Saturday, 14 March 2015

John 15: 17-27


Lectio

The New Advent page for John 15 can be found here.  You can listen to the Latin here and the Greek here.

The Latin:

17 Hæc mando vobis: ut diligatis invicem.18 Si mundus vos odit, scitote quia me priorem vobis odio habuit. 19 Si de mundo fuissetis, mundus quod suum erat diligeret: quia vero de mundo non estis, sed ego elegi vos de mundo, propterea odit vos mundus. 20 Mementote sermonis mei, quem ego dixi vobis: non est servus major domino suo. Si me persecuti sunt, et vos persequentur; si sermonem meum servaverunt, et vestrum servabunt. 21 Sed hæc omnia facient vobis propter nomen meum: quia nesciunt eum qui misit me. 22 Si non venissem, et locutus fuissem eis, peccatum non haberent: nunc autem excusationem non habent de peccato suo. 23 Qui me odit, et Patrem meum odit. 24 Si opera non fecissem in eis quæ nemo alius fecit, peccatum non haberent: nunc autem et viderunt, et oderunt et me, et Patrem meum. 25 Sed ut adimpleatur sermo, qui in lege eorum scriptus est: Quia odio habuerunt me gratis. 26 Cum autem venerit Paraclitus, quem ego mittam vobis a Patre, Spiritum veritatis, qui a Patre procedit, ille testimonium perhibebit de me; 27 et vos testimonium perhibebitis, quia ab initio mecum estis.

The English (Douay-Rheims):

[17] These things I command you, that you love one another. [18] If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you. [19] If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. [20] Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept my word, they will keep yours also. [21] But all these things they will do to you for my name' s sake: because they know not him who sent me. [22] If I had not come, and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. [23] He that hateth me, hateth my Father also. [24] If I had not done among them the works that no other man hath done, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated both me and my Father. [25] But that the word may be fulfilled which is written in their law: They hated me without cause. [26] But when the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall give testimony of me. [27] And you shall give testimony, because you are with me from the beginning.

Study

The Catena Aurea on the injunction to love one another:

AUG. Our Lord had said, I have ordained that you should walk and bring forth fruit. Love is this fruit. Wherefore, He proceeds: These things I command you, that you love one another. Hence the Apostle said, The fruit of the Spirit is love (Gal 5:22), and enumerates all other graces as springing from this source. Well then does our Lord commend love, as if it were the only thing commanded: seeing that without it nothing can profit, with it nothing be wanting, whereby a man is made good.

CHRYS. Or thus: I have said that I lay down My life for you, and that I first chose you. I have said this not by way of reproach, but to induce you to love one another.


Then as they were about to suffer persecution and reproach, He bids them not to grieve, but rejoice on that account: If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you: as if to say, I know it is a hard trial, but you will endure it for My sake.


AUG. For why should the members exalt themselves above the head? You refuse to be in the body, if you are not willing, with the head, to endure the hatred of the world. For love's sake let us be patient; the world must hate us, whom it sees hate whatever it loves;


If you were of the world, the world would love his own.


Can the Church ever hope to be loved by the world?

CHRYS. As if Christ's suffering were not consolation enough, He consoles them still further by telling them, the hatred of the world would be an evidence of their goodness; so that they ought rather to grieve if they were loved by the world, as that would be evidence of their wickedness.

AUG. He said this to the whole Church which is often called the world; as God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself (2 Cor 5:19). The whole world then is the Church, and the whole world hates the Church. The world hates the world, the world in enmity, the world reconciled, the defiled world, the changed world. Here it may be asked, If the wicked can be said to persecute the wicked; e. g., if impious kings, and judges, who persecute the righteous, punish murderers and adulterers also, how are we to understand our Lord's words, If you were of the world, the world would love his own? In this way; The world is in them who punish these offenses, and the world is In them who love them. The world then hates its own so far as it punishes the wicked, loves its own so far as it favors them. Again, if it be asked how the world loves itself, when it hates the means of its redemption, the answer is, that it loves itself with a false, not a true love, loves what hurts it; hates nature, loves vice. Wherefore we are forbidden to love what it loves in itself; commanded to love what it hates in itself. The vice in it we are forbidden, the nature in it we are commanded, to love. And to separate us from this lost world, we are chosen out of it, not by merit of our own, for we had no merits to begin with, not by nature which was radically corrupt, but by grace: But because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.


GREG. For the dispraise of the perverse, is our praise. There is nothing wrong in not pleasing those who do not please God. For no one can by one and the same act please God, and the enemies of God. He proves himself no friend to God, who pleases His enemy; and he whose soul is in subjection to the Truth, will have to contend with the enemies of that Truth.


AUG. Our Lord, in exhorting His servants to bear patiently the hatred of their world, proposes to them an example than which there can be no better and higher one, viz. Himself: Remember the word that I said to you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.


GLOSS. They observed it in order to calumniate it, as we read in the Psalms, The ungodly sees the righteousness .


The sin of rejecting Christ:

CHRYS. Thus then they have no excuse, He says; I gave them doctrine, I added miracles, which, according to Moses' law, should convince all if the doctrine itself is good also:

If l had not done among them the works that none other man did, they had not had sin.


AUG. The sin of not believing Him, notwithstanding His doctrine and His miracles. But why does He add, Which none other man did? Christ did no work greater than the raising of the dead, which we know the ancient Prophets did before Him. Is it that He did some things which no one else did? But others also did what neither He nor anyone else did. True; yet none of the ancient prophets that we read of healed so many bodily defects, sicknesses, infirmities. For to say nothing of single cases, Mark says, that wherever He entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought Him that they might touch if it were but the border of His garment; and as many as touched Him were made whole (Mark 6:5). Such works as these no one else had done in them. In them, meaning, not amongst them, or before them, but within them. But even where particular works, like some of these, had been done before, whoever worked such did not really do them, for He did them through them, whereas He performs these miracles by His own power. For even if the Father or the Holy Spirit did them, yet it was none other than He, for the Three Persons are of one substance. For these benefits then they ought to have returned Him not hatred, but love. And this He reproaches them with But now they have both seen and hated both Me and My Father.


The coming of the Holy Ghost:

CHRYS. The disciples might say, If they have heard words from Thee, such as none other has spoken, if they have seen works of Him, such as none other has done, and yet have not been convinced, but have hated your Father, and you with Him, why do you send us to preach? How shall we be believed? Such thoughts as these He now answers: But when the Comforter is come, Whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of Me.

AUG. As if He said, Seeing Me, they hated and killed Me; but the Comforter shall give such testimony concerning Me as shall make them believe, though they see Me not. And because He shall testify, you shall testify also:


And you also shall bear witness; He will inspire your hearts, and you shall proclaim with your voices. And you will preach what you know, Because you have been with Me from the beginning; which now you do not do, because you have not yet the fullness of the Spirit. But the love of God shall then be shed abroad in your hearts by the Spirit which shall be given you, and shall make you confident witnesses to Me. The Holy Spirit by His testimony made others testify, taking away fear from the friends of Christ's, and converting the hatred of His enemies into love.


DIDYMUS. The Holy Spirit He calls the Comforter, a name taken from His office, which is not only to relieve the sorrows of the faithful, but to fill them with unspeakable joy. Everlasting gladness is in those hearts, in which the Spirit dwells. The Spirit, the Comforter, is sent by the Son, not as Angels, or Prophets, or Apostles, are sent, but as the Spirit must be sent which is of one nature with the Divine wisdom and power that sends Him. The Son when sent by the Father, is not separated from Him, but abides in the Father, and the Father in Him. In the same way the Holy Spirit is not sent by the Son, and proceeds from the Father, in the sense of change of place. For as the Father's nature, being incorporeal, is not local, so neither has the Spirit of truth, Who is incorporeal also, and superior to all created things, a local nature.


CHRYS. He calls Him not the Holy Spirit, but the Spirit of truth, to show the perfect faith that was due to Him. He knew that He proceeds from the Father, for He knew all things; He knew where He Himself came from, as He says of Himself above, I know whence I came, and whither l go (John 8:14).

Friday, 13 March 2015

John 15:1-16


Lectio

The New Advent page for John 15 can be found here.  You can listen to the Latin here and the Greek here.

