HOMILIES OF
ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
ON THE GOSPEL
ACCORDING TO ST. JOHN
HOMILIES LXIX TO LXXV (JOHN 12, 13 & 14)

HOMILY LXIX.

JOHN xii. 42, 43.

"Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should he put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God."

[1.] It is necessary for us to avoid alike all the passions which corrupt the soul, but most especially those, which from themselves generate numerous sins. I mean such as the love of money. It is in truth of itself a dreadful malady, but it becomes much more grievous, because it is the root and mother of all mischiefs. Such also is vainglory. See, for instance, how these men were broken off from the faith through their love of honor. "Many," it saith, "of the chief rulers also believed on Him, but because of the Jews(1) they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue." As He said also to them before, "How can ye believe which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?" (c. v. 44.) So then they were not rulers, but slaves in the utmost slavery. However, this fear was afterwards done away, for nowhere during the time of the Apostles do we find them possessed by this feeling, since in their time both rulers and priests believed. The grace of the Spirit having come, made them all firmer than adamant. Since therefore this was what hindered them from believing at this time, hear what He saith.

Ver. 44. "He that believeth on Me, believeth not on Me, but on Him that sent Me."

As though He had said, "Why fear ye to believe on Me? Faith passeth to the Father through Me, as doth also unbelief." See how in ever) way He showeth the unvaryingness of His Essence.(2) He said not, He that believeth "Me," lest any should assert that He spake concerning His words; this might have been said in the case of mere men, for he that believeth the Apostles, believeth not them, but God. But that thou mightest learn that He speaketh here of the belief on His Essence, He said not, "He that believeth My words," but, "He that believeth on Me." "And wherefore," saith some one, "hath He nowhere said conversely, He that believeth on the Father, believeth not on the Father but on Me?" Because they would have replied, "Lo, we believe on the Father, but we believe not on thee." Their disposition was as yet too infirm. Anyhow, conversing with the disciples, He did speak thus: "Ye believe on the Father,(3) believe also on Me" (c. xiv. 1); but seeing that these then were too weak to hear such words, He leadeth them in another way, showing(4) that it is not possible to believe on the Father, without believing on Him. And that thou mayest not deem that the words are spoken as of man, He addeth,

Ver. 45. "He that seeth Me, seeth Him that sent Me."

What then! Is God a body? By no means. The "seeing" of which He here speaketh is that of the mind, thence showing the Consubstantiality. And what is, "He that believeth on Me"? It is as though one should say, "He that taketh water from the river, taketh it not from the river but from the fountain"; or rather this image is too weak, when compared with the matter before us.

Ver. 46. "I am come a light into the world."(5)

For since the Father is called by this name everywhere both in the Old (Testament) and in the New, Christ useth the same name also; therefore Paul also calleth Him, "Brightness" (Heb. i. 3), having learnt to do so from this source. And He showeth here His close relationship with the Father, and that there is no separation(6) between them, if so be that He saith that faith on Him is not on Him, but passeth on to the Father. And He called Himself "light," because He delivereth from error, and dissolveth mental darkness.

Ver. 47. "If any man hear not Me, and believe not, I judge him not, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world."

[2.] For lest they should think, that for want of power He passed by the despisers, therefore spake He the, "I came not to judge the world." Then, in order that they might not in this way be made more negligent, when they bad learned that "he that believeth is saved, and he that disbelieveth is punished,"(7) see how He hath also set before them a fearful court of judgment, by going on to say,

Ver. 48. "He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words, hath One to judge him."

"If the Father judgeth no man, and thou art not come to judge the world, who judgeth him?" "The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him."(1) For since they said, "He is not from God," He saith this,(2) that, "they shall not then be able to say these things, but the words which I have spoken now, shall be in place of an accuser, convicting them, and cutting off all excuse." "And the word which I have spoken." What manner of word?

