Gospel: John 16:5-14

Joh 16:5 But I told you not these things from the beginning, because I was with you. And now I go to him that sent me, and none of you asketh me: Whither goest thou? Joh 16:6 But because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Joh 16:7 But I tell you the truth: it is expedient to you that I go. For if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you: but if I go, I will send him to you. Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will convince the world of sin and of justice and of judgment. Joh 16:9 Of sin: because they believed not in me. Joh 16:10 And of justice: because I go to the Father: and you shall see me no longer. Joh 16:11 And of judgment: because the prince of this world is already judged. Joh 16:12 I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now. Joh 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth. For he shall not speak of himself: but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak. And the things that are to come, he shall shew you. Joh 16:14 He shall glorify me: because he shall receive of mine and shall shew it to you.

Please note that this post begins with a doctrinal summary of this Sunday's Mass, focusing on the gift of God and the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Father's greatest gift. The theme of joy is also touched upon. Following this there is a sermon on the Gospel from St Augustine. To view my resources on the Epsitle Reading for this Sunday go HERE. Sources of the liturgy: Introit, Ps 97:1-2- Epistle, James 1:17-21- Alleluia verses, Ps 117: 16 and Rom 6:9- Gospel, John 16:5-14- Offertory, Ps 65: 1-2, 16- Communion John 16:8. In the liturgy of the fourth Sunday after Easter, we find mingled joy and sadness. The joy appears in the Introit, which is a canticle of triumph in honor of the great prodigy of the Resurrection, the remembrance of which fills the whole earth; in the verses of the Alleluia which speaks of the Resurrection of Jesus as a definite victory gained over death; again this joy appears in the offertory which extols the advantages which this great miracle has obtained for Christian souls. On the other hand, we seem to see the sadness clouding the faces of the apostles when our Lord tells them that the moment approaches in which He must leave them. His words recorded in the Gospel for this Sunday were spoken on Holy Thursday, the eve of His Passion, but they find a suitable place here on the eve of the Ascension. Our Lord consoled His apostles in their sorrow by showing them the benefits which would result from His leaving them, namely, the sending of the Holy Ghost upon this earth; the judgment and condemnation of the world by the Spirit of God; and the teaching of all thee truth by this same Spirit. In order that the mission of the Holy Ghost might be fulfilled amongst us, it was necessary that Jesus Christ should go away. We must here remark that th external operations of the three divine Persons succeed each other in time, conformably to the order of the processions in the divine essence: as the Son proceeds from the Father, and the work of Redemption succeeds the work of creation, the former being assigned to the Son, and the latter to the Father; so the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son, and the work of Sanctification, assigned to the Holy Ghost, succeeds the work of Redemption. The mission of the Holy Ghost, whose coming amongst us could not be effected until our divine Lord had left this earth, was to condemn the world on account of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ; of the injustice committed by those who refuse to believe the Gospel; and because of the judgment pronounced against the devil and on all those who follow him in his revolt. The invisible presence of

the Holy Ghost will bring forth in the full light of this condemnation, and thereby render testimony to the divine mission of our Lord. Our Lord tells us that when the Holy Ghost has come, He will teach men all truth. No doubt our Lord had revealed to man all that is necessary for salvation But before the coming of the Holy Ghost, this revelation was not understood, even by the Apostles. It was necessary therefore, that He should come to give the explanation, Thus it is that His mission was but the continuation and the development of the work of Jesus Christ. The Church is so anxious that this doctrine should be impressed on us that she gives utterance to it twice in the Mass of the fourth Sunday after Easter-in the Gospel and in the Communion. The Epistle still further enlightens us as to the mission of the Holy Ghost. In telling us that every best gift, and every perfect gift is from above and descends from the Father of lights, the Apostle, St James, intimates to us that the Holy Ghost is sent not only by God the Son as indicated in the Gospel, but also by God the Father, for the Holy Spirit is pre-eminently and above all the gift of God. In the Collect the Church asks for her children that in mind, in will and in heart they may be all united in aspiring to the joys of heaven. In the Secret she implores God that through the admirable exchange realized in the Sacrifice we may all participate in supernatural life. Finally, in the Postcommunion, the Church prays that we may receive the grace which will purify our souls from all stain of sin, and that strength which will protect us from all dangers.~Le Catechisme Liturgique, by Dom Desire Camille Leduc Gospel: John 16:5-14 Joh 16:5 But I told you not these things from the beginning, because I was with you. And now I go to him that sent me, and none of you asketh me: Whither goest thou? Joh 16:6 But because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Joh 16:7 But I tell you the truth: it is expedient to you that I go. For if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you: but if I go, I will send him to you. Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will convince the world of sin and of justice and of judgment. Joh 16:9 Of sin: because they believed not in me. Joh 16:10 And of justice: because I go to the Father: and you shall see me no longer. Joh 16:11 And of judgment: because the prince of this world is already judged. Joh 16:12 I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now. Joh 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth. For he shall not speak of himself: but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak. And the things that are to come, he shall shew you. Joh 16:14 He shall glorify me: because he shall receive of mine and shall shew it to you. 1. When the Lord Jesus had foretold His disciples the persecutions they would have to suffer after His departure, He went on to say: "And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you; but now I go my way to Him that sent me." And here the first thing we have to look at is, whether He had not previously foretold them of the sufferings that were to come. And the three other evangelists make it sufficiently clear that He had uttered such predictions prior to the approach of the supper:1 which was over, according to John, when He spake, and added, "And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you." Are we, then, to settle such a question in this way, that they, too, tell us that He was near His passion when He said these things? Then it was not when He was with them at the beginning that He so spake, for He was on the very eve of departing, and proceeding to the Father: and so also, even according to these evangelists, it is strictly true what is here said, "And these things I said not unto you at the beginning." But what are we to do with the credibility of the Gospel according to Matthew, who relates that such announcements were made to them by the