The Latin:

Ego sum vitis vera, et Pater meus agricola est. 2 Omnem palmitem in me non ferentem fructum, tollet eum, et omnem qui fert fructum, purgabit eum, ut fructum plus afferat. 3 Jam vos mundi estis propter sermonem quem locutus sum vobis. 4 Manete in me, et ego in vobis. Sicut palmes non potest fere fructum a semetipso, nisi manserit in vite, sic nec vos, nisi in me manseritis. 5 Ego sum vitis, vos palmites: qui manet in me, et ego in eo, hic fert fructum multum, quia sine me nihil potestis facere. 6 Si quis in me non manserit, mittetur foras sicut palmes, et arescet, et colligent eum, et in ignem mittent, et ardet. 7 Si manseritis in me, et verba mea in vobis manserint, quodcumque volueritis petetis, et fiet vobis. 8 In hoc clarificatus est Pater meus, ut fructum plurimum afferatis, et efficiamini mei discipuli. 9 Sicut dilexit me Pater, et ego dilexi vos. Manete in dilectione mea. 10 Si præcepta mea servaveritis, manebitis in dilectione mea, sicut et ego Patris mei præcepta servavi, et maneo in ejus dilectione.11 Hæc locutus sum vobis: ut gaudium meum in vobis sit, et gaudium vestrum impleatur. 12 Hoc est præceptum meum, ut diligatis invicem, sicut dilexi vos. 13 Majorem hac dilectionem nemo habet, ut animam suam ponat qui pro amicis suis. 14 Vos amici mei estis, si feceritis quæ ego præcipio vobis. 15 Jam non dicam vos servos: quia servus nescit quid faciat dominus ejus. Vos autem dixi amicos: quia omnia quæcumque audivi a Patre meo, nota feci vobis. 16 Non vos me elegistis, sed ego elegi vos, et posui vos ut eatis, et fructum afferatis, et fructus vester maneat: ut quodcumque petieritis Patrem in nomine meo, det vobis. .

And the Douay-Rheims translation:

I am the true vine; and my Father is the husbandman. [2] Every branch in me, that beareth not fruit, he will take away: and every one that beareth fruit, he will purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit. [3] Now you are clean by reason of the word, which I have spoken to you. [4] Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me. [5] I am the vine: you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.[6] If any one abide not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burneth. [7] If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you. [8] In this is my Father glorified; that you bring forth very much fruit, and become my disciples. [9] As the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you. Abide in my love. [10] If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; as I also have kept my Father' s commandments, and do abide in his love.[11] These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be filled. [12] This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. [13] Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends. [14] You are my friends, if you do the things that I command you. [15] I will not now call you servants: for the servant knoweth not what his lord doth. But I have called you friends: because all things whatsoever I have heard of my Father, I have made known to you.[16] You have not chosen me: but I have chosen you; and have appointed you, that you should go, and should bring forth fruit; and your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. .

Study

Catena Aurea on the image of Christ as the vine:

HILARY. He rises in haste to perform the sacrament of His final passion in the flesh (such is His desire to fulfill His Father's commandment) and therefore takes occasion to unfold the mystery of His assumption of His flesh, whereby He supports us, as the vine does its branches: I am the true vine. 

AUG. He says this as being the Head of the Church, of which we are the members, the Man Christ Jesus; for the vine and the branches are of the same nature. When He says, I am the true vine, He does not mean really a vine; for He is only called so metaphorically, not literally, even as He is called the Lamb, the Sheep, and the like; but He distinguishes Himself from that vine to whom it is said, How you are turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine to me (Jer 11:21). For how is that a true vine, which when grapes are expected from it, produces only thorns? 

HILARY. But He wholly separates this humiliation in the flesh from the form of the Paternal Majesty, by setting forth the Father as the diligent husbandman of this vine: And My Father is the husbandman. 

AUG. For we cultivate God, and God cultivates us. But our culture of God does not make Him better: our culture is that of adoration, not of plowing: His culture of us makes us better. His culture consists in extirpating all the seeds of wickedness from our hearts, in opening our heart to the plow, as it were, of His word, in sowing in us the seeds of His commandments, in waiting for the fruits of piety. 

The test of being on the vine is fruitfulness:

CHRYS. And forasmuch as Christ was sufficient for Himself, but His disciples needed the help of the Husbandman, of the vine He says nothing, but adds concerning the branches, Every branch in Me that bears not fruit, He takes away. By fruit is meant life, i.e. that no one can be in Him without good works. 

HILARY. The useless and deceitful branches He cuts down for burning. 

CHRYS. And inasmuch as even the best of men require the work of the husbandman, He adds, And every branch that bears fruit, He purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit. He alludes here to the tribulations and trials which were coming upon them, the effect of which would be to purge, and so to strengthen them. By pruning the branches we make the tree shoot out the more. 

AUG. And who is there in this world so clean, that he cannot be more and more changed? Here, if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. He cleans then the clean, i.e. the fruitful, that the cleaner they be, the more fruitful they may be. Christ is the vine, in that He said, My Father is greater than I; but in that He said, I and My Father are one, He is the husbandman; not like those who carry on an external ministry only; for He gives increase within. 

Thus He calls Himself immediately the cleanser of the branches: Now you are clean through the word, which I have spoken to you. He performs the part of the husbandman then, as well as of the vine. But why does He not say, you are clean by reason of the baptism wherewith you are washed? Because it is the word in the water which cleans. Take away the word, and what is the water, which but water. 

Add the word to the element, and you have a sacrament. Whence has the water such virtue as that by touching the body, it cleans the heart, but by the power of the word, not spoken only, but believed? For in the word itself the passing sound is one thing, the abiding virtue another. This word of faith is of such avail in the Church of God that by Him who believes, presents, blesses, sprinkles the infant, it cleanses that infant, though itself is unable to believe. 

Love is not separate from the commandments but flows from them:

CHRYS. If then I love you, be of good cheer; if it is the Father's glory that you bring forth good fruit, bear no evil. Then to rouse them to exertion, He adds, Continue you in My love; and then shows how this is to be done: If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love. 

AUG. Who doubts that love precedes the observance of the commandments? For who loves not, has not that whereby to keep the commandments. These words then do not declare whence love arises, but how it is shown, that no one might deceive himself into thinking that he loved our Lord, when he did not keep His commandments. Though the words, Continue you in My love, do not of themselves make it evident which love He means, ours to Him, or His to us, yet the preceding words do: I love you, He says: and then immediately after, Continue you in My love. 

Continue you in My love, then, is, continue in My grace; and, If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love, is, Your keeping of My commandments will be evidence to you that you abide in My love. It is not that we keep His commandments first, and that then He loves; but that He loves us, and then we keep His commandments. This is that grace, which is revealed to the humble, but hidden from the proud. But what means the next words, Even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love: i.e., the Father's love, wherewith He loves the Son. 

Must this grace, wherewith the Father loves the Son, be understood to be like the grace wherewith the Son loves us? No; for whereas we are sons not by nature, but by grace, the Only Begotten is Son not by grace, but by nature. We must understand this then to refer to the manhood in the Son, even as the words themselves imply: As My Father has loved Me, even so love I you. 

The grace of a Mediator is expressed here; and Christ is Mediator between God and man, not as God, but as man. This then we may say, that since human nature does not pertain to the nature of God, but does by grace pertain to the Person of the Son, grace also pertains to that Person: such grace as has nothing superior, nothing equal to it. For no merits on man's part preceded the assumption of that nature. 

ALCUIN. Even as 1 have kept My Father's commandments. The Apostle explains what these commandments were: Christ became obedient to death, even the death of the cross (Phil 2:8). 

CHRYS. Then because the Passion was now approaching to interrupt their joy, He adds, These things have I spoken to you, that my joy may remain in you: as if He said, And if sorrow fall upon you, I will take it away, so that you shall rejoice in the end. 

AUG. And what is Christ's joy in us, but that He deigns to rejoice on our account? And what is our joy, which He says shall be full, but to have fellowship with Him? He had perfect joy on our account, when He rejoiced in foreknowing, and predestinating us; but that joy was not in us, because then we did not exist: it began to be in us, when He called us. And this joy we rightly call our own, this joy wherewith we shall be blessed; which is begun in the faith of them who are born again, and shall be fulfilled in the reward of them who rise again.


Thursday, 12 March 2015

John 14: 15-31

Farewell discourse, Duccio 1308-11


Today's section of St John's Gospel forms the first part of the marvellous motet by Thomas Tallis, If Ye Love Me, and highlights a Gospel message often neglected today, viz the importance of keeping the commandments.  The main focus of the passage though, is Jesus' teaching on the Holy Ghost.

Lectio

The Greek, Knox translation English and Vulgate Latin can be found over at New Advent.  You can listen to the Latin here and the Greek here.