Ver. 49. "For I have not spoken of Myself, but the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment what I should say, and what I should speak." And other such like.(3)

Surely these things were said for their sakes, that they might have no pretense of excuse. Since if this were not the case, what shall He have more than Isaiah? for he too saith the very same thing, "The Lord God giveth me the tongue of the learned, that I should know when I ought to speak a word." (Isa. 1. 4, LXX.) What more than Jeremiah? for he too when he was sent was inspired. (Jer. i. 9.) What then Ezekiel? for he too, after eating the roll, so spake. (Ezek. iii. 1.) Otherwise also, they who were about to hear what He said shall be found to be causes of His knowledge. For if when He was sent, He then received commandment what He should say, thou wilt then argue that before He was sent He knew not. And what more impious than these assertions? if (that is) one take the words of Christ in this sense, and understand not the cause(4) of their lowliness? Yet Paul saith, that both he and those who were made disciples knew "what was that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Rom. xii. 2), and did the Son not know until He had received commandment? How can this be reasonable? Seest thou not that He bringeth His expressions to an excess of humility, that He may both draw those men over, and silence those who should come after. This is why He uttereth words befitting a mere man, that even so He may force us to fly the meanness of the sayings, as being conscious that the words belong not to His Nature, but are suited to the infirmity of the hearers.

Ver. 50. "And I know that His commandment is life everlasting; whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto Me, so I speak."

Seest thou the humility of the words? For he that hath received a commandment is not his own master. Yet He saith, "As the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom He will." (c. v. 21.) Hath He then power to quicken whom He will, and to say what He will hath He not power? What He intendeth then by the words is this;(5) "The action hath not natural possibility,(6) that He should speak one set of words, and I should utter another." "And I know that His commandment is life everlasting." He said this to those that called Him a deceiver, and asserted that He had come to do hurt. But when He saith, "I judge not," He showeth that He is not the cause of the perdition of these men.(7) By this He all but plainly testifies, when about to remove from, and to be no more with, them, that "I converse with you, speaking nothing as of Myself, but all as from the Father." And for this cause He confined His discourse to them to humble expressions, that He might say, "Even until the end did I utter this, My last word, to them." What word was that? "As the Father said unto Me, so I speak." "Had I been opposed to God I should have said the contrary, that I speak nothing of what is pleasing to God, so as to attract the honor to Myself, but now I have so referred all things to Him, as to call nothing My own.(8) Why then do ye not believe Me when I say that 'I have received a commandment,' and when I so vehemently remove your evil suspicion respecting rivalry? For as it is impossible for those who have received a commandment to do or say anything but what their senders wish, as long as they fulfill the commandment, and do not forge(9) anything; so neither is it possible for Me to say or do anything except as My Father willeth. For what I do He doeth, because He is with Me, and 'the Father hath not left Me alone.' " (c. viii. 29.) Seest thou how everywhere He showeth Himself connected with Him who begat Him, and that there is no separation?(10) For when He saith, "I am not come of Myself," He saith it not, as depriving Himself of power, but as taking away all alienation or opposition.(11) For if men are masters of themselves, much more the Only-begotten Son. And to show that this is true, hear what Paul saith,(12) "He emptied Himself, and gave Himself for us." (Phil. ii. 7.) But, as I said, a terrible thing is vainglory, very terrible (Eph. v. 2); for this made these men not to believe, and others to believe ill, so that the things which were said for the sake of those men, through lovingkindness, they turned to(13) impiety.

