondit Jesus: A temetipso hoc dicis, an alii dixerunt tibi de me? 35 Respondit Pilatus: Numquid ego Judæus sum? gens tua et pontifices tradiderunt te mihi: quid fecisti? 36 Respondit Jesus: Regnum meum non est de hoc mundo. Si ex hoc mundo esset regnum meum, ministri mei utique decertarent ut non traderer Judæis: nunc autem regnum meum non est hinc. 37 Dixit itaque ei Pilatus: Ergo rex es tu? Respondit Jesus: Tu dicis quia rex sum ego. Ego in hoc natus sum, et ad hoc veni in mundum, ut testimonium perhibeam veritati: omnis qui est ex veritate, audit vocem meam. 38 Dicit ei Pilatus: Quid est veritas? Et cum hoc dixisset, iterum exivit ad Judæos, et dicit eis: Ego nullam invenio in eo causam. 39 Est autem consuetudo vobis ut unum dimittam vobis in Pascha: vultis ergo dimittam vobis regem Judæorum? 40 Clamaverunt ergo rursum omnes, dicentes: Non hunc, sed Barabbam. Erat autem Barabbas latro.


 [19] The high priest therefore asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. [20] Jesus answered him: I have spoken openly to the world: I have always taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither all the Jews resort; and in secret I have spoken nothing.[21] Why asketh thou me? ask them who have heard what I have spoken unto them: behold they know what things I have said. [22] And when he had said these things, one of the servants standing by, gave Jesus a blow, saying: Answerest thou the high priest so? [23] Jesus answered him: If I have spoken evil, give testimony of the evil; but if well, why strikest thou me? [24] And Annas sent him bound to Caiphas the high priest. [25] And Simon Peter was standing, and warming himself. They said therefore to him: Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said: I am not. [26] One of the servants of the high priest (a kinsman to him whose ear Peter cut off) saith to him: Did I not see thee in the garden with him? [27] Again therefore Peter denied; and immediately the cock crew. [28] Then they led Jesus from Caiphas to the governor' s hall. And it was morning; and they went not into the hall, that they might not be defiled, but that they might eat the pasch. [29] Pilate therefore went out to them, and said: What accusation bring you against this man? [30] They answered, and said to him: If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up to thee.[31] Pilate therefore said to them: Take him you, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said to him: It is not lawful for us to put any man to death; [32] That the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he said, signifying what death he should die. [33] Pilate therefore went into the hall again, and called Jesus, and said to him: Art thou the king of the Jews? [34] Jesus answered: Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or have others told it thee of me? [35] Pilate answered: Am I a Jew? Thy own nation, and the chief priests, have delivered thee up to me: what hast thou done?[36] Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now my kingdom is not from hence. [37] Pilate therefore said to him: Art thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice. [38] Pilate saith to him: What is truth? And when he said this, he went out again to the Jews, and saith to them: I find no cause in him. [39] But you have a custom that I should release one unto you at the pasch: will you, therefore, that I release unto you the king of the Jews? [40] Then cried they all again, saying: Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.


The Catena Aurea points out that the priests were not actually interested in seeking truth, but rather trumping up a charge against Jesus:

CHRYS. As they could bring no charge against Christ, they asked Him of His disciples: The high priest then asked Jesus of His disciples; perhaps where they were, and on what account He had collected them, he wished to prove that he was a seditious and factious person whom no one attended to, except His own disciples.

THEOPHYL. He asks Him moreover of His doctrine, what it was, whether opposed to Moses and the law, that he might take occasion thereby to put Him to death as an enemy of God.

ALCUIN. He does not ask in order to know the truth, but to find out some charge against Him, on which to deliver Him to the Roman Governor to be condemned. But our Lord so tempers His answer, as neither to conceal the truth, nor yet to appear to defend Himself: Jesus answered him, I spoke openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, where the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.

THEOPHYL. When Jesus had appealed to the testimony of the people by, an officer, wishing to clear himself, and show that he was not one of those who admired our Lord, struck Him: And when He had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answer you the high priest so?

Peter again denies Jesus.  We need to ponder the spiritual interpretation of these acts:

CHRYS. The Evangelists have all given the same account of the denials of Peter, not with any intention of throwing blame upon him, but to teach us how hurtful it is to trust in self, and not ascribe all to God.

BEDE. Mystically, by the first denial of Peter are denoted those who before our Lord's Passion denied that He was God, by the second, those who did so after His resurrection. So by the first crowing of the cock His resurrection is signified; by the second, the general resurrection at the end of the world. By the first damsel, who obliged Peter to deny, is denoted lust, by the second, carnal delight: by one or more servants, the devils who persuade men to deny Christ.

 Jesus' interrogation by Pilate draws out two final important lessons for us, first on the nature of the kingdom:

AUG. This is what the good Master wished to teach us. But first it was necessary to show the falsity of the notions of both Jews and Gentiles as to His kingdom, which Pilate had heard of; as if it meant that He aimed at unlawful power; a crime punishable with death, and this kingdom were a subject of jealousy to the ruling power, and to be guarded against as likely to be hostile either to the Romans or Jews. Now if our Lord had answered immediately Pilate's question, He would have seemed to have been answering not the Jews, but the Gentiles only. But after Pilate's answer, what He says is an answer to both Gentiles and Jews: as if He said, Men, i.e. Jews and Gentiles, I hinder not your dominion in this world. What more would you have? Come by faith to the kingdom which is not of this world. For what is His kingdom, but they that believe in Him, of whom He says, you are not of the world: although He wished that they should be in the world. In the same way, here He does not say, My kingdom is not in this world; but, is not of this world. Of the world are all men, who created by God are born of the corrupt race of Adam. All that are born again in Christ, are made a kingdom not of this world. Thus hath God taken us out of the power of darkness, and translated us to the kingdom of His dear Son.

CHRYS. Or He means that He does not derive His kingdom from the same source that earthly kings do; but that He has his sovereignty from above; inasmuch as He is not mere man, but far greater and more glorious than man: If My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews. Here He shows the weakness of an earthly kingdom, has its strength from its servants, whereas that higher kingdom is sufficient to itself, and wanting in nothing. And if His kingdom was thus the greater of the two, it follows that He was taken of His own will, and delivered up Himself.