Here is the Latin:

15 Si diligitis me, mandata mea servate: 16 et ego rogabo Patrem, et alium Paraclitum dabit vobis, ut maneat vobiscum in æternum, 17 Spiritum veritatis, quem mundus non potest accipere, quia non videt eum, nec scit eum: vos autem cognoscetis eum, quia apud vos manebit, et in vobis erit. 18 Non relinquam vos orphanos: veniam ad vos. 19 Adhuc modicum, et mundus me jam non videt. Vos autem videtis me: quia ego vivo, et vos vivetis. 20 In illo die vos cognoscetis quia ego sum in Patre meo, et vos in me, et ego in vobis. 21 Qui habet mandata mea, et servat ea: ille est qui diligit me. Qui autem diligit me, diligetur a Patre meo: et ego diligam eum, et manifestabo ei meipsum. 22 Dicit ei Judas, non ille Iscariotes: Domine, quid factum est, quia manifestaturus es nobis teipsum, et non mundo? 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 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.docebit omnia, et suggeret vobis omnia quæcumque dixero vobis.

And the English (Douay-Rheims):

[15] If you love me, keep my commandments.[16] And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever. [17] The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, nor knoweth him: but you shall know him; because he shall abide with you, and shall be in you. [18] I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you. [19] Yet a little while: and the world seeth me no more. But you see me: because I live, and you shall live. [20] In that day you shall know, that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.[21] He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them; he it is that loveth me. And he that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father: and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. [22] Judas saith to him, not the Iscariot: Lord, how is it, that thou wilt manifest thyself to us, and not to the world? [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.

Study/meditation

The injunction to keep the commandments as a sign of our love of God is the starting point for everything.  From the Catena Aurea:

CHRYS. Our Lord having said, Whatsoever you shall ask in My name, that I will do; that they might not think simply asking would be enough, He adds, If you love Me, keep My commandments. And then I will do what you ask, seems to be His meaning. Or the disciples having heard Him say, I go to the Father, and being troubled at the thought of it, He says, To love Me, is not to be troubled, but to keep My commandments: this is love, to obey and believe in Him who is loved....

But the key focus of this text is that though Jesus is leaving the world, he will not leave us without the presence of God in our lives:

AUG. Wherein He shows too that He Himself is the Comforter. Paraclete means advocate, and is applied to Christ: We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 Jn 2:1).

ALCUIN. Paraclete, i.e. Comforter. They had then one Comforter, who comforted and elevated them by the sweetness of His miracles, and His preaching.


DIDYMUS. But the Holy Ghost was another Comforter: differing not in nature, but in operation. For whereas our Savior in His office of Mediator, and of Messenger, and as High Priest, made supplication for our sins; the Holy Ghost is a Comforter in another sense, i.e. as consoling our griefs. But do not infer from the different operations of the Son and the Spirit, a difference of nature. For in other places we find the Holy Spirit performing the office of intercessor with the Father, as, The Spirit Himself intercedes for us. And the Savior, on the other hand, pours consolation into those hearts that need it: as in Maccabees, He strengthened those of the people that were brought low (1 Macc 14:15)...


CHRYS. That He may abide with you for ever. The Spirit does not depart even at death. He intimates too that the Holy Ghost will not suffer death, or go away, as He has done. But that the mention of the Comforter might not lead them to expect another incarnation, a Comforter to be seen with the eye, He adds, Even the Spirit of truth Whom the world cannot receive, because it sees Him not, neither knows Him.

AUG. This is the Holy Ghost in the Trinity, Whom the Catholic faith professes to be consubstantial and coeternal with the Father and the Son.


CHRYS. The Spirit of truth He calls Him, because He unfolds the figures of the Old Testament. The world are the wicked, seeing is certain knowledge; sight being the most certain of the senses.


BEDE. Note too, that when He calls the Holy Spirit the Spirit of truth, He shows that the Holy Spirit is His Spirit: then when He says He is given by the Father, He declares Him to be the Spirit of the Father also. Thus the Holy Ghost proceeds both from the Father, and from the Son.


GREG. The Holy Spirit kindles in every one, in whom He dwells, the desire of things invisible. And since worldly minds love only things visible, this world receives Him not, because it rises not to the love of things invisible. In proportion as secular minds enlarge themselves by the spread of their desires, in that proportion they narrow themselves, with respect to admitting Christ.



How then do we cultivate this great indwelling Spirit?

HILARY. Or He means by this, that whereas He was in the Father by the nature of His divinity, and we in Him by means of His birth in the flesh; He on the other hand should be believed to be in us by the mystery of the Sacrament: as He Himself testified above: Whosoever eats My flesh, and drinks My blood, dwells in Me, and I in Him.

ALCUIN. By love, and the observance of His commandments, that will be perfected in us which He has begun, viz. that we should be in Him, and He in us. And that this blessedness may be understood to be promised to all, not to the Apostles only, He adds, He that has My commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves Me.


AUG. He that has them in , and keeps them in life; he that has them in words, and keeps them in works; he that has them by hearing, and keeps them by doing; he that has them by doing, and keeps them by persevering, he it is that loves Me. Love must be strewn by works, or it is a mere barren name.


THEOPHYL. As if He said, You think that by sorrowing, as you do, for my death you prove your affection; but I esteem the keeping of My commandments the evidence of love. And then He shows the privileged state of one who loves: And he that loves Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him.


AUG. I will love him, as if now He did not love him. What means this? He explains it in what follows: And will manifest Myself to him, i.e. I love him so far as to manifest Myself to him; so that, as the reward of his faith, he will have sight. Now He only loves us so that we believe; then He will love us so that we see. And whereas we love now by believing that which we shall see, then we shall love by seeing that which we have believed...


GREG. If you would prove your love, show your works. The love of God is never idle; whenever it is, it does great things: if it do not work, it is not.

AUG. Love distinguishes the saints from the world: it makes men to be of one mind in an house; in which house the Father and the Son take their abode; who give that love to those, to whom in the end they will manifest themselves. For these is a certain inner manifestation of God, unknown to the ungodly, to whom there is no manifestation made of the Father and the Holy Spirit, and only could be of the Son in the flesh; which latter manifestation is not as the former, being only for a little while, not for ever, for judgment, not for joy, for punishment, not for reward.


Before the final farewell, there is a passage on the key Benedictine focus of (true) peace:

CHRYS. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you: He says this to console His disciples, who were now troubled at the prospect of the hatred and opposition which awaited them after His departure.

AUG. He left no peace in this world; in which we conquer the enemy, and have love one to another: He will give us peace in the world to come, when we shall reign without an enemy, and where we shall be able to avoid disagreement. This peace is Himself, both when we believe that He is, and when we shall see Him as He is. But why does He say, Peace I leave with you, without the My, whereas He puts in My in, My peace 1 give to you? Are we to understand My in the former; or is it not rather left out with a meaning?


His peace is such peace as He has Himself; the peace which He left us in this world is rather our peace than His. He has nothing to fight against in Himself, because He has no sin: but ours is a peace in which we still say, Forgive us our debts (Matt 6:12). And in like manner we have peace between ourselves, because we mutually trust one another, that we mutually love one another. But neither is that a perfect peace; for we do not see into each other's minds. I could not deny however that these words of our Lord's may be understood as a simple repetition.


He adds, Not as the world gives, give I unto you: i.e. not as those men, who love the world, give. They give themselves peace, i.e. free, uninterrupted enjoyment of the world. And even when they allow the righteous peace, so far as not to persecute them, yet there cannot be true peace, where there is no true agreement, no union of heart.


CHRYS. External peace is often even hurtful, rather than profitable to those who enjoy it.


AUG. But there is a peace which is serenity of thought, tranquillity of mind, simplicity of heart, the bond of love, the fellowship of charity. None will be able to come to the inheritance of the Lord who do not observe this testament of peace; none be friends with Christ, who are at enmity with the Christians.



Wednesday, 11 March 2015

John 14:1-14


Chapter 14 of St John's Gospel continues the discourse after the Last Supper, with Jesus reassuring the disciples after his disturbing prophecy of betrayal and coming death.

Read

The Greek, Knox translation English and Vulgate Latin can be found over at New Advent.  You can listen to the Latin here and the Greek here.

