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6th Sunday of Easter -- Readings and Patristic Commentary
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Author:  Polycarp [ Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:01 pm ]
Post subject:  6th Sunday of Easter -- Readings and Patristic Commentary

Acts 8:5-8, 14-17

Thus Philip went down to a town of Samaria and proclaimed the Christ to them. With one accord, the people paid attention to what was said by Philip when they heard it and saw the miracles he was doing. For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice, came out of many possessed people, and many paralyzed and crippled people were cured. And there was great joy in that town. . . . Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the Word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.



Psalm 66:1-7, 16, 20

To the Chief Musician: a Song, a Psalm

Make a joyful sound to God, all you lands. Sing forth the honor of His name. Make His praise glorious. Say to God, "How awesome are Your works! Through the greatness of Your power, Your enemies will grovel before You." All the earth shall worship You, and shall sing to You; they shall sing to Your name. Selah. Come and see the works of God, awesome in His deeds toward the children of men. He changed the sea into dry land; through the flood they passed on foot; therefore let us rejoice in Him. He rules by His might forever. . . . Come, hear, all you who fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul. . . . Blessed be God, who has not refused me my prayer, nor His mercy from me!


I Peter 3:15-18

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you, and do it with meekness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when they malign you as evildoers, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil. For Christ also has suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God. Put to death in the flesh, He was brought to life by the Spirit, . . . .


John 14:15-21

"If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Advocate so that He may remain with you forever, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows Him. But you know Him, because He remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and observes them is the one who loves Me, and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."


Chrysostom: 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. And as they had been expressing a strong desire for His bodily presence, He assures them that His absence w ill be supplied to them in another way: And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Comforter

Augustine: 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 (I John 2:1).

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).

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

Chrysostom: 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.

Augustine: Comforter, the title of the Holy Spirit, the third Person in the Trinity, the Apostle applies to God: God that comforts those that are cast down, comforted us. The Holy Spirit therefore Who comforts those that are cast down, is God. Or if they still have this said by the Apostle of the Father or the Son, let them not any longer separate the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son, in His peculiar office of comforting.

Augustine: For the world saw Him then with the carnal eye, manifest in the flesh, though it did not see the Word hidden under the flesh. But after the resurrection He was unwilling to show even His flesh, except to His own followers, whom He allowed to see and to handle it: Yet a little while, and the world sees Me no more; but you shall see Me. But, inasmuch as the world, by which are meant all who are aliens from His kingdom, will see Him at the last judgment, it is better perhaps to understand Him here as pointing to that time, when He will be taken for ever from the eyes of the wicked, to be seen thenceforth by those who love Him. A little while, He says, for that which seems a long lime to men, is but a moment in the eyes of God.

Chrysostom: In that day, on which I shall rise again, you shall know. For His resurrection it was that established their faith. Then the powerful teaching of the Holy Spirit began. His saying, I am in the Father, expresses His humility; the next, And you in Me, and I in you, His humanity and God’s assistance to Him. Scripture often uses the same words in different senses, as applied to God and to men.

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.

Augustine: He promises to show Himself to them that love Him as God with the Father, not in that body which He bore upon earth, and which the wicked saw.

Theophylact: For, as after the resurrection He was to appear to them in a body more assimilated to His divinity, that they might not take Him then for a spirit, or a phantom, He tells them now beforehand not to have misgivings upon seeing Him, but to remember that He shows Himself to them as a reward for their keeping His commandments; and that therefore they are bound ever to keep them, that they may ever enjoy the sight of Him.

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