Lord, not only when He was on the eve of sitting down with His disciples to the passover supper, but also at the beginning, when the twelve apostles are for the first time expressed by name, and sent forth on the work of God?2 What, then, is the meaning of what He says here, "And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you;" but that what He says here of the Holy Spirit who was to come to them, and to bear witness, when they should have such ills to endure, this He said not unto them at the beginning, because He was with themselves? 2. The Comforter then, or Advocate (for both form the interpretation of the Greek word, paraclète), had become necessary on Christ's departure: and therefore He had not spoken of Him at the beginning, when He was with them, because His own presence was their comfort; but on the eve of His own departure it behoved Him to speak of His coming, by whom it would be brought about that with love shed abroad in their hearts they would preach the word of God with all boldness; and with Him inwardly bearing witness with them of Christ, they also should bear witness, and feel it to be no cause of stumbling when their Jewish enemies put them out of the synagogues, and slew them, with the thought that they were doing God service; because the charity beareth all things, which was to be shed abroad in their hearts by the gift of the Holy Spirit. In this, therefore, is the whole meaning to be found, that He was to make them His martyrs, that is, His witnesses through the Holy Spirit; so that by His effectual working within them, they would endure the hardships of all kinds of persecution, and, set aglow at that divine fire, lose none of their warmth in the love of preaching. "These things," therefore, He says, "have I told you, that, when their time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them" (ver. 4). These things, I say, I have told you, not merely because ye shall have to endure such things, but because, when the Comforter is come, He shall bear witness of me, that ye may not keep them back through fear, and by whom ye yourselves shall also be enabled to bear witness. "And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you," and I myself was your comfort through my bodily presence exhibited to your human senses, and which, as infants, ye were able to comprehend. 3."But now I go my way to Him that sent me; and none of you," He says, "asketh me, Whither goest Thou?" He means that His departure would be such that none would ask Him of that which they should see taking place in broad daylight before their eyes: for previously to this they had asked Him whither He was going, and had been answered that He was going whither they themselves could not then come. Now, however, He promises that He will go away in such a manner that none of them shall ask Him whither He goes. For a cloud received Him when He ascended up from their side; and of His going into heaven they made no verbal inquiry, but had ocular evidence. 4. "But because I have said these things unto you," He adds, "sorrow hath filled your heart." He saw, indeed, what effect these words of His were producing in their hearts; for having not yet within them the spiritual consolation, which they were afterwards to have by the Holy Spirit, what they still saw objectively in Christ they were afraid of losing; and because they could have no doubt they were about to lose Him whose announcements were always true, their human feelings were saddened, because their carnal view of Him was to be left a blank. But He knew what was most expedient for them, because that inward sight, wherewith the Holy Spirit was yet to comfort them, was undoubtedly superior; not by bringing a human body into the bodies of those who saw, but by infusing Himself into the hearts of those who believed. And then He adds, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth, it is expedient for you that I go away. For if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you:" as if He had said, It is expedient for you that this form of a servant be taken away from you; as the Word made indeed flesh I dwell among you; but I would not that ye should continue to love me carnally, and, content with such milk, desire to remain infants always. "It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you." If I withdraw not the tender nutriment wherewith I have nourished you, ye will acquire no keen relish of solid food; if ye adhere in

a carnal way to the flesh, ye will not have room for the Spirit. For what is this, "If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you"? Was it that He could not send Him while located here Himself? Who would venture to say so? Neither was it, that where He was, thence the Other had withdrawn, or that He had so come from the Father as that He did not still abide with the Father. And still further, how could He, even when having His own abode on earth, be unable to send Him, who we know came and remained upon Him at His baptism; yea, more, from whom we know that He was never separable? What does it mean, then, "If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you;" but that ye cannot receive the Spirit so long as ye continue to know Christ after the flesh? Hence one who had already been made a partaker of the Spirit says, "Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [Him] no more."8 For now even the very flesh of Christ he did not know in a carnal way, when brought to a spiritual knowledge of the Word that had been made flesh. And such, doubtless, did the good Master wish to intimate, when He said, "If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you." 5. But with Christ's bodily departure, both the Father and the Son, as well as the Holy Spirit, were spiritually present with them. For had Christ departed from them in such a sense that it would be in His place, and not along with Him, that the Holy Spirit would be present in them, what becomes of His promise when He said, "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world;"9 and, I and the Father "will come unto him, and will make Our abode with him;"10 seeing that He also promised that He would send the Holy Spirit in such a way that He would be with them for ever? In this way it was, on the other hand, that seeing they were yet out of their present carnal or animal condition to become spiritual, with undoubted certainty also were they yet to have in a more comprehensive way both the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But in no one are we to believe that the Father is present without the Son and the Holy Spirit, or the Father and the Son without the Holy Spirit, or the Son without the Father and the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Spirit without the Father and the Son, or the Father and the Holy Spirit without the Son; but wherever any one of Them is, there also is the Trinity, one God. But here the Trinity had to be suggested in such a way that, although there was no diversity of essence, yet the personal distinction of each one separately should be presented to notice; where those who have a right understanding can never imagine a separation of natures. 6. But that which follows, "And when He is come, He will convince the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, indeed, because they believe not on me; but of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and ye shall see me no more; and of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged" (vers. 8-11); as if it were sin simply not to believe on Christ; and as if it were very righteousness not to see Christ; and as if that were the very judgment, that the prince of this world, that is, the devil, is judged: all this is very obscure, and cannot be included in the present discourse, lest; brevity only increase the obscurity; but must rather be deferred till another occasion for such explanation as the Lord may enable us to give.~St Augustine, Tract 95 On The Gospel Of John.

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