A Little While |
Time to God is not measured in linear time as man perceives.
You've heard the phrase 'here today, gone tomorrow'? Well, that's quite possibly what the apostles feared in discoursing with our Lord after His Resurrection, but as we see from the Haydock Commentary for the Epistle and Gospel for the Third Sunday after Easter Jesus Christ will never be 'gone' for He is always with us and, if we are faithful to Him, you can be assured He will reward us immensely. The more we offer to Him in sacrifice and mortification, the more we submit freely and totally to the divine will, the greater our reward.
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 are given a treasure trove of the Epistle of St. Peter and St. John the Evangelist, all with truly good news to encourage us to stay the narrow path, the lonely but only path to being reunited with Him forever. For further discernment on this, Fr. Haydock provides more food for thought in his commentary as John shows below.
Epistle: 1 St. Peter 1: 11-29
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, to refrain yourselves from carnal desires which war against the soul,
Commentary on Verse 11:
I beseech you . . . to refrain, & c. from all unlawful and disorderly passions, that the Gentiles not yet converted may have nothing to blame in your lives and conversation, but may be edified and induced to praise God. Wi.
12 Having your conversation good among the Gentiles: that whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by the good works, which they shall behold in you, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Commentary on Verse 12:
In the day of visitation. God is said to visit His people, sometimes by afflictions and punishments, and sometimes by graces and favors. Some think St. Peter here, by the day of visitation, means the approaching destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and that the sense is, that the heathen Romans seeing your peaceable dispositions and pious conversations, may have a favorable opinion of the Christian religion, and be converted. Others, that you and they to whom the gospel is preached, may glorify God when He visits them with graces and favors, whether exterior or interior. Wi. - Be careful not to give occasion to scandal. Detraction is the life of the world, and piety is most exposed to its shafts, because it most condemns the maxims of its followers.
13 Be ye subject therefore to every human creature for God's sake: whether it be to the king as excelling;
Commentary on Verse 13:
To every human creature, to every one whom the order of Providence has placed over you, whether it be to emperors or kings, who have the supreme power in kingdoms, or to governors of provinces; obey your temporal princes, though heathens and idolaters, (as the Roman emperors were at that time enemies to the Christian religion) in all that is not sinful and against the law of God: for this is the will of God, and all power is from God. See Romans XIII. In like manner (v. 18) servants must be subject and obey their masters, though they be infidels. See 1 Corinthians VII. By this you will silence the ignorance and calumnies of foolish men, who pretended that the Christian religion taught them to be disobedient to princes, and to be subjects of Christ only, their supreme spiritual king. Wi.
14 Or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of the good:
For so is the will of God, that by doing well you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
As free, and not as making liberty a cloak for malice, but as the servants of God.
Commentary on Verse 16: As free; to wit, from the slavery of sin, but take care not to make this Christian freedom and liberty a cloak for malice, as they do who pretend that this makes subjects free from their obedience to temporal princes and magistrates; or servants free from the obedience due to their masters, even when they are forward, ill-humoured, or cross to them. Wi. - There were some heretics in the days of St. Peter, as there are at present, who under pretext of evangelical liberty seek to be free from all even lawful subjection, and thus set themselves above the ordinances of both civil and ecclesiastical power.
17 Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
Gospel: St. John 16: 16-22
16 A little while, and now you shall not see Me; and again a little while, and you shall see Me: because I go to the Father.
Commentary on Verse 16: A little while, and now you shall not see me, & c. Many expound these words in this manner: that after a little while, you shall not see Me, because even to-morrow, I shall be taken from you by death: and again, after a little while, you shall see Me, because the third day I shall rise again, and converse with you, till my ascension. S. Aug. gives another interpretation, (tract. 101) that by the first little while, may be understood, the short time till Christ's ascension, and by the latter little while, the short time that the apostles were to live in this world; after which they should see, and enjoy Christ for ever in the kingdom of Heaven. And this exposition seems to agree better with the following promise. Wi. - In a few hours, I shall be separated from you, to be delivered up to My enemies, and put to the cruel death of the cross; and after a short time, I shall rise again; then you shall see Me in My new state of glory. St. John Chrysostom, both Sts. Cyrils, Theophyl. Euthym. and St. Augustine and others, interpret this verse differently thus: Not long hence, I shall be entirely separated from you; you shall not see Me, because I shall go to the Father, by My ascension; but you shall see Me again, after a short time, at My second coming, to judge the living and the dead. All the time, that shall pass between my ascension, and My second coming, is in the eyes of God only as a moment. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday, which is past and gone. Psalm lxxxix. V. 4. And the apostle calls all time a moment, a time that soon passes. 1 Corinthians vii. And 2 Corinthians iv.
17 Then some of the disciples said one to another: What is this that He saith to us: 'A little while, and you shall not see Me; and again a little while, and you shall see Me, and, because I go to the Father?'
18 They said therefore: What is this that He saith, 'A little while?' we know not what He speaketh.
19 And Jesus knew that they had a mind to ask Him; and He said to them: Of this do you inquire among yourselves, because I said: A little while, and you shall not see Me; and again a little while, and you shall see Me?
20 Amen, amen I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice; and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
Commentary on Verse 20: Your sorrow shall be turned into joy, chiefly at the end of your mortal life; then you shall have a joy, never to be taken from you. Wi.
21 A woman, when she is in labor, hath sorrow, because her hour is come; but when she hath brought forth the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
22 So also you now indeed have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice; and your joy no man shall take from you.
Commentary on Verse 22: The joy you will feel at My resurrection, shall ever be unalterable, and unremitting, because there I shall give you assurances and proofs of your future resurrection, and immortality. As you have been partners in My labors, in My ignominies, and in My sorrows, so also shall you have a share in My glory, in My resurrection, and immortal bliss. Behold, these will rise to your ever unalterable and permanent joy. This is the opinion of St. John Chrysostom, St. Cyril, Theophyl and others.