And secondly on the nature of truth as an absolute:

AUG But when Christ bears witness to the truth, He bears witness to Himself; as He said above, I am the truth. But inasmuch as all men have not faith, He adds, Everyone that is of the truth hears My voice: hears, that is, with the inward ear; obeys My voice, believes Me. Every one that is of the truth, has reference to the grace by which He calls according to His purpose. For as regards the nature in which we are created, since the truth created all, all are of the truth. But it is not all to whom it is given the truth to obey the truth. For had He even said, Everyone one that hears My voice is of the truth, it still would be thought that such were of the truth, because they obeyed the truth But He does not say this, but Everyone that is of the truth hears My voice. A man then is not of the truth, because he hears His voice, but hears His voice because he is of the truth. This grace is conferred upon him by the truth.

CHRYS. These words have an effect upon Pilate, persuade him to become a hearer, and elicit from him the short inquiry, What is truth had almost said to Him, What is truth?

THEOPHYL. For it had almost vanished from the world, and become unknown in consequence of the general unbelief.

Friday, 20 March 2015

John 18:1-18


With Chapter 18 of St John's Gospel, the scene now moves to the Garden of Gethsemane, and Jesus' betrayal by Judas.

The text

The Greek, Latin and Knox translation can be found on the New Advent page.  You can listen to it read in Latin and/or the Greek.   Here is the Latin:

Hæc cum dixisset Jesus, egressus est cum discipulis suis trans torrentem Cedron, ubi erat hortus, in quem introivit ipse, et discipuli ejus. 2 Sciebat autem et Judas, qui tradebat eum, locum: quia frequenter Jesus convenerat illuc cum discipulis suis. 3 Judas ergo cum accepisset cohortem, et a pontificibus et pharisæis ministros, venit illuc cum laternis, et facibus, et armis. 4 Jesus itaque sciens omnia quæ ventura erant super eum, processit, et dixit eis: Quem quæritis? 5 Responderunt ei: Jesum Nazarenum. Dicit eis Jesus: Ego sum. Stabat autem et Judas, qui tradebat eum, cum ipsis. 6 Ut ergo dixit eis: Ego sum: abierunt retrorsum, et ceciderunt in terram. 7 Iterum ergo interrogavit eos: Quem quæritis? Illi autem dixerunt: Jesum Nazarenum. 8 Respondit Jesus: Dixi vobis, quia ego sum: si ergo me quæritis, sinite hos abire. 9 Ut impleretur sermo, quem dixit: Quia quos dedisti mihi, non perdidi ex eis quemquam. 10 Simon ergo Petrus habens gladium eduxit eum: et percussit pontificis servum, et abscidit auriculam ejus dexteram. Erat autem nomen servo Malchus. 11 Dixit ergo Jesus Petro: Mitte gladium tuum in vaginam. Calicem, quem dedit mihi Pater, non bibam illum?12 Cohors ergo, et tribunus, et ministri Judæorum comprehenderunt Jesum, et ligaverunt eum. 13 Et adduxerunt eum ad Annam primum: erat enim socer Caiphæ, qui erat pontifex anni illius. 14 Erat autem Caiphas, qui consilium dederat Judæis: Quia expedit unum hominem mori pro populo. 15 Sequebatur autem Jesum Simon Petrus, et alius discipulus. Discipulus autem ille erat notus pontifici, et introivit cum Jesu in atrium pontificis. 16 Petrus autem stabat ad ostium foris. Exivit ergo discipulus alius, qui erat notus pontifici, et dixit ostiariæ: et introduxit Petrum. 17 Dicit ergo Petro ancilla ostiaria: Numquid et tu ex discipulis es hominis istius? Dicit ille: Non sum. 18 Stabant autem servi et ministri ad prunas, quia frigus erat, et calefaciebant se: erat autem cum eis et Petrus stans, et calefaciens se.

The Douay-Rheims:

When Jesus had said these things, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where there was a garden, into which he entered with his disciples. [2] And Judas also, who betrayed him, knew the place; because Jesus had often resorted thither together with his disciples. [3] Judas therefore having received a band of soldiers and servants from the chief priests and the Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. [4] Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said to them: Whom seek ye? [5] They answered him: Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith to them: I am he. And Judas also, who betrayed him, stood with them. [6] As soon therefore as he had said to them: I am he; they went backward, and fell to the ground. [7] Again therefore he asked them: Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. [8] Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he. If therefore you seek me, let these go their way. [9] That the word might be fulfilled which he said: Of them whom thou hast given me, I have not lost any one. [10] Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it, and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. And the name of the servant was Malchus.[11] Jesus therefore said to Peter: Put up thy sword into the scabbard. The chalice which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? [12] Then the band and the tribune, and the servants of the Jews, took Jesus, and bound him: [13] And they led him away to Annas first, for he was father in law to Caiphas, who was the high priest of that year. [14] Now Caiphas was he who had given the counsel to the Jews: That it was expedient that one man should die for the people. [15] And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. And that disciple was known to the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the court of the high priest. [16] But Peter stood at the door without. The other disciple therefore, who was known to the high priest, went out, and spoke to the portress, and brought in Peter. [17] The maid therefore that was portress, saith to Peter: Art not thou also one of this man' s disciples? He saith: I am not. [18] Now the servants and ministers stood at a fire of coals, because it was cold, and warmed themselves. And with them was Peter also, standing, and warming himself.


Today's section of the Gospel focus on betrayal: first Judas' then Peter's.  The Catena Aurea anthology of commentaries points to the spiritual interpretation of the garden, the night, and more:

ALCUIN. Over the brook Cedron, i.e. of cedars. It is the genitive in the Greek. He goes over the brook, i.e. drinks of the brook of His Passion. Where there was a garden, that the sin which was committed in a garden, He might blot out in a garden. Paradise signifies garden of delights.

CHRYS. That it might not be thought that He went into a garden to hide Himself, it is added, But Judas who betrayed Him knew the place: for Jesus of often resorted there with; His disciples.

AUG. There the wolf in sheep's clothing permitted by the deep counsel of the Master of the flock to go among the sheep, learned in what way to disperse the flock, and ensnare the Shepherd.

The passage makes it clear that Jesus handed himself over voluntarily:

CHRYS. They had often sent elsewhere to take Him, but had not been able. Whence it is evident that He gave Himself up voluntarily; as it follows, Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon Him, went forth, and said to them, Whom do you seek?

THEOPHYL. He asks not because He needed to know, for He knew all things that should come upon Him; but because He wished to show, that though present, they could not see or distinguish Him: Jesus says to them, I am He.

CHRYS. He Himself had blinded their eyes. For that darkness was not the reason is clear, because the Evangelist says that they had lanterns. Though they had not lanterns, however, they should at least have recognized Him by His voice. And if they did not know Him, yet how was it that Judas, who had been with Him constantly also, did not know Him? And Judas also which betrayed Him stood with them. Jesus did all this to show that they could not have taken Him, or even seen Him when He was in the midst of them, had He not permitted it.