[3.] Let us then ever flee this monster: various and manifold it is, and everywhere sheds its peculiar venom, in wealth, in luxury, in beauty of person. Through this we everywhere go beyond needful use;(14) through this arises extravagance in garments, and a great swarm of domestics; through this the needful use is everywhere despised, in our houses, our garments, our table; and extravagance prevails. Wilt thou enjoy glory? Do alms-deeds, then shall Angels praise thee, then shall God receive thee. Now the admiration goes no farther than the goldsmiths and weavers, and thou(1) departest without a crown, often seeing that thou receivest curses. But if thou put not these things about thy body, but expend them in feeding the poor, great will be the applause from all sides, great the praise. Then shall thou have them, when thou givest them to others; when thou keepest them to thyself, then thou hast them not. For a house is a faithless treasury, but a sure treasury are the hands of the poor. Why adornest thou thy body, while thy soul is neglected, possessed by uncleanness? Why bestowest thou not so much thought on thy soul, as thy body? Thou oughtest to bestow greater; but anyhow, beloved,(2) we ought to bestow equal care upon it. For tell me, if any one asked thee which thou wouldest choose, that thy body should be fresh and of good habit and surpassing in beauty, and wear mean raiment, or having the body deformed and full of diseases, to wear gold and finery; wouldest thou not much prefer to have beauty depending on the nature of thy person, than on the raiment with which thou art clothed? And wilt thou choose this in the case of thy body, but the contrary in the case of thy soul; and, when thou hast that ugly and unsightly and black, dost thou think to gain anything from golden ornaments? What madness is this! Shift this adorning within, put these necklaces about thy soul. The things that are put about thy body help neither to its health nor to its beauty, for it will not make black white, nor what is ugly either beautiful or good looking. But if thou put them about thy soul, thou shalt soon make it white instead of black, instead of ugly and unsightly, thou shalt make it beautiful and well-favored. The words are not mine, but those of the Lord Himself, who saith, "Though thy sins be as scarlet, I will make them white as snow" (Isa. i. 18, LXX.); and, "Give alms--and all things shall be clean unto you" (Luke xi. 41); and by such a disposition thou shalt beautify not thyself only, but thy husband. For they if they see you putting off these outward ornaments, will have no great need of expense, and not having it, they will abstain from all covetousness, and will be more inclined to give alms, and ye too will be able boldly to give them fitting counsel. At present ye are deprived of all such authority. For with what mouth will ye speak of these things? with what eyes will ye look your husbands in the face, asking money for alms, when ye spend most upon the covering of your bodies? Then wilt thou be able boldly to speak with thy husband concerning alms-giving, when thou layest aside thine ornaments of gold. Even if thou accomplish nothing, thou hast fulfilled all thy part; but I should rather say, that it is impossible that the wife should not gain the husband, when she speaks by the very actions.(4) "For what knowest thou, O woman, whether thou shalt save thy husband?" (1 Cor. vii. 16.) As then now thou shall give account both for thyself and for him, so if thou put off all this vanity thou shall have a double crown, wearing thy crown and triumphing(5) with thy husband through those unalloyed(6) ages, and enjoying the everlasting good things, which may we all obtain, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

HOMILY LXX.

JOHN xiii. 1.

"Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end."

[1] "BE ye imitators of me," said Paul, "as I also am of Christ." (1 Cor. xi. 1.) For on this account He took also flesh of our substance,(3) that by means of it He might teach us virtue. For ("God sending His own Son) in the likeness of sinful flesh," it saith, "and for sin condemned sin in the flesh." (Rom. viii. 3.) And Christ Himself(7) saith, "Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart." (Matt. xi. 29.) And this He taught, not by words alone, but by actions also. For they called Him a Samaritan, and one that had a devil, and a deceiver, and cast stones at Him; and at one time the Pharisees sent servants to take(8) Him, at another they sent plotters against Him; and they continued also insulting Him themselves, and that when they had no fault to find, but were even being continually benefited. Still after such conduct He ceaseth not to do well to them both by words and deeds. And, when a certain domestic smote Him on the face, He said, "If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil, but if well, why smitest thou Me?" (c. xviii. 23.) But this was to those who hated and plotted against Him. Let us see also what He doeth now towards the disciples, or rather what actions He now exhibiteth(1) towards the traitor. The man whom most of all there was reason(2) to hate, because being a disciple, having shared the table and the salt, having seen the miracles and been deemed worthy of such great things, he acted more grievously than any, not stoning indeed, nor insulting Him, but betraying and giving Him up, observe in how friendly sort He receiveth this man, washing his feet; for even in this way He desired to restrain him from that wickedness. Yet it was in His power, had He willed it, to have withered him like the fig-tree, to have cut him in two as He rent the rocks, to have cleft him asunder like the veil; but He would not lead him away from his design by compulsion, but by choice. Wherefore He washed his feet; and not even by this was that wretched and miserable man shamed.

"Before the feast of the Passover," it saith, "Jesus knowing that His hour was come." Not then "knowing," but (it means) that He did what He did having "known" long ago. "That He should depart." Magnificently(3) the Evangelist calleth His death, "departure." "Having loved His own, He loved them unto the end." Seest thou how when about to leave them He showeth greater love? For the, "having loved, He loved them unto the end," showeth that he omitted nothing of the things which it was likely that one who earnestly loved would do. Why, then did He not this from the beginning? He worketh(4) the greatest things last, so as to render more intense their attachment, and to lay up for them beforehand much comfort, against the terrible things that were about to fall on them. St. John calls them "His own," in respect of personal attachment, since he calls others also "His own," in respect of the work of creation; as when he saith, "His own received Him not." (c. i. 11.) But what meaneth, "which were in the world"? Because the dead also were "His own," Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the men of that sort,(5) but they were not in the world. Seest thou that He is the God both of the Old and New (Testament)? But what meaneth, "He loved them unto the end"? It stands for, "He continued loving them unceasingly," and this the Evangelist mentions as a sure proof of great affection. Elsewhere indeed He spake of another (proof), the laying down life for His friends; but that had not yet come to pass. And wherefore did He this thing "now"? Because it was far more wonderful at a time when He appeared more glorious in the sight of all men. Besides, He left them no small consolation now that He was about to depart, for since they were going to be greatly grieved, He by these means introduceth also comfort to the grief.

