The Sunday Within The Octave Of The Ascension GOSPEL St. John 15:26-27 & 16:1-4 The Thursday Meditation: A Plaine Path-Way To Heaven By Fr.Thomas Hill 1634
Crucifix with the Virgin and St John the Evangelist
St. John 15:26-27 and 16:1-4
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: When the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceed eth from the Father, He shall give testimony of Me: and you shall give testimony, because you are with Me from the beginning. These things have I spoken to you, that you may not be scandalized. They will put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doth a service to God. And these things will they do to you, because they have not known the Father, nor Me. But these things I have told you, that, when the hour shall come, you may remember that I told you of them.
Oftentimes our praying for things necessary unto us, is more for our good then the thing we pray for, I mean for our spiritual good, & therefore oftentimes God deferreth to grant our petitions to do us the more good, before we have them,and so giveth us both the thing we ask,& the increase of merit for asking it,and sometimes though he deffereth not what we ask,yet he setteth forth the greatness of the benefit, that we may ask it more fervently and devoutly, that we may have the thing we ask, & so much the more merit in asking it.
So Christ here to show how great a favor it was to send the holy Ghost upon his disciples, before his Ascension and coming of the holy Ghost repeated it often and persuaded them to ask of him the coming of the holy Ghost,out of the greatness of the benefit; telling them, that till then, they had asked nothing, that is to say, nothing in comparison of the greatness of that.
Again he said, unless I depart the Paraclete cannot come unto you,as though that were a greater benefit then his presence, and that they might be glad to change the one for the other.
Again he said, when the holy Ghost shall come, he shall accuse the world of sin, of justice,and judgement, that they might have the greater conceit of him that should do such great matters, as they apprehended them to be, & the greater, because they knew not what it meant.
Again he said, when that spirit of truth shall come, he shall teach you all truth, to make them desire it the more: for what is more desirable to man, then to know the truth, which is the proper object and Center of our understanding,and much more to know all truth, as Christ said they should by the holy Ghost the spirit of truth.
And here he sayeth: when the Paraclete shall come whom I will send from my Father, he shall give testimony of me, to wit, that I am God, which wold comfort the disciples very much, for they were not so perfectly confirmed in that point before the coming of the holy Ghost.
This often repetition and inculcation Christ used to the end he might the better show the greatness and excellency of the benefit when it cam, that they might receive it with more merit by reason of their love and desire.
The grace of the holy Ghost is so great a comfort that it made the disciples to rejoice in their very afflictions, who as the Scripture sayeth, being condemned by the Council, scourged, reviled, cast out of their Synagogue, and the like, went away joyful, that they were thought worthy to suffer such things for the name of Christ.and much honored thereby.
The grace of the holy Ghost doth not only make us joyfully to suffer afflictions and persecutions for the profession of our religion as the disciples did: but generally for all manner of afflictions, calamities, & miseries whatsoever.
Oh what an admirable comfort and felicity doth the grace of the holy Ghost bring unto us; it maketh our joy so full (as Christ termeth it,) that it leaveth no room, nor any little corner in our hearts for sorrow, but only for sin; for if tribulation affliction and adversity be joy unto us, what can be but joy, yea we shall joy not only in our own afflictions,but also for others that do the like and that out of our very love and charity to God.
This made St. Paul write to the Corinthians thus: I am filled with consolation, I super-abound with with joy in all your tribulations. And why Blessed St. Paul dost thou so rejoice in the afflictions of others? dost thou not exhort us in another place, to rejoice with them that rejoice,and weep with them that weep? Here unto he answereth in another place to this effect, because it is so meritorious unto them,that patiently sustain it for the love of God, his words are these: Because tribulations worketh patience probation, probation hope, hope never confoundeth, because the charity of God is diffused in our hearts by the holy Ghost, which is given unto us,which filleth our hearts with joy; Joy being one of the gifts or fruited of the holy Ghost, & therefore when we rejoice with them that suffer affliction with joy, we rejoice with them that rejoice.