AUG. As soon then as He said To them, I am He, they went backward. Where now is the band of soldiers, where the terror and defence of arms? Without a blow, one word struck, drove back, prostrated a crowd fierce with hatred, terrible with arms. For God was hid in the flesh, and the eternal day was so obscured by His human body, that He was sought for with lanterns and torches, to be slain in the darkness. What shall He do when He comes to judge, Who did thus when He was going to be judged? And now even at the present time Christ says by the Gospel, I am He, and an Antichrist is expected by the Jews: to the end that they may go backward, and fall to the ground; because that forsaking heavenly, they desire earthly things.

St Peter's first reaction is armed resistance:

CHRYS. Peter trusting to these last words of our Lord's, and to what He had just done, assaults those who came to take Him: Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant. But how, commanded as he had been to have neither scrip, nor two garments, had he a sword? Perhaps he had foreseen this occasion, and provided one. 

THEOPHYL. Or, he had got one for sacrificing the lamb, and carried it away with him from the Supper.

CHRYS. But how could he, who had been forbidden ever to strike on the cheek, be a murderer? Because what he had been forbidden to do was to avenge himself, but here he was not avenging himself, but his Master. They were not however yet perfect: afterwards you shall see Peter beaten with stripes, and bearing it humbly. And cut off his right ear: this seems to show the impetuosity of the Apostle; that he struck at the head itself. 

AUG. The servant's name was Malchus; John is the only Evangelist who mentions the servant's name; as Luke is the only one who mentions that our Lord touched the ear and healed him. 

CHRYS. He wrought this miracle both to teach us, that we ought to do good to those who suffer and to manifest His power. The Evangelist gives the name, that those who then read it might have the opportunity of inquiring into the truth of the account. And he mentions that he was the servant of the high priest, because in addition to the miracle of the cure itself, this shows that it was performed upon one of those who came to take Him, and who shortly after struck Him on the face. 

AUG. The name Malchus signifies, about to reign. What then does the ear cut off for our Lord, and healed by our Lord denote, but the abolition of the old, and the creating of a new, hearing in the newness of the Spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter? To whomsoever this is given, who can doubt that he will reign with Christ? But he was a servant too, has reference to that oldness, which generated to bondage: the cure figures liberty.

THEOPHYL. Or, the cutting off of the high priest's servant's right ear is a type of the people's deafness, of which the chief priests partook most strongly: the restoration of the ear, of ultimate reenlightenment of the understanding of the Jews, at the coming of Elias. 

AUG. Our Lord condemned Peter's act, and forbade him proceeding further: Then said Jesus to Peter, Put up your sword into the sheath. He was to be admonished to have patience: and this was written for our learning. 

Peter's second reaction is denial:

AUG. The temptation of Peter, which took place in the midst of the contumelies offered to our Lord, is not placed by all in the same order. Matthew and Mark put the contumelies first, the temptation of Peter afterwards; Luke the temptation first, the contumelies after. John begins with the temptation: And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. 

ALCUIN. He followed his Master out of devotion, though afar off, on account of fear. 

AUG. Who that other disciple was we cannot hastily decide, as his name is not told us. John however is accustomed to signify himself by this expression, with the addition of, whom Jesus loved. Perhaps therefore he is the one. 

CHRYS. He omits his own name out of humility: though he is relating an act of great virtue, how that he followed when the rest fled. He puts Peter before himself, and then mentions himself, in order to show that he was inside the hall, and therefore related what took place there with more certainty than the other Evangelists could. That disciple was known to the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest. This he mentions not as a boast, but in order to diminish his own merit, in having been the only one who entered with Jesus. It is accounting for the act in another way, than merely by greatness of mind. 

Peter's love took him as far as the palace, but his fear prevented him entering in: But Peter stood at the door without. 

ALCUIN. He stood without, as being about to deny his Lord. He was not in Christ, who dared not confess Christ. 

CHRYS. But that Peter would have entered the palace, if he had been permitted, appears by what immediately follows: Then went out that other disciple who was known to the high priest, and spoke to her who kept the doors, and brought in Peter. 

He did not bring him in himself, because he kept near Christ. It follows: Then says the damsel that kept the door to Peter, Are not you also one of this Man's s disciples? He says, I am not. What say you, O Peter? Did you not say before, I will lay down my life for your sake? What then had happened, that you give way even when the damsel asks you? It was not a soldier who asked you, but a mean porteress. Nor said she, Are you this Deceiver's disciple, but, this Man's: an expression of pity. Are not you also, she says, because John was inside. 

AUG. But what wonder, if God foretold truly, man presumed falsely. Respecting this denial of Peter we should remark, that Christ is not only denied by him, who denies that He is Christ, but by him also who denies himself to be a Christian. For the Lord did not say to Peter, you shall deny that you art My disciple, but, you shall deny Me. He denied Him then, when he denied that he was His disciple. And what was this but to deny that he was a Christian? How many afterwards, even boys and girls, were able to despise death, confess Christ, and enter courageously into the kingdom of heaven; which he who received the keys of the kingdom, was now unable to do? Wherein we see the reason for His saying above, Let these go their way, for of those which you hast given Me, have I lost none. If Peter had gone out of this world immediately after denying Christ, He must have been lost. 

CHRYS. Therefore did Divine Providence permit Peter first to fall, in order that he might be less severe to sinners from the remembrance of his own fall. Peter, the teacher and master of the whole world, sinned, and obtained pardon. that judges might thereafter have that rule to go by in dispensing pardon. For this reason I suppose the priesthood was not given to Angels; because, being without sin themselves, they would punish sinners without pity. Passible man is placed over man, in order that remembering his own weakness, he may be merciful to others. 

Thursday, 19 March 2015

John 17: 14-26

Today's section of the Gospel starts with the important lesson that we are to be in the world but not of it: though our tasks is to transform the world, to convert it to Christ to there is nothing at all wrong with building up the walls of the Church to keep evil out!  The second part of the chapter widens Christ's prayer to all believers down the ages.

The text

The New Advent page has the Greek, Latin and Knox translation.  You can listen to the Latin here and the Greek here.