Ver. 2. "And supper being ended, the devil having now put it into the heart of Judas(6) to betray Him."

This the Evangelist hath said(7) amazed, showing that Jesus washed the man who had already chosen to betray Him. This also proves his great wickedness, that not even the having shared the salt restrained him, (a thing which is most able to restrain wickedness;) not the fact that even up to the last day, his Master continued to bear with him.(8)

Ver. 3. "Jesus knowing that the Father had given(9) all things into His hands, and that He was come from God, and went to God."

Here the Evangelist saith, even(10) wondering, that one so great, so very great, who came from God and went to Him, who ruleth over all, did this thing, and disdained not even so to undertake such an action. And by the "giving over," methinks St. John means the salvation of the faithful. For when He saith, "All things are given over(11) to Me of My Father" (Matt. xi. 27), He speaketh of this kind of giving over; as also in another place He saith, "Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me" (c. xvii. 6); and again, "No man can come unto Me except the Father draw him" (c. vi. 44); and, "Except it be given him from heaven." (c. iii. 27.) The Evangelist then either means this, or that Christ would be nothing lessened by this action, since He came from God, and went to God, and possessed all things. But when thou hearest of "giving over," understand it in no human sense, for it showeth how He honoreth the Father, and His unanimity with Him. For as the Father giveth over to Him, so He to the Father. And this Paul declares, saying, "When He shall have given over(12) the kingdom to God, even the Father." (1 Cor. xv. 24.) But St. John hath said it here in a more human sense, showing His great care for them, and declaring His unutterable love, that He now cared for them as for His own; teaching them the mother of all good, even humblemindedness, which He said was both the beginning and the end of virtue. And not without a reason is added the,(1) "He came from God and went to God": but that we may learn that He did what was worthy(2) of One who came thence and went thither, trampling down all pride.

Ver. 4. "And having risen(3) from supper, and laid aside His garments."(4)

[2.] Observe how not by the washing only, but in another way also He exhibiteth humility. For it was not before reclining, but after they had all sat down, then He arose. In the next place, He doth not merely wash them, but doth so, putting off His garments. And He did not even stop here, but girded Himself with a towel. Nor was He satisfied with this, but Himself filled (the basin), and did not bid another fill it; He did all these things Himself, showing by all that we must do such things, when we are engaged in well doing, not merely for form's sake, (5) but with all zeal. Now He seemeth to me to have washed the feet of the traitor first from its saying,

Ver. 5. "He began to wash the disciples' feet,"(6) and adding,

Ver. 6. "Then cometh He to Simon Peter and Peter saith unto Him, Lord, dost Thou wash my feet?"

"With those hands," he saith, "with which Thou hast opened eyes, and cleansed lepers, and raised the dead?" For this (question) is very emphatic; wherefore He needed not to have said any more than the, "Thou"; for even of itself this would have sufficed to convey the whole. Some one might reasonably enquire, how none of the others forbade Him, but Peter only, which was a mark of no slight love and reverence. What then is the cause? He seemeth to me to have washed the traitor first, then to have come to Peter, and that the others were afterwards instructed from his case.(7) That He washed some one other before him is clear from its saying, "But when He came(8) to Peter." Yet the Evangelist is not a vehement accuser,(9) for the "began," is the expression of one implying this. And even if Peter were the first,(10) yet it is probable that the traitor, being a forward person, had reclined even before the chief.(11) For by another circumstance also his forwardness is shown, when He dippeth with his Master in the dish, and being convicted, feels no compunction; while Peter being rebuked but once on a former occasion, and for words which he spake from loving affection, was so abashed, that being even distressed and trembling, he begged another to ask a question. But Judas, though continually convicted, felt not. (Ver. 24.) When therefore He came to Peter, he saith unto Him, "Lord, dost Thou wash my feet?"

Ver. 7. "He saith unto him, What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shall know here after."