Here is the Latin:

Non turbetur cor vestrum. Creditis in Deum, et in me credite. 2 In domo Patris mei mansiones multæ sunt; si quominus dixissem vobis: quia vado parare vobis locum. 3 Et si abiero, et præparavero vobis locum, iterum venio, et accipiam vos ad meipsum: ut ubi sum ego, et vos sitis. 4 Et quo ego vado scitis, et viam scitis. 5 Dicit ei Thomas: Domine, nescimus quo vadis: et quomodo possumus viam scire? 6 Dicit ei Jesus: Ego sum via, et veritas, et vita. Nemo venit ad Patrem, nisi per me. 7 Si cognovissetis me, et Patrem meum utique cognovissetis: et amodo cognoscetis eum, et vidistis eum. 8 Dicit ei Philippus: Domine, ostende nobis Patrem, et sufficit nobis. 9 Dicit ei Jesus: Tanto tempore vobiscum sum, et non cognovistis me? Philippe, qui videt me, videt et Patrem. Quomodo tu dicis: Ostende nobis Patrem? 10 Non creditis quia ego in Patre, et Pater in me est? Verba quæ ego loquor vobis, a meipso non loquor. Pater autem in me manens, ipse fecit opera. 11 Non creditis quia ego in Patre, et Pater in me est? 12 alioquin propter opera ipsa credite. Amen, amen dico vobis, qui credit in me, opera quæ ego facio, et ipse faciet, et majora horum faciet: quia ego ad Patrem vado. 13 Et quodcumque petieritis Patrem in nomine meo, hoc faciam: ut glorificetur Pater in Filio. 14 Si quid petieritis me in nomine meo, hoc faciam.

And the English (Douay-Rheims):

 Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. [2] In my Father' s house there are many mansions. If not, I would have told you: because I go to prepare a place for you. [3] And if I shall go, and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will take you to myself; that where I am, you also may be. [4] And whither I go you know, and the way you know. [5] Thomas saith to him: Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? [6] Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me. [7] If you had known me, you would without doubt have known my Father also: and from henceforth you shall know him, and you have seen him. [8] Philip saith to him: Lord, shew us the Father, and it is enough for us. [9] Jesus saith to him: Have I been so long a time with you; and have you not known me? Philip, he that seeth me seeth the Father also. How sayest thou, shew us the Father? [10] Do you not believe, that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you, I speak not of myself. But the Father who abideth in me, he doth the works.[11] Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? [12] Otherwise believe for the very works' sake. Amen, amen I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do; and greater than these shall he do. [13] Because I go to the Father: and whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, that will I do: that the Father may be glorified in the Son. [14] If you shall ask me any thing in my name, that I will do.

Study/Meditation

The most famous verse in this section is Jesus' statement that he is the way, the truth and the life.  From the Catena Aurea:

AUG. As it He said, I am the way, whereby you would go; I am the truth, whereto you would go; I am the life, in which you would abide. The truth and the life every one understands; but not everyone has found the way. Even the philosophers of the world have seen that God is the life eternal, the truth which is the end of all knowledge.

And the Word of God, which is truth and life with the Father, by taking upon Him human nature, is made the way. Walk by the Man, and you will arrive at God. For it is better to limp on the right way, than to walk ever so stoutly by the wrong.


HILARY. For He who is the way does not lead us into devious courses out of the way; nor does He who is the truth deceive us by falsehoods; not does He who is the life leave us in the darkness of death.


THEOPHYL. When you art engaged in the practical, He is made your way; when in the contemplative, He is made your truth. And to the active and the contemplative is joined life: for we should both act and contemplate with reference to the world to come.


AUG. They knew then the way, because they knew He was the way. But what need to add, the truth, and the life? Because they were yet to be told whither He went. He went to the truth; He went to the life. He went then to Himself, by Himself. But did you leave Yourself, O Lord, to come to us? I know that you took upon you the form of a servant; by the flesh you came, remaining where you were; by that you returned, remaining where you had come to. It by this then you came, and returned, by this you were the way, not only to us, to come to you, but also to Yourself to come, and to return again. And when you went to life, which is Yourself you raised that same flesh of Your from death to life.


Christ therefore went to life, when His flesh arose from death to life. And since the Word is life, Christ went to Himself; Christ being both, in one person, i.e. Word-flesh. Again, by the flesh God came to men, the truth to liars; for God is true, but every man a liar. When then He withdrew Himself from men, and lifted up His flesh to that place in which no liar is, the same Christ, by the way, by which He being the Word became flesh, by Himself, i.e. by His flesh, by the same returned to Truth, which is Himself, which truth, even amongst the liars He maintained to death.


Behold I myself, if I make you understand what I say, do in a certain sense go to you, though I do not leave myself. And when I cease speaking, I return to myself, but remain with you, if you remember what you have heard. If the image which God has made can do this, how much more the Image which God has begotten? Thus He goes by Himself, to Himself and to the Father, and we by Him, to Him and to the Father.


CHRYS. For if, He says, you have Me for your guide to the Father, you shall certainly come to Him. Nor call you come by any other way. Whereas He had said above, No man can come to Me, except the Father draw him, now He says, No man comes to the Father but by Me, thus equaling Himself to the Father. The next words explain, Where I go you know, and the way you know.


If you had known Me, He says, you should have known My Father also; i.e. If you had known My substance and dignity, you would have known the Father's. They did know Him, but not as they ought to do. Nor was it till afterwards, when the Spirit came, that they were fully enlightened.


On this account He adds, And from henceforth you know Him, know Him, that is, spiritually. And have seen Him, i.e. by Me; meaning that he who had seen Him, had seen the Father. They saw Him, however, not in His pure substance, but clothed in flesh.


BEDE. How can our Lord say, If you had known Me, you should have known My Father also; when He has just said, Where I go you know, and the way you know? We must suppose that some of them knew, and others not: among the latter, Thomas.


HILARY. Or thus: When it is said that the Son is the way to the Father, is it meant that He is so by His teaching, or by His nature? We shall be able to see from what follows: If you had known Me, you should have known My Father also.


In His incarnation asserting His Divinity, He maintained a certain order of sight and knowledge: separating the time of seeing from that of knowing. For Him, who He said must be known, He speaks of as already seen: that henceforward they might from this revelation have knowledge of the Divine Nature which they had all along seen in Him.


The discussion on Jesus as the way to the Father is also extremely important:

HILARY. A declaration so new startled Philip. Our Lord is seen to be man. He confesses Himself to be the Son of God, declares that, if He were known, the Father would be known, that, if He is seen, the Father is seen. The familiarity of the Apostle therefore breaks forth into questioning our Lord, Philip said to Him, Lord, show us the Father, and it suffices us. He did not deny He could be seen, but wished to be shown him; nor did he wish to see with his bodily eyes, but that He whom he had seen might be made manifest to his understanding. He had seen the Son in the form of man, but how through that form He saw the Father, he did not know. This he wants to be strewn him, strewn to his understanding, not set before his eyes; and then he will be satisfied: And it suffices us.

AUG. For to that joy of beholding His face, nothing can be added. Philip understood this, and said, Lord, show us the Father, and it suffices us. But he did not yet understand that he could in the same way have said, Lord, show us Yourself, and it suffices us. But our Lord's answer enlightens him, Jesus said to him,


Have I been so long with you, and yet have you not known Me, Philip?


AUG. But how is this, when our Lord said that they knew where He was going, and the way, because they knew Him? The question is easily settled by supposing that some of them knew, and others not; among the latter, Philip.


HILARY. He reproves the ignorance of Philip in this respect. For whereas his actions had been strictly divine, such as walking on the water, commanding the winds, remitting sins, raising the dead, He complained that in His assumed humanity, the Divine nature was not discerned. Accordingly to Philip's request, to be strewn the Father, Our Lord answers, He that has seen Me, has seen the Father.


AUG. When two persons are very like each, we say, If you have seen the one, you have seen. n the other. So here, He that has seen Me, has seen the Father; not that He is troth the Father, and the Son, but that the Son is an absolute likeness of the Father.


HILARY. He does not mean the sight of the bodily eye: for His fleshly part, born of the Virgin, does not avail towards contemplating the form and image of God in Him; but the Son of God being known with the understanding, it follows that the Father is known also, forasmuch as He is the image of God, not differing from but expressing His Author. For our Lord's expressions do not spear; of one person solitary and without relationship, but teach us His birth. The Father also excludes the supposition of a single solitary person, and leaves us no other doctrine but that the Father is seen in the Son, by the incommunicable likeness of birth.


AUG. But is he to be reproved, who, when he has seen the likeness, wishes to see the man of whom he is the likeness? No, our Lord rebuked the question, only with reference to the mind of the asker.


Philip asked, as if the Father were better than the Son; and so showed that He did not know the Son. Which opinion our Lord corrects: Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? as if He said, If it is a great wish with you to see the Father, at any rate believe what you do not see.


HILARY. For what excuse was there for ignorance of the Father, or what necessity to show Him, when the Father was seen in the Son by His essential nature, while by the identity of unity, the Begotten and the Begetter are one: Believe you not that I am in the Father and the Father in Me?