The Latin:

14 Ego dedi eis sermonem tuum, et mundus eos odio habuit, quia non sunt de mundo, sicut et ego non sum de mundo. 15 Non rogo ut tollas eos de mundo, sed ut serves eos a malo. 16 De mundo non sunt, sicut et ego non sum de mundo. 17 Sanctifica eos in veritate. Sermo tuus veritas est. 18 Sicut tu me misisti in mundum, et ego misi eos in mundum: 19 et pro eis ego sanctifico meipsum: ut sint et ipsi sanctificati in veritate.20 Non pro eis autem rogo tantum, sed et pro eis qui credituri sunt per verbum eorum in me: 21 ut omnes unum sint, sicut tu Pater in me, et ego in te, ut et ipsi in nobis unum sint: ut credat mundus, quia tu me misisti. 22 Et ego claritatem, quam dedisti mihi, dedi eis: ut sint unum, sicut et nos unum sumus. 23 Ego in eis, et tu in me: ut sint consummati in unum: et cognoscat mundus quia tu me misisti, et dilexisti eos, sicut et me dilexisti. 24 Pater, quos dedisti mihi, volo ut ubi sum ego, et illi sint mecum: ut videant claritatem meam, quam dedisti mihi: quia dilexisti me ante constitutionem mundi. 25 Pater juste, mundus te non cognovit, ego autem te cognovi: et hi cognoverunt, quia tu me misisti. 26 Et notum feci eis nomen tuum, et notum faciam: ut dilectio, qua dilexisti me, in ipsis sit, et ego in ipsis.


[14] I have given them thy word, and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world; as I also am not of the world. [15] I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from evil. [16] They are not of the world, as I also am not of the world. [17] Sanctify them in truth. Thy word is truth. [18] As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. [19] And for them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. [20] And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me;
[21] That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. [22] And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as we also are one: [23] I in them, and thou in me; that they may be made perfect in one: and the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast also loved me. [24] Father, I will that where I am, they also whom thou hast given me may be with me; that they may see my glory which thou hast given me, because thou hast loved me before the creation of the world. [25] Just Father, the world hath not known thee; but I have known thee: and these have known that thou hast sent me. [26] And I have made known thy name to them, and will make it known; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me, may be in them, and I in them.


Catena Aurea page on being in the world not of it:

BEDE. As if to say, The time is now at hand, when I shall be taken out of the world; and therefore it is necessary that they should be still left in the world, in order to preach Me and You to the world. But that you should keep them from the evil; every evil, but especially the evil of schism.

AUG. He repeats the same thing again; They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

CHRYS. Above, when He said, Then whom you gave Me out of the world, He meant their nature; here He means their actions. They are not of the world; because they have nothing, in common with earth they are made citizens of heaven. Wherein He shows His love for them, thus praising them to the Father. The word as when used with respect to Him and the Father expresses likeness of nature; but between us and Christ there is immense distance Keep them from the evil, i.e. not from dangers only, but from falling away from the faith.

Prayer for all believers:

AUG. When our Lord had prayed for His disciples, whom He named also Apostles, He added a prayer for all others who should believe on Him; Neither pray I for these alone, but for all others who shall believe of Me through their word.

CHRYS. Another ground of consolation to them, that they were to be the cause of the salvation of others.

AUG. All, i.e. not only those who were then alive, but those who were to be born; not those only who heard the Apostles themselves, but us who were born long after their death. We have all believed in Christ through their word: for they first heard that word from Christ, and then preached it to others, and so it has come down, and will go down to all posterity. We may see that in this prayer there are some disciples whom He does not pray for; for those,

i.e. who were neither with Him at the time, nor were about to believe on Him afterwards through the Apostles' word, but believed already.

Was Nathanael with Him then, or Joseph of Arimathea, and many others, who, John says, believed on Him? I do not mention old Simon, or Anna the prophetess, Zacharias, Elisabeth, or John the Baptist; for it might be answered that it was not necessary to pray for dead persons, such as these who departed with such rich merits. With respect to the former then we must understand that they did not yet believe in Him, as He wished, but that after His resurrection, when the Apostles were taught and strengthened by the Holy Spirit, they attained to a right faith.

The case of Paul however still remains, An Apostle not of men, or by men; and that of the robber, who believed when even the teachers themselves of the faith fell away. We must understand then, their word, to mean the word of faith itself which they preached to the world; it being called their word, because it was preached in the first instance and principally by them; for it was being preached by them, when Paul received it by revelation from Jesus Christ Himself. And in this sense the robber too believed their word. Wherefore in this prayer the Redeemer prays for all whom He redeemed, both present and to come.

The call to unity in Christ, true ecumenism through the reconciliation of all believers to the Catholic Church:

HILARY. And this unity is recommended by the great example of unity: As you, Father, are in Me, and I in you, that they also may be one in Us, i.e. that as the Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father, so after the likeness of this unity, all may be one in the Father and in the Son.

CHRYS. For there is no scandal so great as division, whereas unity amongst believers is a great argument for believing; as He said at the beginning of His discourse, By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one to another. For if they quarrel, they will not be looked on as the disciples of a peacemaking Master. And I, He says, not being a peacemaker, they will not acknowledge Me as sent from God.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

John 17:1-13

This chapter marks the end of the Last Supper/Farewell Discourse, and takes the form of an extended prayer by Jesus, first the disciples, and then for the world.

The text

The New Advent page has the Greek, Latin and Knox translation.  You can listen to the Latin here and the Greek here. Here is the Latin:

Hæc locutus est Jesus: et sublevatis oculis in cælum, dixit: Pater, venit hora: clarifica Filium tuum, ut Filius tuus clarificet te: 2 sicut dedisti ei potestatem omnis carnis, ut omne, quod dedisti ei, det eis vitam æternam. 3 Hæc est autem vita æterna: ut cognoscant te, solum Deum verum, et quem misisti Jesum Christum. 4 Ego te clarificavi super terram: opus consummavi, quod dedisti mihi ut faciam: 5 et nunc clarifica me tu, Pater, apud temetipsum, claritate quam habui, priusquam mundus esset, apud te. 6 Manifestavi nomen tuum hominibus, quos dedisti mihi de mundo: tui erant, et mihi eos dedisti: et sermonem tuum servaverunt. 7 Nunc cognoverunt quia omnia quæ dedisti mihi, abs te sunt: 8 quia verba quæ dedisti mihi, dedi eis: et ipsi acceperunt, et cognoverunt vere quia a te exivi, et crediderunt quia tu me misisti. 9 Ego pro eis rogo; non pro mundo rogo, sed pro his quos dedisti mihi: quia tui sunt: 10 et mea omnia tua sunt, et tua mea sunt: et clarificatus sum in eis.11 Et jam non sum in mundo, et hi in mundo sunt, et ego ad te venio. Pater sancte, serva eos in nomine tuo, quos dedisti mihi: ut sint unum, sicut et nos. 12 Cum essem cum eis, ego servabam eos in nomine tuo. Quos dedisti mihi, custodivi: et nemo ex eis periit, nisi filius perditionis, ut Scriptura impleatur. 13 Nunc autem ad te venio: et hæc loquor in mundo, ut habeant gaudium meum impletum in semetipsis.