That is "thou shall know how great is the gain from this, the profit of the lesson, and how it is able to guide us into all humblemindedness." What then doth Peter? He still hinders Him, and saith,

Ver. 8. "Thou shall never wash my feet." "What doest thou, Peter? Rememberest thou not those former words? Saidst thou not, 'Be merciful to Thyself,'(12) and heardest thou not in return, 'Get thee behind Me, Satan'? (Matt. xvi. 22.) Art thou not even so sobered, but art thou yet vehement?" "Yea," he saith, "for what is being done is a great matter, and full of amazement." Since then he did this from exceeding love, Christ in turn subdueth him by the same; and as there He effected this by sharply rebuking him, and saying, "Thou art an offense unto Me," so here also by saying,

"If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me." What then saith that hot and burning one?

Ver. 9. "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head."

Vehement in deprecation, he becometh yet more vehement in acquiescence; but both from love. For why said He not wherefore He did this, instead of adding a threat? Because Peter would not have been persuaded. For had He said, "Suffer it, for by this I persuade you to be humbleminded," Peter would have promised it ten thousand times, in order that his Master might not do this thing. But now what saith He? He speaketh of that which Peter most feared and dreaded, the being separated from Him; for it is he who continually asks, "Whither goest Thou?" (Ver. 36.) Wherefore also he said, "I will give(13) even my life for Thee." (Ver. 37.) And if, after hearing, "What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter," he still persisted, much more would he have done so had he learnt (the meaning of the action). Therefore said He, "but thou shalt know hereafter," as being aware, that should he learn it immediately he would still resist. And Peter said not, "Tell me, that I may suffer Thee," but (which was much more vehement) he did not even endure to learn, but withstands Him,(14) saying, "Thou shalt never wash my feet." But as soon as He threatened, he straightway relaxed his tone. But what meaneth, "Thou shalt know after this"? "After this?" When? "When in My Name thou shall have cast out devils; when thou shalt have seen Me taken up into Heaven, when thou shalt have learnt from the Spirit(1) that I sit(2) on His right hand, then shall thou understand what is being done now." What then saith Christ? When Peter said, "not my feet only, but also my hands and my head," He replieth,

Ver. 10, 11. "He that is washed, needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whir; and ye are clean,(3) but not all. For He knew who should betray Him."(4)

"And if they are clean, why washeth He(5) their feet?" That we may learn to be modest.(6) On which account He came not to any other part of the body, but to that which is considered more dishonorable than the rest. But what is, "He that is washed"? It is instead of, "he that is clean." Were they then clean, who had not(7) yet been delivered from their sins, nor deemed worthy of the Spirit, since sin still had the mastery, the handwriting of the curse still remaining, the victim not having yet been offered? How then calleth He them "clean"? That thou mayest not deem them clean, as delivered from their sins, He addeth,(8) Behold, "ye are clean through the word that I have spoken unto you." That is, "In this way ye are so far(9) clean; ye have received the light, ye have been freed from Jewish error. For the Prophet also saith, 'Wash you, make you clean, put away the wickedness from your souls' (Isa. i. 16, LXX.); so that such a one is washed and is clean." Since then these men had cast away all wickedness from their souls, and had companied with Him with a pure mind, therefore He saith according to the word of the Prophet, "he that is washed is clean already." For in that place also It meaneth not the "washing" of water, practiced by the Jews; but the cleansing of the conscience.(10)

[3.] Be we then also clean; learn we to do well. But what is "well"? "Judge for the fatherless, plead for the widow; and come, let us reason together, saith the Lord." (Isa. i. 7.) There is frequent mention in the Scriptures of widows and orphans, but we make no account of this. Yet consider how great is the reward. "Though," it saith, "your sins be as scarlet, I will whiten them as snow; though they be red like crimson, I will whiten them as wool." For a widow is an unprotected being, therefore He(11) taketh much care for her. For they, when it is even in their power to contract a second marriage, endure the hardships of widowhood through fear of God. Let us then all, both men and women, stretch forth our hands to them, that we may never undergo the sorrows of widow-hood; or if we should have to undergo them, let us lay up(12) a great store of kindness for ourselves. Not small is the power of the widow's tears, it is able to open heaven itself. Let us not then trample on them, nor make their calamity worse, but assist them by every means. If so we do, we shall put around(13) ourselves much safety, both in the present life, and in that which is to come. For not here alone, but there also will they be our defenders, cutting away most of our sins by reason of our beneficence towards them, and causing us to stand boldly before the judgment-seat of Christ. Which(14) may it come to pass that we all obtain, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

HOMILY LXXI.

JOHN xiii.

"And He took(1) His garments, and having sat down again, said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?" And what follows.

