Promise of the Paraclete |
We know our Lord will not leave His apostles shorthanded for He will send His Spirit, the Holy Ghost which proves the Filioque of the Creed.
How ironic when false prophets and antipopes are trying to justify the Jews in their sin, that we have this wonderful Gospel of St. John the Evangelist on the truth. Our Lord foretold many times that the Jews would be a stubborn lot and indeed that has proven true for still today they brag about rejecting Him and expect faithful Catholics to tow their line rather than God's. More proof they answer to the prince of the world and not to the Son of God Who alone provides eternal happiness, re-emphasized so many times, especially in today's Gospel where Jesus promises He will always be with His children.
Comprehensive Catholic Commentary
Fr. George Leo Haydock
Editor's Note: We continue with this special feature provided by John Gregory with the Haydock Commentary found at the bottom of each page of the Douay-Rheims Bible. We publish it here in conjunction with the Epistle and Gospel for the Sunday Mass, with the cogent comprehensive Catholic Commentary penned by Father George Leo Haydock. Following Easter we continue to bask in the light of the Gospel of St. John the Evangelist on reinforcing that we are indeed doing the right thing by rejecting the world and the influence of man for the path to hell is lined with roses and good intentions but all for the wrong reasons. As Pentecost nears, we begin to learn more of the One Who Christ has sent in His stead to be with us always. For further discernment on this, Fr. Haydock provides more food for thought in his commentary as John shows below.
Epistle: St. James 1: 17-21
Every best gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with Whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration.
18 For of His Own will hath He begotten us by the word of truth, that we might be some beginning of His creatures.
Commentary on Verse 18: By the word of truth. Some, with S. Athanasius, understand the eternal word made man. Others commonly understand the word of the gospel, by which we have been called to the true faith, & c. - Some beginning of His creatures, (or as the Greek signifies) such a beginning as are the first-fruits; and perhaps St. James may so call the Jews, as being the first converted to believe in Christ. Wi.
19 You know, my dearest brethren. And let every man be swift to hear, but slow to speak, and slow to anger.
Commentary on Verse 19: You know, or you are sufficiently instructed in these things. - Let every man be swift to hear the word of God, but slow, or cautious in speaking, especially slow to anger, or to that rash passion of anger, which is never excusable, unless it be through a zeal for God's honour, and against sin. Wi. - St. James in this epistle does not aim at a regular discourse: he proposes a diversity of moral sentences, which have not much connection with each other. He here instructs the faithful how to behave in conversation. He recommends to them modesty and prudence in their discourses; and rather to be fond of hearing much, than of speaking much; and of practicing the truth, than of preaching it to others. "For not those who understand the law, nor those who preach it are justified before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified before God." Romans c. ii. 13. C. - A wise man is known by the fewness of his words. Sapiens verbis innotescit paucis. Regl. S. Benedict. c. vii. With hearing, the wise man will become wiser. Sen. lib. ii. de Ira. C. 28. - Anger is a short madness. The best cure is to permit it to subside, and to let our reason have time to reflect upon the propriety of doing what we are at first inclined to. The first motions to anger are frequently indeliberate, and consequently not sinful; but we must be careful to resist as soon as we perceive them, lest they should become too violent, and obtain the consent of our will. C. - Learn of Me, says our Savior, because I am meek and humble of heart. Mat. c. xii. 29. If, says St. Francis de Sales, being stung and bit by detractors and enemies, we fly out, swell, and are enraged, it is a great sign that neither our humility nor meekness are true and sincere, but only apparent and artificial. It is better, says St. Austin, writing to Profuturus, to deny entrance to just and reasonable anger, than to admit it, be it ever so little; because, being once admitted, it is with difficulty driven out again; for it enters as a little twig, and in a moment becomes a beam: and if it can once but get the night of us, and the sun set upon it, which the apostle forbids, it turns into a hatred, from which we have scarcely any means to rid ourselves; for it nourishes itself under a thousand false pretexts, since there was never an angry man that thought his anger unjust. Introduction to a Devout Life, p. 3. c. viii.
20 For the anger of man worketh not the justice of God.
Commentary on Verse 20: The anger of man, & c. Let us not then be angry with each other on the way to eternal life, but rather march on with the troop of our companions and brethren meekly, peaceably, and lovingly; nay, I say to you absolutely and without exception, be not angry at all, if it be possible, and admit no pretext whatsoever to open the gate of your heart to so destructive a passion: for St. James here tells us positively, and without reservation, "the anger of man works not the justice of God." St. Francis, ibidem. - The patient man is better than the valiant; and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh cities. Prov. c. xvi. 32. The anger of man is the daughter of pride, the mother of enmities, the enemy of peace and harmony, and the source of stubbornness and blindness of mind and heart. The justice of God is humility, meekness, charity, peace, docility, and forbearance. How great the contrast!
21 Wherefore casting away all uncleanness, and abundance of naughtiness, with meekness receive the ingrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
Commentary on Verse 21: All uncleanness. The Greek shews that hereby is meant a sordid, filthy uncleanness, infecting and defiling the soul. - The engrafted word. The word and doctrine of Christ, by the labors of His preachers, and chiefly by His divine grace engrafted and fixed in your souls. Wi.
Gospel: St. John 16: 5-14
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?