These things Jesus spoke, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he said: Father, the hour is come, glorify thy Son, that thy Son may glorify thee. [2] As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he may give eternal life to all whom thou hast given him. [3] Now this is eternal life: That they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. [4] I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. [5] And now glorify thou me, O Father, with thyself, with the glory which I had, before the world was, with thee.[6] I have manifested thy name to the men whom thou hast given me out of the world. Thine they were, and to me thou gavest them; and they have kept thy word. [7] Now they have known, that all things which thou hast given me, are from thee: [8] Because the words which thou gavest me, I have given to them; and they have received them, and have known in very deed that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. [9] I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them whom thou hast given me: because they are thine: [10] And all my things are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. [11] And now I am not in the world, and these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name whom thou has given me; that they may be one, as we also are. [12] While I was with them, I kept them in thy name. Those whom thou gavest me have I kept; and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the scripture may be fulfilled. [13] And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy filled in themselves.


In these verses the Fathers point out in the anthology of commentaries included in the  Catena Aurea Jesus teaches us how to pray:

CHRYS. After having said, In the world you shall have tribulation, our Lord turns from admonition to prayer; thus teaching us in our tribulations to abandon all other things, and flee to God.

BEDE. These things spoke Jesus, those things that He had said at the supper, partly sitting as far as the words, Arise, let us go hence; and thence standing, up to the end of the hymn which now commences, And lifted up His eyes and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Your Son.

CHRYS. He lifted up His eyes to heaven to teach us intentness in our prayers: that we should stand with uplifted eyes, not of the body only, but of the mind.

AUG. Our Lord, in the form of a servant, could have prayed in silence had He pleased; but He remembered that He had not only to pray, but to teach. For not only His discourse, but His prayer also, was for His disciples' edification, yes and for ours who read the same. Father, the hour is come, shows that all time, and every thing that He did or suffered to be done, was at His disposing, Who is not subject to time. Not that we must suppose that this hour came by any fatal necessity, but rather by God's ordering. Away with the notion, that the stars could doom to death the Creator of the stars.

 He summarises his mission on earth:

CHRYS. Having said, I have finished My work, He shows what kind of work it was, viz. that He should make known the name of God: I have manifested your name unto the men which You gave Me out of the world.

AUG. If He speaks of the disciples only with whom He supped, this has nothing to do with that glorifying of which He spoke above, wherewith the Son glorified the Father; for what glory is it to be known to twelve or eleven men? But if by the men which were given to Him out of the world, He means all those who should believe in Him afterwards, this is without doubt the glory wherewith the Son glorifies the Father; and, I have manifested your name, is the same as what He said before, I have glorified You; the past being put for the future both there and here.

But what follows shows that He is speaking here of those who were already His disciples, not of all who should afterwards believe on Him. At the beginning of His prayer then our Lord is speaking of all believers, all to whom He should make known the Father, thereby glorifying Him: for after saying, that your Son also may glorify You, in strewing how that was to be done, He says, As You have given Him power over all flesh. Now let us hear what He says to the disciples: I have manifested your name to the men which You gave Me out of the world.

Had they not known the name of God then, when they were Jews? We read in the Psalms, In Jewry is God known; His name is great in Israel. I have manifested your name, then must be understood not of the name of God, but of the Father's name, which name could not be manifested without the manifestation of the Son. For God's name, as the God of the whole creation, could not have been entirely unknown to any nation. As the Maker then of the world, He was known among all nations even before the spread of the Gospel.

In Jewry He was known as a God, Who was not to be worshipped with the false gods: but as the Father of that Christ, by whom He took away the sins of the world, His name was unknown; which name Christ now manifests to those whom the Father had given Him out of the world. But how did He manifest it, when the hour had not come of which He said above, The hour comes, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs. We must understand the past to be put for the future.

CHRYS. That He was the Son of the Father, Christ had already manifested to them by words and deeds.

He prays first specifically for the disciples, reminding us to care first for the Christian community:

CHRYS. As the disciples were still sad in spite of all our Lord's consolations, henceforth He addresses Himself to the Father to show the love which He had for them; I pray for them; He not only gives them what He has of His own, but entreats another for them, as a still further proof of His love.

AUG. When He adds, I pray not for the world, by the world He means those who live according to the lust of the world, and have not the lot to be chosen by grace out of the world, as those had for whom He prayed: But for them which you have given Me. It was because the Father had given Him them, that they did not belong to the world. Nor yet had the Father, in giving them to the Son, lost what He had given: For they are Yours.

CHRYS. He often repeats, you have given Me, to impress on them that it was all according to the Father's will, and that He did not come to rob another, but to take unto Him His own. Then to show them that this power had not been lately received from the Father, He adds, And all Yours, and Yours are Mine: as if to say, Let no one, hearing Me say, Them which You have given Me, suppose that they are separated from the Father; for Mine are His: nor because I said, They are Yours, suppose that they are separate from Me: for whatever is His is Mine.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

John 16: 16-33

The text

The Latin, Greek and Knox translation can be found on the New Advent page.  You can listen to the Latin here (from 1.38) and the Greek here.

Here is the Latin:

6 Modicum, et jam non videbitis me; et iterum modicum, et videbitis me: quia vado ad Patrem. 17 Dixerunt ergo ex discipulis ejus ad invicem: Quid est hoc quod dicit nobis: Modicum, et non videbitis me; et iterum modicum, et videbitis me, et quia vado ad Patrem? 18 Dicebant ergo: Quid est hoc quod dicit: Modicum? nescimus quid loquitur. 19 Cognovit autem Jesus, quia volebant eum interrogare, et dixit eis: De hoc quæritis inter vos quia dixi: Modicum, et non videbitis me; et iterum modicum, et videbitis me. 20 Amen, amen dico vobis: quia plorabitis, et flebitis vos, mundus autem gaudebit; vos autem contristabimini, sed tristitia vestra vertetur in gaudium. 21 Mulier cum parit, tristitiam habet, quia venit hora ejus; cum autem pepererit puerum, jam non meminit pressuræ propter gaudium, quia natus est homo in mundum. 22 Et vos igitur nunc quidem tristitiam habetis, iterum autem videbo vos, et gaudebit cor vestrum: et gaudium vestrum nemo tollet a vobis. 23 Et in illo die me non rogabitis quidquam. Amen, amen dico vobis: si quid petieritis Patrem in nomine meo, dabit vobis. 24 Usque modo non petistis quidquam in nomine meo: petite, et accipietis, ut gaudium vestrum sit plenum.25 Hæc in proverbiis locutus sum vobis. Venit hora cum jam non in proverbiis loquar vobis, sed palam de Patre annuntiabo vobis: 26 in illo die in nomine meo petetis: et non dico vobis quia ego rogabo Patrem de vobis: 27 ipse enim Pater amat vos, quia vos me amastis, et credidistis, quia ego a Deo exivi. 28 Exivi a Patre, et veni in mundum: iterum relinquo mundum, et vado ad Patrem. 29 Dicunt ei discipuli ejus: Ecce nunc palam loqueris, et proverbium nullum dicis: 30 nunc scimus quia scis omnia, et non opus est tibi ut quis te interroget: in hoc credimus quia a Deo existi. 31 Respondit eis Jesus: Modo creditis? 32 ecce venit hora, et jam venit, ut dispergamini unusquisque in propria, et me solum relinquatis: et non sum solus, quia Pater mecum est. 33 Hæc locutus sum vobis, ut in me pacem habeatis. In mundo pressuram habebitis: sed confidite, ego vici mundum.