[1.] A GREIVOUS thing, beloved, a grievous thing it is to come to the depths of wickedness; for then the soul becomes hard to be restored. Wherefore we should use every exertion not to be taken at all;(2) since it is easier not to fall in,(3) than having fallen to recover one's self. Observe, for instance, when Judas had thrown himself into sin, how great assistance he enjoyed, yet not even so was he raised. Christ said to him, "One of you is a devil" (c. vi. 71); He said, "Not all believe" (c. vi. 65); He said, "I speak not of all," and, "I know whom I have chosen" (c. xiii. 18); and not one of these sayings doth he feel. Now when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments, and sat down, He said, "Know ye what I have done unto you?" He no longer addresseth Himself to Peter only, but to them all.

Ver. 13. "Ye call Me Lord(4) and Master,(5) and ye say well, for so I am."

"Ye call Me." He taketh to Him their judgment, and then that the words may not be thought to be words of their kindness, He addeth, "for so I am." By introducing a saying of theirs,(6) He maketh it not offensive, and by confirming it Himself when introduced from them, unsuspected. "For so I am," He saith. Seest thou how when He converseth with the disciples, He speaketh revealing more what belongeth unto Himself? As He saith, "Call no man master on earth,(7) for One is your guide"(8) (Matt. xxiii. 8, 9), so also, "And call no man father upon earth." But the "one" and "one"(9) is spoken not of the Father only, but of Himself also. For had He spoken excluding Himself, how saith He, "That ye may become the children of the light"? And again, if He called the Father only, "Master," how saith He, "For so I am"; and again, "For one is your Guide, even Christ"? (c. xii. 26.)

Ver. 14, 15. "If I then," He saith, "your Lord(10) and Master have washed your feet, ye ought also to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you."

And yet it is not the same thing, for He is Lord and Master, but ye are fellow-servants one of another. What meaneth then the "as"? "With the same zeal." For on this account He taketh instances from greater actions that we may, if so be, perform the less. Thus schoolmasters write the letters for children very beautifully, that they may come to imitate them though but in an inferior manner. Where now are they who spit on their fellow-servants? where now they who demand honors? Christ washed the feet of the traitor, the sacrilegious, the thief, and that close to the time of the betrayal, and incurable as he was, made him a partaker of His table; and art thou highminded, and dost thou draw up thine eyebrows? "Let us then wash one another's feet," saith some one, "then we must wash those of our domestics." And what great thing if we do wash even those of our domestics? In our case(11) "slave" and" free" is a difference of words; but there an actual reality. For by nature He was Lord and we servants, yet even this(12) He refused not at this time to do. But now it is matter for contentment if we do not treat free men as bondmen, as slaves bought with money. And what shall we say in that day,(13) if after receiving proofs of such forbearance, we ourselves do not imitate them at all, but take the contrary part, being in diametrical opposition, lifted up, and not discharging the debt? For God hath made us debtors one to another, having first so done Himself, and hath made us debtors of a less amount. For He was our Lord, but we do it, if we do it at all, to our fellow-servants, a thing which He Himself implied by saying, "If I then your Lord and Master--so also do ye." 'It would indeed naturally have followed to say, "How much more should ye servants," but He left this to the conscience of the hearers.

[2.] But why hath He done this "now"? They were for the future to enjoy, some greater, some less honor. In order then that they may not exalt themselves one above the other, and say as they did before, "Who is the greatest'(Matt. xviii. 1), nor be angry one against the other, He taketh down(14) the high thoughts of them all, by saying, that "although thou mayest be very great, thou oughtest to have no high thoughts towards thy brother." And He mentioned not the greater action, that "if I have washed the feet of the traitor, what great matter if ye one another's?" but having exemplified this by deeds, He then left it to the judgment of the spectators. Therefore He said, "Whosoever shall do and teach, the same shall be called great"(Matt. v. 19); for this is "to teach" a thing, actually to do it. What pride should not this remove? what kind of folly and insolence should it not annihilate!(1) He who sitteth upon the Cherubim washed the feet of the traitor, and dost thou, O man, thou that art earth and ashes and cinders and dust, dost thou exalt thyself, and art thou highminded? And how great a hell wouldest thou not deserve? If then thou desirest a high state of mind, come, I will show thee the way to it; for thou dost not even know what it is. The man then who gives heed to the present things as being great, is of a mean soul; so that there can neither be humility without greatness of soul, nor conceit except from littleness of soul. For as little children are eager for trifles, gaping upon balls and hoops and dice.(2) but cannot even form an idea of important matters; so in this case, one who is truly wise, will deem present things as nothing,(so that he will neither choose to acquire them himself, nor to receive them from others;) but he who is not of such a character will be affected in a contrary way, intent upon cobwebs and shadows and dreams of things less substantial than these.