Commentary on Verse 5:
None of you asketh Me, whither goest Thou? St. Peter had put this question, c. xiii. 36. and Thomas, c. xiv. 5. The meaning, then, of Christ's words here, seems to be, that having told you, I am going to leave you, and also going to Him that sent Me, you do not ask, says St. Cyril, to be fully and thoroughly informed about it. Wi. - You suffer yourselves to be entirely overcome with grief; and none of you inquire of Me, whither I am going. You look on My departure as an eternal separation between us, and take leave of Me, as if we were never to meet again. But be persuaded; My absence will only be for a short continuance; and this absence will be honorable and glorious for Me, and extremely advantageous for you. If you were fully persuaded of this, you would inquire, how long I should be absent, and wither I was going; as one friend in the act of parting, is always accustomed to ask another. But you only torture your minds with the pain and grief you will have to suffer at My loss. Menoc. Tirin. & c.
6 But because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow hath filled your heart.
Commentary on Verse 6:
Sorrow hath filled your heart: and this sorrow hindereth you from asking, what you should earnestly desire to know. Wi. - Peter had put the question above, xiii. 36. and Thomas, c. xiv. 5. But Jesus Christ means, that they did not preserve in their questions, so as to obtain satisfactory information, where, when, and for what end He was going, and how soon He was to return to them, or if to return at all. For it is customary with friends, to put the most minute questions on all these heads to friends, when they are about to be separated from each other. Menochius.
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.
Commentary on Verse 7:
I tell you . . . it is expedient for you that I go: that I leave you, as to my corporal presence: that I suffer death, for the redemption of all men. And if I go not, the Paraclete will not come, according to the order of the divine decrees: His coming to sanctify you with His gifts, and to teach you all things, is not to be till after My ascension. When I am gone, I will send Him to you. The Father and I will send Him, for He proceedeth from both. Wi.
8 And when He is come, He will convince the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment.
Commentary on Verse 8: He will convince, or convict the world. Others translate, He will reprove the world of sin, & c. These words have occasioned a great many expositions. I here follow St. Cyril, that the Holy Ghost will condemn the Jews, and all obstinate unbelievers, of their sin, in not believing, after so many miracles, and so many pregnant motives, that ought to induce them to submit to the Christian faith. Secondly. Of justice, by shewing the justice and innocence of Christ, and also, that true justice and sanctification cannot be obtained, but by His grace. Thirdly. Of judgment, by shewing that the world, and the prince of this wicked world, the devil, is justly condemned, his empire in a great measure destroyed, and that all the wicked will be justly condemned, and punished with him. Wi. - The Holy Ghost, by His coming, brought over many thousands, 1st. To a sense of their sin, in not believing in Christ. Secondly, To a conviction of the justice of Christ, now sitting at the right hand of his Father. And thirdly. To a right apprehension of the judgment prepared for them that choose to follow Satan, who is already judged and condemned. Ch. - the Greek text, in addition, has "Greek lettering". Because they have not believed in Me. This accusation and conviction of sin, cannot naturally fall on any, but the incredulous Jews. St. Augustine, Venerable Bede, St. John Chrysostom, Theophyl. and many others, are of opinion, that this sin was their disbelief in Jesus, after all the miracles he had done in their presence, after so many prophecies so clearly accomplished in his person, after so many prodigies and wonders, which happened at His death, at His resurrection, and after His resurrection. They are accused, and convinced of sin, particularly by sensible effects of the Holy Spirit, in the apostles, by the gift of miracles and tongues, and that supernatural knowledge, which was communicated, not only to the apostles, but also to all the first Christians. These are the means, which the Paraclete, the consoling and assisting Spirit, makes use of, to condemn, and convince the world of sin; that is, of incredulity, which is the source and foundation of all other sins. The world had calumniated and despised its Savior. It had condemned Jim, as a liar, as a seducer, magician, a man possessed by the devil, a destroyer of the law of God. To which the Son of God made no resistance; He only replied, that He did not wish to take the execution of justice upon Himself, and that He was not come into the world to judge the world. Therefore, He committed all to the Holy Spirit, Who, in the persons of the apostles, did justice to the Son, by shewing to the whole world, His doctrines, His life, His miracles, and the accomplishment of all the ancient prophecies in His person. All that the apostles preached, they confirmed by most stupendous miracles, gained the hearts of pagans to believe Jesus as their Redeemer, and called down imprecations upon the heads of the incredulous Jews, who had rejected a prophet, visibly sent by God, a Savior and Redeemer of His people, who, in His person, bore all the characters of the divinity. Calmet.
9 Of sin: because they believed not in Me.
10 And of justice: because I go to the Father; and you shall see Me no longer.
11 And of judgment: because the prince of this world is already judged.
12 I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now.
13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will teach you all truth. For He shall not speak of Himself; but what things soever He shall hear, He shall speak; and the things that are to come, He shall shew you.
Commentary on Verse 13:
When He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will teach you all truth; will direct you and the Church, in the ways of truth. For He shall not speak of Himself, or of Himself only, because, says St. Augustine He is not from Himself, but proceedeth from the Father and the Son. Whatsoever He shall hear, He shall speak; this His hearing, says St. Augustine is His knowledge, and His knowledge His essence, or being, which from eternity is from the Father and the Son. The like expressions are applied to the Son, as proceeding from the Father. Jo. v. 30. and viii. 16. & c. Wi. - If he shall teach all truth, and that for ever, (c. xi. v. 26.) how is it possible, that the Church can err, or hath erred in matters of faith, at any time, or in any point of doctrine? In this supposition, would not the Holy Ghost have forfeited His title of Spirit of Truth?
14 He shall glorify Me: because He shall receive of Mine and shall show it to you."
Haydock Commentary for the Epistle and Gospel for the Fourth Sunday after Easter