AUG. He wished him to live by faith, before he had sight, and therefore says, Believe you not? Spiritual vision is the reward of faith, vouchsafed to minds purified by faith.


HILARY. But the Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father, not by a conjunction of two harmonizing essences, nor by a nature grafted into a more capacious substance as in material bodies, in which it is impossible that what is within can be made external to that which contains it; but by the birth of a nature which is life from life; forasmuch as from God nothing but God can be born.


HILARY. The unchangeable God follows, so to speak, His own nature, by begetting unchangeable God. Nor does the perfect birth of unchangeable God from unchangeable God forsake His own nature. We understand then here the nature of God subsisting in Him, since God is in God, nor besides Him who is God, can any other be God.


CHRYS. Or thus: Philip, because [he thought] he had seen c the Son with his bodily eye, wished to see the Father in the same way; perhaps too remembering what the Prophet said, I saw the Lord (Isaiah 6:1), and therefore he says, Show us the Father. The Jews had asked, who was His Father; and Peter and Thomas, whither He went; and neither were told plainly. Philip therefore, that he might not seem burdensome, after saying, Show us the Father, adds, And it suffices us: i.e. we seek for no more. Our Lord in reply does not say, that he asked an impossible thing, but that he had not seen the Son to begin with, for that if he had seen Him, he would have seen the Father: Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known Me? He does not say, not seen Me, but, not known Me; not known that the Son, being what the Father is, does in Himself fitly show the Father. Then dividing the Persons, He says, He that has seen Me has seen the Father; that none might maintain that He was both the Father and the Son. The words show too that even the Son was not seen in a bodily sense. So if anyone takes seeing here, for knowing, I will not contradict him, but will take the sentence as if it was, He that has known Me, has known the Father. He shows here His consubstantiality with the Father: He that has seen My substance, has seen the Father. Whence it is evident He is not a creature: for all know and see the creature, but not all God; Philip, for instance, who wished to see the substance of the Father. If Christ then had been of another substance from the Father, He would never have said, He that has seen Me, has seen the Father. A man cannot see the substance of gold in silver: one nature cannot be made apparent by another.


AUG. He then addresses all of them, not Philip only: The word that I speak to you, I speak not of Myself. What is, I speak not of Myself, I but, I that speak am not of Myself? He attributes what He does to Him, from whom He Himself, the doer, is.


HILARY. Wherein He neither desires Himself to be the Son, nor hides the existence of His Father's power in Him. In that He speaks, it is Himself that speaks in His own person; in that He speaks not of Himself, He witnesses His nativity, that He is God from God.


CHRYS. Mark the abundant proof of the unity of substance. For He continues; But the Father that dwells in Me, He does the works. As if He said, My Father and I act together, not differently from each other; agreeing with what He said below: If I do not the works of My Father, believe Me not. But why does He pass from words to works? Why does He not say as we might have expected, He speaks the words? Because He means to apply what He says both to His doctrine, and to His miracles; or because His words are themselves works.


Acting in Christ's name, great things can be done:

AUG. But what are these greater works? Is it that the shadow of the Apostles, as they passed by, healed the sick; It is indeed a greater thing that a shadow should heal, than that the border of a garment should. Nevertheless, by works here our Lord refers to His words. For when He says, My Father that dwells in Me, He does the works, what are these works but the words which He spoke? And the fruit of those words was their faith.

But these were but few converts in comparison with what those disciples made afterwards by their preaching: they converted the Gentiles to the faith. Did not the rich man go away sorrowful from His words? And yet that which one did not do at His own exhortation, many did afterwards when He preached through the disciples. He did greater works when preached by the believing, than when speaking to men's ears.


Still these greater works He did by His Apostles, whereas He includes others besides them, when He says, He that believes in Me. Are we not to compute any one among the believers in Christ, who does not do greater works than Christ? This sounds harsh if not explained. The Apostle says, To him that believes in Him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness (Rom 4:5).


By this work then we shall do the works of Christ, the very believing in Christ being the work of Christ, for He works this in us, though not without us. Attend then; He that believes on Me, the works that I do, shall he do also. First I do them, then he will do them: I do them, that he may do them. Do what works but this, viz. that a man, from being a sinner, become just? which thing Christ works in us, though not without us. This in truth I call a greater work to do, than to create the heaven and the earth; for heaven and earth shall pass away, but the salvation and justification of the predestined shall remain.


However, the Angels in heaven are the work of Christ; shall he who works with Christ for his own justification, do greater even than these? Judge any one which be the greater work, to create the just, or to justify the ungodly? At least, if both be of equal power, the latter has more of mercy. But it is not necessary to understand all the works of Christ, when He says, greater works than these shall he do.


These perhaps refers to the works He had done that hour. He had then been instructing them in the faith. And surely it is a less work to preach righteousness, which He did without us, than to justify the ungodly, which He so does in us, as that we do it ourselves. Great things truly did our Lord promise His people, when He went to His Father: Because I go to My Father.


Tuesday, 10 March 2015

John 13:21-38



The second half of Chapter 13 of St John's Gospel foreshadows the two coming betrayals: by Judas and Peter.

Read

The New Advent Bible page has the Greek, Knox translation English and Latin in parallel text form.  You can listen to the Latin here and the Greek here.

Here is the Latin:

21 Cum hæc dixisset Jesus, turbatus est spiritu: et protestatus est, et dixit: Amen, amen dico vobis, quia unus ex vobis tradet me. 22 Aspiciebant ergo ad invicem discipuli, hæsitantes de quo diceret. 23 Erat ergo recumbens unus ex discipulis ejus in sinu Jesu, quem diligebat Jesus. 24 Innuit ergo huic Simon Petrus, et dixit ei: Quis est, de quo dicit? 25 Itaque cum recubuisset ille supra pectus Jesu, dicit ei: Domine, quis est? 26 Respondit Jesus: Ille est cui ego intinctum panem porrexero. Et cum intinxisset panem, dedit Judæ Simonis Iscariotæ. 27 Et post buccellam, introivit in eum Satanas. Et dixit ei Jesus: Quod facis, fac citius. 28 Hoc autem nemo scivit discumbentium ad quid dixerit ei. 29 Quidam enim putabant, quia loculos habebat Judas, quod dixisset ei Jesus: Eme ea quæ opus sunt nobis ad diem festum: aut egenis ut aliquid daret. 30 Cum ergo accepisset ille buccellam, exivit continuo. Erat autem nox.31 Cum ergo exisset, dixit Jesus: Nunc clarificatus est Filius hominis, et Deus clarificatus est in eo. 32 Si Deus clarificatus est in eo, et Deus clarificabit eum in semetipso: et continuo clarificabit eum. 33 Filioli, adhuc modicum vobiscum sum. Quæretis me; et sicut dixi Judæis, quo ego vado, vos non potestis venire: et vobis dico modo. 34 Mandatum novum do vobis: ut diligatis invicem: sicut dilexi vos, ut et vos diligatis invicem. 35 In hoc cognoscent omnes quia discipuli mei estis, si dilectionem habueritis ad invicem. 36 Dicit ei Simon Petrus: Domine, quo vadis? Respondit Jesus: Quo ego vado non potes me modo sequi: sequeris autem postea. 37 Dicit ei Petrus: Quare non possum te sequi modo? animam meam pro te ponam. 38 Respondit ei Jesus: Animam tuam pro me pones? amen, amen dico tibi: non cantabit gallus, donec ter me neges.

The Douay-Rheims version:

When Jesus had said these things, he was troubled in spirit; and he testified, and said: Amen, amen I say to you, one of you shall betray me. [22] The disciples therefore looked one upon another, doubting of whom he spoke. [23] Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. [24] Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, and said to him: Who is it of whom he speaketh? [25] He therefore, leaning on the breast of Jesus, saith to him: Lord, who is it? [26] Jesus answered: He it is to whom I shall reach bread dipped. And when he had dipped the bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. [27] And after the morsel, Satan entered into him. And Jesus said to him: That which thou dost, do quickly. [28] Now no man at the table knew to what purpose he said this unto him. [29] For some thought, because Judas had the purse, that Jesus had said to him: Buy those things which we have need of for the festival day: or that he should give something to the poor. [30] He therefore having received the morsel, went out immediately. And it was night. [31] When he therefore was gone out, Jesus said: Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. [32] If God be glorified in him, God also will glorify him in himself; and immediately will he glorify him. [33] Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You shall seek me; and as I said to the Jews: Whither I go you cannot come; so I say to you now. [34] A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. [35] By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.[36] Simon Peter saith to him: Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered: Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow hereafter. [37] Peter saith to him: Why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thee. [38] Jesus answered him: Wilt thou lay down thy life for me? Amen, amen I say to thee, the cock shall not crow, till thou deny me thrice.