Ver. 16--18. "Verily I say unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord, neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. I speak not of you all(3)--but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with Me hath lifted up his heel against Me."

What He said before, this He saith here also, to shame them; "For if the servant is not greater than his master, nor he that is sent greater than him that sent him, and these things have been done by Me, much more ought they to be done by you." Then, lest any one should say, "Why now sayest Thou these things? Do we not already know them?" He addeth this very thing, "I speak not to you as not knowing, but that by your actions ye may show forth the things spoken of." For "to know," belongeth to all l but "to do," not to all. On this account He said, "Blessed are ye if ye do them"; and on this account I continually and ever say the same to you, although ye know it, that I may set you on the work. Since even Jews "know," but yet they are not "blessed"; for they do not what they know.(4)

"I speak not," He saith, "of you all." O what forbearance! Not yet doth He convict the traitor, but veileth the matter, hence giving him room for repentance. He convicteth and yet doth not convict him when He saith thus, "He that eateth bread with Me hath lifted up his heel against Me." It seems to me that the, "The servant is not greater than his lord," was uttered for this purpose also, that if any persons should at any time suffer harm either from domestics or from any of the meaner sort, they should not be offended; looking to the instance of Judas, who having enjoyed ten thousand good things, repaid his Benefactor with the contrary. On this account He added, "He that eateth bread with Me," and letting pass all the rest, He hath put that which was most fitted to restrain and shame him; "he who was fed by Me," He saith, "and who shared My table." And He spake the words, to instruct them to benefit those who did evil to them, even though such persons should continue incurable.

But having said, "I speak not of you all," in order not to attach fear to more than one,(5) He at last separateth the traitor, speaking thus; "He that eateth bread with Me." For the, "not of you all," doth not direct the words to any single one, therefore He added, "He that eateth bread with Me"; showing to that wretched one that He was not seized in ignorance, but even with full knowledge; a thing which of itself was most of all fitted to restrain him. And He said not, "betrayeth Me," but, "hath lifted up his heel against Me," desiring to represent the deceit, the treachery, the secrecy of the plot.

[3.] These things are written that we bear not malice towards those who injure us; but rebuke them and weep for them; for the fit subjects of weeping are not they who suffer, but they who do the wrong. The grasping man, the false accuser, and whoso worketh any other evil thing, do themselves the greatest injury, and us the greatest good, if we do not avenge ourselves. Such a case as this: some one has robbed thee; hast thou given thanks for the injury, and glorified God? by that thanksgiving thou hast gained ten thousand rewards, just as he hath gathered for himself fire unspeakable. But if any one say, "How then, if I 'could' not defend myself against him who wronged me, being weaker?" I would say this, that thou couldest have put into action the being discontented, the being impatient, (for these things are in our power,) the praying against him, who grieved you, the uttering ten thousand curses against him, the speaking ill of him to every one. He therefore who hath not done these things shall even be rewarded for not defending himself, since it is clear that even if he had had the power, he would not have done it. The injured man uses any weapon that comes to hand, when, being little of soul, he defends himself against one who has injured him, by curses, by abuse, by plotting. Do thou then not only not do these things, but even pray for him; for if thou do them not, but wilt even pray for him, thou art become like unto God. For, "pray," it saith, "for them, that despitefully use you--that ye may be like unto(1) your Father which is in Heaven." (Matt. v. 44, 45.) Seest thou how we are the greatest gainers from the insolence of others? Nothing so delighteth God, as the not returning evil for evil? But what say I? Not returning evil for evil? Surely we are enjoined to return the opposite, benefits, prayers. Wherefore Christ also repaid him who was about to betray Him with everything opposite. He washed his feet, convicted him secretly, rebuked him sparingly, tended(2) him, allowed him to share His table and His kiss, and not even by these(3) was he made better; nevertheless (Christ) continued doing His own part.