And the Douay-Rheims:

A little while, and now you shall not see me; and again a little while, and you shall see me: because I go to the Father. [17] Then some of the disciples said one to another: What is this that he saith to us: A little while, and you shall not see me; and again a little while, and you shall see me, and, because I go to the Father? [18] They said therefore: What is this that he saith, A little while? we know not what he speaketh. [19] And Jesus knew that they had a mind to ask him; and he said to them: Of this do you inquire among yourselves, because I said: A little while, and you shall not see me; and again a little while, and you shall see me? [20] Amen, amen I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice; and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. [21] A woman, when she is in labour, hath sorrow, because her hour is come; but when she hath brought forth the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. [22] So also you now indeed have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice; and your joy no man shall take from you. [23] And in that day you shall not ask me any thing. Amen, amen I say to you: if you ask the Father any thing in my name, he will give it you. [24] Hitherto you have not asked any thing in my name. Ask, and you shall receive; that your joy may be full. [25] These things I have spoken to you in proverbs. The hour cometh, when I will no more speak to you in proverbs, but will shew you plainly of the Father. [26] In that day you shall ask in my name; and I say not to you, that I will ask the Father for you: [27] For the Father himself loveth you, because you have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. [28] I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again I leave the world, and I go to the Father. [29] His disciples say to him: Behold, now thou speakest plainly, and speakest no proverb. [30] Now we know that thou knowest all things, and thou needest not that any man should ask thee. By this we believe that thou camest forth from God. [31] Jesus answered them: Do you now believe? [32] Behold, the hour cometh, and it is now come, that you shall be scattered every man to his own, and shall leave me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. [33] These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you shall have distress: but have confidence, I have overcome the world.


The opening verses of this section are an important lesson the necessity of the Cross, both in Christ's sacrifice, and in our own lives, as the commentaries contained in the Catena Aurea make clear:

CHRYS. But then, if one examines, these are words of consolation: Because I go to the Father. For they show that His death was only a translation; and more consolation follows: And again, a little while, and you shall see Me: an intimation this that He would return and, after a short separation, come and live with them for ever...

AUG. Which must be understood thus: viz. that the disciples sorrowed at their Lord's death, and then immediately rejoiced at His resurrection. The world (i.e. the enemies of Christ, who put Him to death) rejoiced just when the disciples sorrowed, i.e. at His death: You shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; and you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.

ALCUIN. But this speech of our Lord's is applicable to all believers who strive through present tears and afflictions to attain to the joys eternal. While the righteous weep, the world rejoices; for having no hope of the joys to come, all its delight is in the present.

CHRYS. Then He shows that sorrow brings forth joy, short sorrow infinite joy, by an example from nature: A woman when she is in travail has sorrow, because her hour is come; but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.

AUG This comparison does not seem difficult to understand. It was one which lay near at hand, and He Himself immediately shows its application. And you now therefore have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice. The bringing forth is compared to sorrow, the birth to joy, which is especially true in the birth of a boy. And your joy no man takes from you: their joy is Christ. This agrees with what the Apostle said, Christ being risen from the dead dies no more (Romans 6:9).

CHRYS. By this example He also intimates that He loosens the chains of death, and creates men anew. He does not say however that she should not have tribulation, but that she should not remember it; so great is the joy which follows. And so is it with the saints. He said not that a boy is born, but that a man, a tacit allusion to His own resurrection.

Through the Cross comes the promise of responses to our prayers from the Father.  But it is not an unconstrained promise:

AUG. The word whatsoever must not be understood to mean anything, but something which with reference to obtaining the life of blessedness is not nothing. That is not sought in the Savior's name, which is sought to the hindering of our salvation; for by in My name must be understood not the mere sound of the letters or syllables, but that which is rightly and truly signified by that sound. He who holds any notion concerning Christ, which should not be held of the only Son of God, does not ask in His name.

But he who thinks rightly of Him, asks in His name, and receives what he asks, if it be not against his eternal salvation; he receives when it is right he should receive; for some things are only denied at present in order to be granted at a more suitable time. Again, the words, He will give it you, only comprehend those benefits which properly appertain to the persons who ask.

All saints are heard for themselves, but not for all; for it is not will give simply, but will give you; what follows, Hitherto have you asked nothing in My name, may be understood in two ways: either that they had not asked in His name, because they had not known it as it ought to be known; or, you have asked nothing, because with reference to obtaining the thing you ought to ask for, what you have asked for is to be counted nothing.

That therefore they may ask in His name not for what is nothing, but for the fullness of joy, He adds, Ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full. This full joy is not carnal, but spiritual joy; and it will be full, when it is so great that nothing can be added to it.

AUG. And this is that full joy, than which nothing can be greater, viz. to enjoy God, the Trinity, in the image of Whom we are made.

AUG, Whatsoever then is asked, which appertains to the getting this joy, this must be asked in the name of Christ. For His saints that persevere in asking for it, He will never in His divine mercy disappoint. But whatever is asked beside this is nothing, i.e. not absolutely nothing, but nothing in comparison with so great a thing as this. It follows: These things have I spoken to you in proverbs; but the time comes when I shall no more speak to you in proverbs, but I shall show you plainly of the Father.

The hour of which He speaks may be understood of the future life, when we shall see Him, as the Apostle said, face to face, and, These things have I spoken to you in proverbs, of that which the Apostle said, Now we see as in a glass darkly (1 Cor 13:12). But I will show you that the Father shall be seen through the Son; For no man knows the Father save the Son, and he to whom the Son shall reveal Him (Matt 11:17).