Study/Meditation

The Catena Aurea comments on Jesus' distress at the prospect of losing one of his own :

CHRYS. Our Lord after His twofold promise of assistance to the Apostles in their future labors, remembers that the traitor is cut off from both, and is troubled at the thought: When Jesus had thus said, He was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say to you, that one of you shall betray Me.

AUG. This did not come into His mind then for the first time; but He was now about to make the traitor known, and single him out from the rest, and therefore was troubled in spirit. The traitor too was now just about to go forth to execute his purpose. He was troubled at the thought of His Passion being so near at hand, at the dangers to which His faithful followers would be brought at the hand of the traitor, which were even now impending over Him. Our Lord deigned to be troubled also, to show that false brethren cannot be cut off; even in the most urgent necessity, without the troubling of the Church. He was troubled not in flesh, but in spirit; for on occasion of scandals of this kind, the spirit is troubled, not perversely, but in love, lest in separating the tares, some of the wheat too be plucked up with them. But whether He was troubled by pity for perishing Judas, or, by the near approach of His own death, He was troubled not through weakness of mind, but power: He was not troubled because anything compelled Him, but He troubled Himself, as was said above. And in that He was troubled, He consoles the weak members of His body, i.e. His Church, that they may not think themselves reprobate, should they be troubled at the approach of death.


ORIGEN. His being troubled in spirit, was the human part, suffering under the excess of the spiritual. For if every Saint lives, acts, and suffers in the spirit, how much more is this true of Jesus, the Rewarder of Saints.


AUG. Away then with the reasonings of the Stoics, who deny that perturbation of mind can come upon a wise man; who, as they take vanity for truth, so make their healthy state of mind insensibility. It is good that the mind of the Christian may be perturbed, not by misery, but by pity. One of you, He said, i.e. one in respect of number, not of merit, in appearance not in virtue.


CHRYS. As He did not mention Him by name, all began to fear: Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom He spoke; not conscious of any evil in themselves, and entrusting to Christ's words, more than to their own thoughts.


AUG. They had a devoted love for their Master but yet so that human weakness made them doubt of one another.


ORIGEN. They remembered too, that, as men, before they were matured, their minds were liable to change, so as to form wishes the very opposite to what they might have had before.


On Judas' departure, the die is cast:

ORIGEN. After the glory of His miracles, and His transfiguration, the next glorifying of the Son of man began, when Judas went out with Satan, who had entered into him; Therefore when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in Him. For it is not the eternal only-begotten Word, but the glory of the Man born of the seed of David, which is here meant.

Christ at His death, in which He glorified God, having spoiled principalities and powers, made a show of them, openly triumphing over them (Col 2:15). And again, Made peace by the blood of His cross, to reconcile all things to Himself, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven (Col 1:20). Thus the Son of man was glorified, and God glorified in Him; for Christ cannot be glorified, except the Father be glorified with Him. But whoever is glorified, is glorified by someone.


By whom then is the Son of man glorified? He tells you; If God be glorified in Him, God shall also glorify if Him in Himself, and shall straightway glorify Him.


CHRYS. i.e. by Himself, not by any other. And shall straightway glorify Him, i.e. not at any distant time, but immediately, while He is yet on the very cross shall His glory appear. For the sun was darkened, rocks were rent, and many bodies of those that slept arose. In this way He restores the drooping spirits of His disciples, and persuades them, instead of sorrowing, to rejoice.


AUG. Or thus: The unclean went out: the clean remained with their cleanser. Thus will it be when the tares are separated from the wheat; The righteous shall shine forth as the sale in the kingdom of their Father (Matt 13:43). Our Lord, foreseeing this, said, when Judas went out, as if the tares were now separated, and He left alone with the wheat, the holy Apostles.


Now is the Son of man glorified; as if to say, Behold what will take place at My glorifying, at which none of the wicked shall be present, none of the righteous shall perish. He does not say, Now is the glorifying of the Son of man signified; but, Now is the Son of man glorified; as it is not that rock signified Christ, or but, That Rock was Christ (1 Cor 10:4).


Scripture often speaks of the things signifying, as if they were the things signified. But the glorifying of the Son of man, is the glorifying of God in Him; as He adds, And God is glorified in Him, which He proceeds to explain; If God is glorified in Him - for He came not to do His own will, but the will of Him that sent Him - God shall also glorify Him in Himself, so that the human nature which was assumed by the eternal Word, shall also be endowed with eternity.


And shall straightway glorify Him. He predicts His own resurrection, which was to follow immediately, not at the end of the world, like ours. Thus it is; Now is the Son of man glorified; the now referring not to His approaching Passion, hut the resurrection which was immediately to follow it: as if that which was so very soon to be, had already taken place.


HILARY. That God is glorified in Him, refers to the glory of the body, which glory is the glory of God, in that the body borrows its glory from its association with the Divine nature because God is glorified in Him, therefore He will; glorify Him in Himself, in that He who reigns in the glory arising from the glory of God, He forthwith passes over into God's glory, leaving the dispensation of His manhood wholly to abide in God.


Nor is He silent as to the time And shall straightway glorify Him. This referring to the glory of His resurrection which was immediately to follow His passion, which He mentions as present, because Judas had now gone out to betray Him; whereas that God would glorify Him in Himself, He reserves for the future. The glory of God was strewn in Him by the miracle of the resurrection; but He will abide in the glory of God when He has left the dispensation of subjection.


The sense of these first words, Now is the Son of man glorified, is not doubtful: it is the glory of the flesh which is meant, not that of the Word But what means the next, And God is glorified in Him? The Son of man is not another Person from the Son of God for, the Word was made flesh (John 1:14). How is God glorified in this Son of man, who is the Son of God?


The next clause helps us; If God is glorified in Him, God also will glorify Him in Himself. A man is not glorified in himself, nor, on the other hand, does God who is glorified in man, because He receives glory, cease to be God. So the words, God is glorified in Him, either mean that Christ is glorified in the flesh, or that God is glorified in Christ. If God means Christ, it is Christ who is glorified in the flesh; if the Father, then it is the Sacrament of unity, the Father glorified in the Son. Again, God glorifies in Himself God glorified in the Son of man.


This overthrows the impious doctrine that Christ is not very God, in verity of nature. For how can that which God glorifies in Himself be out of Himself? He whom the Father glorifies must be confessed to be in His glory, and He who is glorified in the glory of the Father, must be understood to be in the same case with the Father.


ORIGEN. Or thus: The word glory is here used in a different sense from that which some Pagans attach to it, who defined glory to be the collected praises of the many. It is evident that glory in such a sense is a different thing from that mentioned in Exodus, where it is said, that the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle (Exod 40:34), and that the face of Moses was glorified. The glory here mentioned is something visible, a certain divine appearance in the temple, and on Moses' face; but in a higher and more spiritual sense we are glorified, when with the eye of the understanding we penetrate into the things of God.


For the mind when it ascends above material things, and spiritually sees God, is defied: and of this spiritual glory, the visible glory on the face of Moses is a figure: for his mind it was that was defied by converse with God. But there is no comparison between the excellent glory of Christ, and the knowledge of Moses, whereby the face of his soul was glorified: for the whole of the Father's glory shines upon the Son, who is the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His Person (Heb 1:3). Yea, and from the light of this whole glory there go forth particular glories, throughout the whole rational creation; though none can take in the whole of the divine glory, except the Son.


But so far as the Son was known to the world, so far only was He glorified. And as yet He was not fully known. But afterward the Father spread the knowledge of Him over the whole world, and then was the Son of man glorified in those who knew Him. And of this glory He has made all who know Him partakers: as said the Apostle: We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:18), i.e. from His glory receive glory.


When He was approaching then that dispensation, by which He was to become known to the world, and to be glorified in the glory of those who glorified Him, He says, Now is the Son of man glorified (Matt 11:27). And because no man knows the Father but the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him, and the Son by the dispensation was about to reveal the Father; for this reason He said, And God is glorified in Him. Or compare this with the text below: He that has seen Me, has seen the Father. The Father who begat the Word is seen in the Word, who is God, and the image of the invisible God. But the words may be taken in a larger sense. For as through some the name of God was blasphemed among the Gentiles, so through the saints whose good deeds are seen and acknowledged by the world, the name of the Father in heaven is magnified.


