Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Gospel for Wednesday, 4th Week of Easter

Optional Memorial: St Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr
Optional Memorial: St Louis Grignion de Montfort, Priest

From: John 12:44-50

The Unbelief of the Jews
[44] And Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in Me, believes not in Me, but in Him who sent Me. [45] And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. [46] I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in Me may not remain in darkness. [47] If any one hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. [48] He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be His judge on the last day. [49] For I have not spoken on My own authority; the Father who sent Me has Himself given Me commandment what to say and what to speak. [50] And I know that His commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has bidden Me."

44-50. With these verses St. John brings to an end his account of our Lord's public ministry. He brings together certain fundamental themes developed in previous chapters--the need for faith in Christ (verse 44); the Father and the Son are one yet distinct (cf. 45); Jesus is Light and Life of the world (verses 46, 50); men will be judged in accordance with whether they accept or reject the Son of God (verses 47-49). The chapters which follow contain Jesus' teaching to His Apostles at the Last Supper, and the accounts of the Passion and Resurrection.

45. Christ, the Word Incarnate, is one with the Father (cf. John 10:30); "He reflects the glory of God" (Hebrews 1:3); "He is the image of the invisible God" (Colossians 1:15). In John 14:9 Jesus expresses Himself in almost the same words: "He who has seen Me has seen the Father". At the same time as He speaks of His oneness with the Father, we are clearly shown the distinction of persons--the Father who sends, and the Son who is sent.

In Christ's holy human nature His divinity is, as it were, hidden, that divinity which He possesses with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit (cf. John 14:7-11). In theology "circumincession" is the word usually used for the fact that, by virtue of the unity among the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, "the Father is wholly in the Son and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Son wholly in the Father and wholly in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit wholly in the Father and wholly in the Son" (Council of Florence, "Decree Pro Jacobitis, Dz-Sch", 1331).

47. Christ has come to save the world by offering Himself in sacrifice for our sins and bringing us supernatural life (cf. John 3:17). But He has also been made Judge of the living and the dead (cf. Acts 10:42): He passes sentence at the Particular Judgment which happens immediately after death, and at the end of the world, at His Second Coming or Parousia, at the universal judgment (cf. John 5:22; 8:15-16).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

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