Monday, 16 March 2015

John 16:1-15

Chapter sixteen of St John's Gospel continues the great discourse after the Last Supper.

The text

The Latin, Greek and Knox translation can be found on the New Advent page.  You can listen to the Latin here and the Greek here.

Here is the Latin:

Hæc locutus sum vobis, ut non scandalizemini. 2 Absque synagogis facient vos: sed venit hora, ut omnis qui interficit vos arbitretur obsequium se præstare Deo. 3 Et hæc facient vobis, quia non noverunt Patrem, neque me. 4 Sed hæc locutus sum vobis, ut cum venerit hora eorum, reminiscamini quia ego dixi vobis. 5 Hæc autem vobis ab initio non dixi, quia vobiscum eram. Et nunc vado ad eum qui misit me; et nemo ex vobis interrogat me: Quo vadis? 6 sed quia hæc locutus sum vobis, tristitia implevit cor vestrum. 7 Sed ego veritatem dico vobis: expedit vobis ut ego vadam: si enim non abiero, Paraclitus non veniet ad vos; si autem abiero, mittam eum ad vos. 8 Et cum venerit ille, arguet mundum de peccato, et de justitia, et de judicio. 9 De peccato quidem, quia non crediderunt in me. 10 De justitia vero, quia ad Patrem vado, et jam non videbitis me. 11 De judicio autem, quia princeps hujus mundi jam judicatus est. 12 Adhuc multa habeo vobis dicere, sed non potestis portare modo. 13 Cum autem venerit ille Spiritus veritatis, docebit vos omnem veritatem: non enim loquetur a semetipso, sed quæcumque audiet loquetur, et quæ ventura sunt annuntiabit vobis. 14 Ille me clarificabit, quia de meo accipiet, et annuntiabit vobis. 15 Omnia quæcumque habet Pater, mea sunt. Propterea dixi: quia de meo accipiet, et annuntiabit vobis.

And the Douay-Rheims:

These things have I spoken to you, that you may not be scandalized. [2] They will put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you, will think that he doth a service to God. [3] And these things will they do to you; because they have not known the Father, nor me. [4] But these things I have told you, that when the hour shall come, you may remember that I told you of them. [5] But I told you not these things from the beginning, because I was with you. And now 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. [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. [15] All things whatsoever the Father hath, are mine. Therefore I said, that he shall receive of mine, and shew it to you.


The opening verses of this chapter are intended to prepare us for persecution, as the anthology of commentaries in the Catena Aurea point out:

AUG. After the promise of the Holy Spirit, to inspire them with strength to give witness; He well adds, These things have I spoken to you, that you should not be offended. For when the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us (Romans 5:5), then great peace have they that love God's law, and they are not offended at it (Psalms 118). 

What they were about to suffer follows next: They shall put you out of the synagogues.

CHRYS. For the Jews had already agreed, if any confessed that He was Christ, that he should be put out of the synagogue. 

AUG. Bu what evil was it to the Apostles to be put out of the Jewish synagogues, which they would have gone out of, even if none had put them out? Our Lord wished to make known to them, that the Jews were about not to receive Him, while they on the other hand were not going to desert Him. There was no other people of God beside the seed of Abraham; if they acknowledged Christ, the Churches of Christ would be none other than the synagogues of the Jews. But inasmuch as they refused to acknowledge Him, nothing remained but that they should put out of the synagogue those who would not forsake Christ. 

He adds: But the time comes that whoever kills you will think that he does God service. Is this intended for a consolation, as if they would so take to heart their expulsion from the synagogues, that death would be a positive relief to them after it? God forbid that they who sought God's glory, not men's, should be so disturbed. The meaning of the words is this: They shall put you out of the synagogue, but do not be afraid of being left alone. Separated from their assemblies, you shall assemble so many in my name, that they, fearing that the temple and rites of the old law will be deserted, will kill you and think to do God service thereby, having a zeal for God but not according to knowledge. 

These who kill are the same with those who put out of the synagogues, viz. the Jews. For Gentiles would not have thought that they were doing God service, by killing Christ's witnesses, but their own false gods; whereas every one of the Jews, who killed the preacher of Christ, thought he was doing God service, believing that whoever was converted to Christ, deserted the God of Israel. 

CHRYS. Then He consoles them: And all these things will they do to you, because they have not known the Father nor Me. As if He said, Let this consolation content you. 

Preparation is important:

AUG. And He mentions these things beforehand, because trials, however soon to pass away, when they come upon men unprepared for them, are very overwhelming: But these things have I told you, that when the hour shall come, you may remember that 1 told you of them: the hour, the hour of darkness, the hour of night. But the night of the Jews was not allowed to mix with or darken the day of the Christians. 

CHRYS. And He predicted these trials for another reason, viz. that they might not say that He had not foreseen them; That you may remember that I told you of them, or that He had only spoken to please them, and given false hopes. And the reason is added why He did not reveal these things sooner: And these things I said not to you at the beginning, because I was with you; because, that is, you were in My keeping, and might ask when you pleased, and the whole battle rested upon Me. There was no need then to tell you these things at the first, though I myself knew them. 

The next phase of the mission is the conversion of the world:

AUG. But how is it that Christ did not reprove the world? Is it because Christ spoke among the Jews only, whereas the Holy Spirit, poured into His disciples throughout the whole world, reproved not one nation only, but the world? But who would dare to say that the Holy Ghost reproved the world by Christ's disciples, and that Christ did not when the Apostle exclaims, Do you seek a proof of Christ speaking in Me? (2 Cor 13:3) Those then whom the Holy Ghost reproves, Christ reproves also. He shall reprove the world, means, He shall pour love into your hearts, insomuch, that fear being cast out, you shall be free to reprove. 

He then explains what He has said: Of sin, because they believed not in Me. He mentions this as the sin above all others, because while it remains, the others are retained; when it departs, the others are remitted. 

AUG. But it makes a great difference whether one believes in Christ, or only that He is Christ. For that He was Christ, even the devils believed; but he believes in Christ who both hopes in Christ and loves Christ. 

AUG. The world is reproved of sin, because it believes not in Christ, and reproved of righteousness, the righteousness of those that believe. The very contrast of the believing, is the censure of the unbelieving. 

Of righteousness because I go to the Father: as it is the common objection of unbelievers, How can we believe what we do not see? So the righteousness of believers lies in this: Because I go to the Father, and you see Me no more. For blessed are they which see not, and believe. The faith even of those who saw Christ is praised, not because they believed what they saw, i.e., the Son of man, but because they believed what they saw not, i.e., the Son of God. And when the form of the servant was withdrawn from their sight altogether, then only was fulfilled in completeness the text, The just live by faith (Heb 10:38). It will be your righteousness then, of which the world will be reproved, that you shall believe in Me, not seeing Me. And when you shall see Me, you shall see Me as I shall be, not as I am now with you, i.e., you shall not see Me mortal, but everlasting. For in saying, you see Me no more, He means that they should see Him no more forever. 