But in whom was He so glorified as in Jesus, Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth? Such being the Son, He is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. And if God is glorified in Him, the Father returns Him more than He gave. For the glory of the Son of man, when the Father glorifies Him, far exceeds the Father's glory, when He is glorified in the Son: it being fit that the greater should return the greater glory. And as this, viz. the glorifying of the Son of man, was just about to be accomplished, our Lord adds, And will straightway glorify Him.


He reminds them of the law of love:

AUG. And now He teaches them how to fit themselves to follow. Him: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. But does not the old law say, you shall love your neighbor as yourself (Lev 19:18)? Why then does He call it a new commandment? Is it because it strips us of the old man, and puts on us the new? That it renews the hearer, or rather the doer of it? Love does do this; but it is that love which our Lord distinguishes from the carnal affection: As I have loved you, that you also love one another. Not the love with which men love one another, but that of the children of the Most High God, w ho would be brethren of His only-begotten Son, and therefore love one another with that love with which He loved them, and would lead them to the fulfillment of their desires.

CHRYS. Or, as I have loved you: for My love has not been the payment of something owing to you, but had its beginning on My side. And you ought in like manner to do one another good, though you may not owe it.


AUG. But; do not think that that greater commandment, viz. that we: should love the Lord our God, is passed by. For, if we understand the two precepts aright, each is implied in the other. He who loves God cannot despise His commandment that he should love his neighbor; and he who loves his neighbor in a heavenly spiritual way, in the neighbor loves God. That is the love which our Lord distinguishes from all human love, when He adds, As I have loved you, what did He, in loving us, love, but God in us; not who was in us, but so that He might be? Wherefore let each of us so love the other, as that by this working of love, we make each other the habitations of God.


CHRYS. Passing over the miracles, which they were to perform, He makes love: the distinguishing mark of His followers; By this shall all men know that you are My disciples' if you have love one to another. This it is that evidences the saint or the disciple, as He calls him.


AUG. As if He said, Other gifts are shared with you by those who are not mine; birth, life, sense, reason, and such good things as belong alike to man and brutes; nay, and tongues, sacraments, prophecy, knowledge, faith, bestowing of goods upon the poor,; giving the body to be burned: but forasmuch as they have not charity, they are tinkling cymbals, they are nothing: nothing profits them.


 36. Simon Peter said to him, Lord, where do you go? Jesus answered him, Where I go you can not follow me now; but you shall follow me afterwards.


Yet there is still another betrayal to come:

CHRYS. Great is love, and stronger than fire; nothing can stop its course. Peter the most ardent of all, as soon as he hears our Lord say, Where I go you cannot follow Me now, asks, Lord, where do you go?

AUG. The disciple asks this, as if he were ready to follow. But our Lord saw his heart; Jesus answered him, Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; He checks his forwardness, but does not destroy his hope; nay, confirms it; But you shall follow Me afterwards. Why do you hasten, Peter? The Rock has not yet established you with His Spirit. Be not lifted up with presumptions, you cannot follow now; but be not cast down with despair, you shall follow Me afterwards.


CHRYS. Peter, on receiving this answer, does not check his desire, but hastily conceives favorable hopes from it, and having got rid of the fear of betraying our Lord, feels secure, and becomes himself the interrogator, while the rest are silent: Peter said to Him, Lord, why cannot I follow you now? I will lay down my life for your sake.


What say you, Peter? He has said, you can not, and you say, you can: wherefore you shall know by experience, that your love is nothing, unless you are enabled from above: Jesus answered him,


Will you lay down your life for my sake?


BEDE. Which sentence may be read in two ways: either as affirming, you shall lay down your life for My sake, but now through fear of the death of the body, you shall incur spiritual death: or as mocking; as if He said,


AUG. Will you do that for Me, which I have not done yet for you? Can you go before, who can not come after? Why presume you so? Hear what you are: Verily, verily, I say to you, The cock shall not crow, till you have denied Me thrice, you who promises Me your death, shall thrice deny your life. Peter knew his great desire, his strength he knew not: he boasted of his will, while he was yet weak; but the Physician saw his weakness.


Some who perversely favor Peter, excuse him, and say that he did not deny Christ, because when asked by the servant maid, he said he did not know Him, as the other Evangelist witness more expressly. As if to deny the man Christ, was not to deny Christ; yea, that in Christ, which He was made for our sakes, that that which He made us might not perish. By what is He the Head of the Church, but by His humanity? And how then is he in the body of Christ, who denies the man Christ? But why do I argue so long? Our Lord does not say, The cock shall not crow till you deny man, or the Son of man, but till you deny Me.


What is Me, but that which He was? So then whatever Peter denied, he denied Christ: it is impious to doubt it. Christ said so, and Christ said true: beyond a doubt, Peter denied Christ. Let us not, to defend Peter, accuse Christ. The frailty of Peter himself, acknowledged its sin, when he witnessed by his tears the evil he had done in denying Christ. Nor do we say this, because we have pleasure in blaming the first of the Apostles; but that we may take warning from him, not to be confident of our own strength.


BEDE. Nevertheless, should any one fall, let the example of Peter save him from despair, and teach him that he can without delay obtain pardon from God.


CHRYS. It is manifest that our Lord permitted Peter's fall. He might have recalled him to begin with, but as he persisted in his vehemence, though He did not drive him to a denial, He let him go without assistance, that He might learn his own weakness, and not fall into such sin again, when the superintendence of the world had come to him, but that remembering what had happened to him, he might know himself.


AUG. That took place in the soul of Peter, which he offered in the body; though differently from what he meant. For before the death and resurrection of our Lord, he both died by his denial, and lived again by his tears.


AUG. This speech, The cock shall not crow, occurs in all the Evangelists, but not at the same time in all. Matthew and Mark: introduce it after they have left the house, in which they were eating; Luke and John before. We may suppose either that the two former are recurring to what had passed, or the two latter anticipating what is coming. Or the great difference not only of the words, but of the subjects which precede the speech, and which excite Peter to the presumption of offering to die, for or with our Lord, may lead us to conclude that he made this offer three times, and that our Lord three times replied, Before the cock crows, you shall deny Me thrice.

Monday, 9 March 2015

John 13: 1-20



St John's Gospel skips fairly quickly over the Last Supper itself, and instead focuses primarily on those words and actions not included in the synoptic Gospels, starting with Jesus washing the feet of the apostles.

Read

The New Advent Bible page has the Greek, Knox translation English and Latin in parallel text form.  You can listen to the Latin here and the Greek here.

Here is the Latin:

Ante diem festum Paschæ, sciens Jesus quia venit hora ejus ut transeat ex hoc mundo ad Patrem: cum dilexisset suos, qui erant in mundo, in finem dilexit eos. 2 Et cœna facta, cum diabolus jam misisset in cor ut traderet eum Judas Simonis Iscariotæ: 3 sciens quia omnia dedit ei Pater in manus, et quia a Deo exivit, et ad Deum vadit: 4 surgit a cœna, et ponit vestimenta sua, et cum accepisset linteum, præcinxit se. 5 Deinde mittit aquam in pelvim, et cœpit lavare pedes discipulorum, et extergere linteo, quo erat præcinctus. 6 Venit ergo ad Simonem Petrum. Et dicit ei Petrus: Domine, tu mihi lavas pedes? 7 Respondit Jesus, et dixit ei: Quod ego facio, tu nescis modo: scies autem postea. 8 Dicit ei Petrus: Non lavabis mihi pedes in æternum. Respondit ei Jesus: Si non lavero te, non habebis partem mecum. 9 Dicit ei Simon Petrus: Domine, non tantum pedes meos, sed et manus, et caput. 10 Dicit ei Jesus: Qui lotus est, non indiget nisi ut pedes lavet, sed est mundus totus. Et vos mundi estis, sed non omnes. 11 Sciebat enim quisnam esset qui traderet eum; propterea dixit: Non estis mundi omnes.12 Postquam ergo lavit pedes eorum, et accepit vestimenta sua, cum recubuisset iterum, dixit eis: Scitis quid fecerim vobis? 13 Vos vocatis me Magister et Domine, et bene dicitis: sum etenim. 14 Si ergo ego lavi pedes vestros, Dominus et Magister, et vos debetis alter alterius lavare pedes. 15 Exemplum enim dedi vobis, ut quemadmodum ego feci vobis, ita et vos faciatis. 16 Amen, amen dico vobis: non est servus major domino suo: neque apostolus major est eo qui misit illum. 17 Si hæc scitis, beati eritis si feceritis ea. 18 Non de omnibus vobis dico: ego scio quos elegerim; sed ut adimpleatur Scriptura: Qui manducat mecum panem, levabit contra me calcaneum suum. 19 Amodo dico vobis, priusquam fiat: ut cum factum fuerit, credatis quia ego sum. 20. Amen, amen dico vobis: qui accipit si quem misero, me accipit; qui autem me accipit, accipit eum qui me misit.

