Sunday, 8 June 2014

Pentecost Sunday: St John 14: 23-31

Today's Gospel is St John 14:23-31:

23 Respondit Jesus, et dixit ei: Si quis diligit me, sermonem meum servabit, et Pater meus diliget eum, et ad eum veniemus, et mansionem apud eum faciemus; 24 qui non diligit me, sermones meos non servat. Et sermonem, quem audistis, non est meus: sed ejus qui misit me, Patris.25 Hæc locutus sum vobis apud vos manens. 26 Paraclitus autem Spiritus Sanctus, quem mittet Pater in nomine meo, ille vos docebit omnia, et suggeret vobis omnia quæcumque dixero vobis.27 Pacem relinquo vobis, pacem meam do vobis: non quomodo mundus dat, ego do vobis. Non turbetur cor vestrum, neque formidet. 28 Audistis quia ego dixi vobis: Vado, et venio ad vos. Si diligeretis me, gauderetis utique, quia vado ad Patrem: quia Pater major me est. 29 Et nunc dixi vobis priusquam fiat: ut cum factum fuerit, credatis. 30 Jam non multa loquar vobiscum: venit enim princeps mundi hujus, et in me non habet quidquam. 31 Sed ut cognoscat mundus quia diligo Patrem, et sicut mandatum dedit mihi Pater, sic facio. Surgite, eamus hinc.

[23] Jesus answered, and said to him: If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him. [24] He that loveth me not, keepeth not my words. And the word which you have heard, is not mine; but the Father' s who sent me. [25] These things have I spoken to you, abiding with you. [26] But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you. [27] Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [28] You have heard that I said to you: I go away, and I come unto you. If you loved me, you would indeed be glad, because I go to the Father: for the Father is greater than I. [29] And now I have told you before it comes to pass: that when it shall come to pass, you may believe. [30] I will not now speak many things with you. For the prince of this world cometh, and in me he hath not any thing [31] But that the world may know, that I love the Father: and as the Father hath given me commandment, so do I: Arise, let us go hence.

Matins readings (from St Gregory the Great)

Reading 9: Dearly beloved brethren, our best way will be to run briefly through the words which have been read from the Holy Gospel, and thereafter rest for a while quietly gazing upon the solemn subject of this great Festival. This is the day whereon "suddenly there came a sound from heaven," and the Holy Ghost descended upon the Apostles, and, for fleshly minds, gave them minds wherein the love of God was shed abroad and, while without "there appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them," within, their hearts were enkindled. While they received the visible presence of God in the form of fire, the flames of His love enwrapped them. The Holy Ghost Himself is love whence it is that John saith "God is love." 

Reading 10: Whosoever therefore loveth God with all his soul, already hath obtained Him Whom he loveth for no man is able to love God, if He have not gained Him Whom he loveth.  But, behold, now, if I shall ask any one of you whether he loveth God, he will answer with all boldness and quietness of spirit "I do love him." But at the very beginning of this day's Lesson from the Gospel, ye have heard what the Truth saith " If a man love Me, he will keep My word." The test, then, of love, is whether it is showed by works. Hence the same John hath said in his Epistle "If a man say, I love God, and keepeth not His commandments, He is a liar." 

Reading 11: Then do we indeed love God, and keep His commandments, if we deny ourselves the gratification of our appetites. Whosoever still wandereth after unlawful desires, such an one plainly loveth not God, for he saith, Nay, to that which God willeth.And My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him." O my dearly beloved brethren, think what a dignity is that, to have God abiding as a guest in our heart Surely if some rich man or some powerful friend were to come into our house, we would hasten to have our whole house cleaned, lest, perchance, when he came in, he should see aught to displease his eye. 

Reading 12: So let him that would make his mind an abode for God, cleanse it from all the filth of works of iniquity. Lo, again, what saith the Truth " We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him." There are some hearts whereunto God cometh, but maketh not His abode therein with a certain pricking they feel His Presence, but in time of temptation they forget that which hath pricked them and so they turn again to work unrighteousness, even as though they had never repented.