AUG. Or thus: They believed not, He went to the Father. Theirs therefore was the sin, His the righteousness. But that He came from the Father to us was mercy; that He went to the Father was righteousness; according to the saying of the Apostle, Wherefore God also has highly exalted Him (Phil 2:9). But if He went to the Father alone, what profit is it to us? Is He not alone rather in the sense of being one with all His members, as the head is with the body? So then the world is reproved of sin, in those who believe not in Christ; and of righteousness, in those who rise again in the members of Christ. 

It follows, Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged--i.e., the devil, the prince of the wicked--who in heart dwell only in this world which they love. He is judged in that he is cast out; and the world is reproved of this judgment; for it is vain for one who does not believe in Christ to complain of the devil, whom judged, i.e., cast out, and permitted to attack us from without, only for our trial, not men only but women, boys and girls, have by martyrdom overcome. 

AUG. Or, judged, i.e., is destined irrevocably for the punishment of eternal fire. And of this judgment is the world reproved, in that it is judged with its prince, the proud and ungodly one whom it imitates. Let men therefore believe in Christ, lest they be reproved of the sin of unbelief, by which all sins are retained; pass over to the number of the believing, lest they be reproved of the righteousness of those whom justified they do not imitate; beware of the judgment to come, lest with the prince of this world whom they imitate, they too be judged. 

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Fourth Sunday of Lent

This Sunday's Gospel is St John 6:1-15:

1 Post hæc abiit Jesus trans mare Galilææ, quod est Tiberiadis: 2 et sequebatur eum multitudo magna, quia videbant signa quæ faciebat super his qui infirmabantur. 3 Subiit ergo in montem Jesus et ibi sedebat cum discipulis suis. 4 Erat autem proximum Pascha dies festus Judæorum. 5 Cum sublevasset ergo oculos Jesus, et vidisset quia multitudo maxima venit ad eum, dixit ad Philippum: Unde ememus panes, ut manducent hi? 6 Hoc autem dicebat tentans eum: ipse enim sciebat quid esset facturus. 7 Respondit ei Philippus: Ducentorum denariorum panes non sufficiunt eis, ut unusquisque modicum quid accipiat. 8 Dicit ei unus ex discipulis ejus, Andreas, frater Simonis Petri: 9 Est puer unus hic qui habet quinque panes hordeaceos et duos pisces: sed hæc quid sunt inter tantos? 10 Dixit ergo Jesus: Facite homines discumbere. Erat autem fœnum multum in loco. Discumberunt ergo viri, numero quasi quinque millia. 11 Accepit ergo Jesus panes: et cum gratias egisset, distribuit discumbentibus: similiter et ex piscibus quantum volebant. 12 Ut autem impleti sunt, dixit discipulis suis: Colligite quæ superaverunt fragmenta, ne pereant. 13 Collegerunt ergo, et impleverunt duodecim cophinos fragmentorum ex quinque panibus hordeaceis, quæ superfuerunt his qui manducaverant. 14 Illi ergo homines cum vidissent quod Jesus fecerat signum, dicebant: Quia hic est vere propheta, qui venturus est in mundum.15 Jesus ergo cum cognovisset quia venturi essent ut raperent eum, et facerent eum regem, fugit iterum in montem ipse solus. 

[1] After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is that of Tiberias. [2] And a great multitude followed him, because they saw the miracles which he did on them that were diseased. [3] Jesus therefore went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. [4] Now the pasch, the festival day of the Jews, was near at hand. [5] When Jesus therefore had lifted up his eyes, and seen that a very great multitude cometh to him, he said to Philip: Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?[6] And this he said to try him; for he himself knew what he would do. [7] Philip answered him: Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little. [8] One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, saith to him: [9] There is a boy here that hath five barley loaves, and two fishes; but what are these among so many? [10] Then Jesus said: Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. The men therefore sat down, in number about five thousand.[11] And Jesus took the loaves: and when he had given thanks, he distributed to them that were set down. In like manner also of the fishes, as much as they would. [12] And when they were filled, he said to his disciples: Gather up the fragments that remain, lest they be lost. [13] They gathered up therefore, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above to them that had eaten. [14] Now those men, when they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said: This is of a truth the prophet, that is to come into the world. [15] Jesus therefore, when he knew that they would come to take him by force, and make him king, fled again into the mountain himself alone.

The Matins readings on it are from St Augustine (from Divinum Officium):

Reading 9: The miracles which our Lord Jesus Christ did were the very works of God, and they enlighten the mind of man by mean of things which are seen, that he may know more of God. God is Himself of such a Substance as eye cannot see, and the miracles, by the which He ruleth the whole world continually, and satisfieth the need of everything that He hath made, are by use become so common, that scarce any will vouchsafe to see that there are wonderful and amazing works of God in every grain of seed of grass. According to His mercy He kept some works to be done in their due season, but out of the common course and order of nature, that men might see them and be astonished, not because they are greater, but because they are rarer than those which they lightly esteem, since they see them day by day.

Reading 10: Or it is a greater miracle to govern the whole universe, than to satisfy five thousand men with five loaves of bread; and yet no man marvelleth at it. At the feeding of the five thousand, men marvel, not because it is a greater miracle than the other, but because it is rarer. For Who is He Who now feedeth the whole world, but He Who, from a little grain that is sown, maketh the fulness of the harvest? 

Reading 11: God worketh in both cases in one and the same manner. He Who of the sowing maketh to come the harvest, is He Who of the five barley loaves in His Hands made bread to feed five thousand men; for Christ's are the Hands which are able to do both the one and the other. He Who multiplieth the grains of corn multiplied the loaves, only not by committing them to the earth whereof He is the Maker.

Reading 12: This miracle, then, is brought to bear upon our bodies, that our souls may thereby be quickened; shown to our eyes, to give food to our understanding; that, through His works which we see, we may marvel at that God Whom we cannot see, and, being roused up to believe, and purified by believing, we may long to see Him, yea, may know by things which are seen Him Who is Unseen. Nor yet sufficeth it for us to see only this meaning in Christ's miracles. Let us ask of the miracles themselves what they have to tell us concerning Christ for, soothly, they have a tongue of their own, if only we will understand it. For, because Christ is the Word of God, therefore the work of the Word is a Word for us.