The Douay-Rheims version:

Before the festival day of the pasch, Jesus knowing that his hour was come, that he should pass out of this world to the Father: having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them unto the end. [2] And when supper was done, (the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray him,) [3] Knowing that the Father had given him all things into his hands, and that he came from God, and goeth to God; [4] He riseth from supper, and layeth aside his garments, and having taken a towel, girded himself. [5] After that, he putteth water into a basin, and began to wash the feet of the disciples, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.[6] He cometh therefore to Simon Peter. And Peter saith to him: Lord, dost thou wash my feet? [7] Jesus answered, and said to him: What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. [8] Peter saith to him: Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him: If I wash thee not, thou shalt have no part with me. [9] Simon Peter saith to him: Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head. [10] Jesus saith to him: He that is washed, needeth not but to wash his feet, but is clean wholly. And you are clean, but not all. [11] For he knew who he was that would betray him; therefore he said: You are not all clean. [12] Then after he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, being set down again, he said to them: Know you what I have done to you? [13] You call me Master, and Lord; and you say well, for so I am. [14] If then I being your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another' s feet. [15] For I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, so you do also.[16] Amen, amen I say to you: The servant is not greater than his lord; neither is the apostle greater than he that sent him. [17] If you know these things, you shall be blessed if you do them. [18] I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen. But that the scripture may be fulfilled: He that eateth bread with me, shall lift up his heel against me. [19] At present I tell you, before it come to pass: that when it shall come to pass, you may believe that I am he. [20] Amen, amen I say to you, he that receiveth whomsoever I send, receiveth me; and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me.

Study/Meditation

The Mandatum ceremony re-enacted on Maundy Thursday each year has become very controversial in recent years.  Accordingly, it is worth considering what the Fathers have to say on it, as reflected in the anthology contained in the Catena Aurea.

First, consider the setting:

THEOPHYL. Our Lord being about to depart out of this life, shows His great care for His disciples: Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them to the end. 

BEDE. The Jews had many feasts, but the principal one was the passover; and therefore it is particularly said, Before the feast of the passover. 


AUG. Pascha is not a Greek word, as some think, but Hebrew: though there is remarkable agreement of the two languages in it. The Greek word to suffer being pascha has been thought to mean passion, as being derived from the above word. But in Hebrew, pascha is a passing over; the feast deriving its name from the passing, of the people of God over the Red Sea into Egypt. All was now to take place in reality, of which that passover was the type. 


Christ was led as a lamb to the slaughter; whose blood sprinkled upon our doorposts, i.e. whose sign of the cross marked on our foreheads, delivers us from the dominion of this world, as from Egyptian bondage. And we perform a most wholesome journey or passover, when we pass over from the devil to Christ, from this unstable world to His sure kingdom. In this way the Evangelist seems to interpret the word: When Jesus knew that His hour was come when He should pass over out of this world to the Father. This is the pascha, this the passing over. 


CHRYS. He did not know then for the first time: He had known long before. By His departure He means His death, Being so near leaving His disciples, He shows the more love for them: Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them to the end; i.e. He left nothing undone which one who greatly loved should do. He reserved this for the last, that their love might be increased by it, and to prepare them by such consolation for the trials that were coming. 


His own He calls them, in the sense of intimacy. The word was used in another sense in the beginning of the Gospel: His own received Him not. It follows, which were in the world: for those were dead who were His own, such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who were not in the world. These then, His own which were in the world, He loved all along, and at the last manifested His love in completeness: He loved them to the end.


Secondly, those present are the twelve, including the traitor:

AUG. He loved them to the end, i.e. that they themselves too might pass out of this world, by love, to Him their head. For what is to the end, but to Christ? For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes (Rom 10:4). But these words may be understood after a human sort, to mean that Christ loved His own up to His death. 

But God forbid that He should end His love by death, who is not ended by death: except indeed we understand it thus: He loved His own to death: i.e. His love for them led Him to death. And supper having been made, i.e. having been got ready, and laid on the table before them; not having been consumed and finished: for it was during supper that He rose, and washed His disciples' feet; as after this He sat at table again, and gave the sop to the traitor. 


What follows: The devil having now put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him, refers to a secret suggestion, not made to the ear, but to the mind; the suggestions of the devil being part of our own thoughts. Judas then had already conceived, through diabolical instigation, the intention of betraying his Master. 


CHRYS. The Evangelist inserts this as if in astonishment: our Lord being about to wash the feet of the very person who had resolved to betray Him. It shows the great wickedness too of the traitor, that even the partaking of the same table, which is a check to the worst of men, did not stop him. 


AUG. The Evangelist being about to relate so great an instance of our Lord's humility, reminds us first of His lofty nature: knowing that the Father had given all things into His hand, not excepting the traitor. 


Thirdly, the point of the exercize is to teach humility and mutual service:

THEOPHYL. The Father having given up all things into His hands, i.e. having given up to Him the salvation of the faithful, He deemed it right to show them all things that pertained to their salvation; and gave them a lesson of humility, by washing His disciples' feet. Though knowing that He was from God, and went to God, He thought it in no way took from His glory, to wash His disciples' feet; thus proving that He did not usurp His greatness. For usurpers do not condescend, for fear of losing what they have irregularly got. 

AUG. Since the Father had given all things into His hands, He washed not His disciples' hands indeed, but their feet; and since He knew that He came from God, and went to God, He performed the work not of God and Lord, but of a man and servant. 


CHRYS. It was a thing worthy of Him, Who came from God, and went to God, to trample upon all pride; He rises from supper, and laid aside His garment, and took a towel, and, girded Himself.; After that He pours water into a basin, and began to wash His disciples' feet, anal to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded. See what humility He shows, not only in washing their feet, but in other things. For it was not before, but after they had sat down, that He rose; and He not only washed them, but laid aside His garments, and girded Himself with a towel, and filled a basin; He did not order others to do all this, but did it Himself, teaching us that we should be willing and ready to do such things. 


St Peter challenges the reasons for Jesus' action:

AUG. He did not refuse, because our Lord's act was above his understanding, but he could not bear to see Him bending at his feet: Peter says to Him, you shall not wash my feet; i.e. I will never suffer it: not for ever is the same as never.

ORIGEN. This is an instance, that a man may say a thing with a good intention, and yet ignorantly to His hurt. Peter, ignorant of our Lord's deep meaning, at first, as if in doubt, says mildly, Lord, do you wash my feet? and then, you shall never wash my feet; which was in reality to cut himself off from having a part with Jesus. Whence he not only blames our Lord for washing the disciples' feet, but also his fellow-disciples for giving their feet to be washed. As Peter then did not see his own good our Lord did not allow His wish to be fulfilled: Jesus answered and said to him, If I wash you not, you have no part with Me.


AUG. If I wash you not, He says, though it was only his feet that He was going to wash, just as we say, you tread on me; though it is only our foot that is trodden on.


ORIGEN. Let those who refuse to allegorize these and like passages, say how it is probable that he who out of reverence for Jesus said, you shall never wash my feet, would have had no part with the Son of God; as if not having his feet washed was a deadly wickedness. Wherefore it is our feet, i.e. the affections of our mind, that are to be given up to Jesus to be washed, that our feet may be beautiful; especially if we emulate higher gifts, and wish to be numbered with those w ho preach glad tidings.


CHRYS. He does not say on what account He performs this act of washing, but only threatens him. For Peter was not persuaded by the first answer: you shall know hereafter he did not say, Teach me then that I may submit. But when he was threatened with separation from Christ, then he submitted.


ORIGEN. This saying we may use against those who make hasty and indiscreet resolutions. By strewing them, that if they adhere to these, they will have no part with Jesus, we disengage them from such resolves; even though they may have bound themselves by oath.


AUG. But he, agitated by fear and love, dreaded more the being denied Christ, than the seeing Him at His feet: Simon Peter said to Him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.


AUG. Our Lord, mindful of His promise to Peter that he should know the meaning of His act, you shall know here after, now begins to teach him: So after He had washed their feet, and had taken His garments, and was sat down again, He said to them, Know you what I have done to you?

CHRYS. He shows us the greater, that we may do the less. For He was the Lord, but we, if we do it, do it to our fellow-servants:

For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.


BEDE. Our Lord first did a thing, then taught it: as it is said, Jesus began both to do and to teach (Acts 1:1).


AUG. This is, blessed Peter, what you were ignorant of; this you were told that you should know afterwards.