But come, let us teach thee even from the example of servants, and (to make the lesson stronger) those in the Old (Testament), that thou mayest know that we have no ground of defense when we remember a wrong. Will you then that I tell you of Moses, or shall we go yet farther back? For the more ancient the instances that can be pointed out, the more are we surpassed. "Why so?" Because virtue was then more difficult. Those men had no written precepts, no patterns of living, but their nature fought, unarmed, by itself,(4) and was forced to float in all directions unballasted.(5) Wherefore also when praising Noah, God called him not simply perfect, but added, "in his generation" (Gen. vii. 1); signifying, "at that time," when there were many hindrances, since many others shone after him, yet will he have nothing less than they; for in his own time he was perfect. Who then before Moses was patient? The blessed and noble Joseph, who having shone by his chastity, shone no less by his long suffering. He was sold when he had done no wrong, but was waiting on others, and serving, and performing all the duties of domestics. They brought against him an evil accusation, and he did not defend himself, though he had his father on his side. Nay, he even went to carry food to them in the desert, and when he found them not, he did not despair or turn back, (yet he had an excuse for doing so had he chosen,) but remained near the wild beasts and those savage men, preserving the feeling of a true brother. Again, when he dwelt in the prison house, and was asked the cause, he spake no evil of them, but only, "I have done nothing," and, "I was stolen out of the land of the Hebrews"; and after this again, when he was made lord, he nourished them, and delivered them from ten thousand dangers. If we be sober, the wickedness of our neighbor is not strong enough to cast us out of our own virtue. But those others were not like him; they both stripped him, and endeavored to kill him, and reproach him with his dream, though they had even received their meat from him, and planned to deprive him of life and of liberty. And they ate, and cared not for their brother lying naked in the pit. What could be worse than such brutality? Were they not worse than any number of murderers? And after this, having drawn him up, they gave him over to ten thousand deaths, selling him to barbarian and savage men, who were on their journey to barbarians. Yet he, when he became ruler, not only remitted them their punishment, but even acquitted them, as far at least as relating to himself, of their sin, calling what had been done a dispensation of God, not any wickedness of theirs; and the things which he did against them he did not as remembering evil, but in all these he dissembled, for his brother's(6) sake. After this, when he saw them clinging to him, he straightway threw away the mask, and wept aloud, and embraced them, as though he had received the greatest benefits, he, who formerly was made away with by them, and he brought them all down into Egypt, and repaid them with ten thousand benefits. What excuse then shall we have, if after the Law, and after grace, and after the addition of so much heavenly wisdom, we do not even strive to rival him who lived before grace and before the Law? Who shall deliver us from punishment? For there is nothing, there is nothing more grievous than the remembrance of injuries. And this the man hath showed that owed ten thousand talents; from whom payment was at one time not demanded, at another time again demanded; not demanded, because of the lovingkindness of God; but demanded, because of his own wickedness, and because of his malice toward his fellow-servant. Knowing all which things, let us forgive our neighbors their trespasses, and repay them by deeds of an opposite kind, that we too may obtain mercy from God, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

HOMILY LXXII.

JOHN xiii. 20.(1)

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send, receiveth Me: and He that receiveth Me, receiveth Him that sent Me."

[1.] GREAT is the recompense(2) of care bestowed upon the servants of God, and of itself(3) it yieldeth to us its fruits. For, "he that receiveth you," it saith, "receiveth Me, and he that receiveth Me, receiveth Him that sent Me."(Matt. x. 40.) Now what can be equal to the receiving Christ and His Father? But what kind of connection hath this with what was said before? What hath it in common with that which He had said, "If ye do these things happy are ye," to add, "He that receiveth you"? A close connection, and very harmonious.(4) Observe how. When they were about to go forth and to suffer many dreadful things, He comforteth them in two ways; one derived from Himself, the other derived from others. "For if," He saith, "ye are truly wise, ever keeping Me in mind, and bearing about all both what I said, and what I did, ye will easily endure terrible things. And not in this way only, but also from your enjoying great attention from all men." The first point. He declared when He said, "If ye do these things happy are ye"; the second when He said, "He that receiveth you receiveth Me." For He opened the houses of all men to them, so that both from the sound wisdom of their manners, and the zeal of those who would tend them, they might have twofold comfort. Then when He had given these directions to them as to men about to run through all the world, reflecting that the traitor was deprived of both of these things, and would enjoy neither of them, neither patience in toils, nor the service of kind entertainers, He again was troubled. And the Evangelist to signify this besides, and to show that it was on his(5) account that He was troubled, adds,

Ver. 21. "When Jesus had thus said, He was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of yon shall betray Me."

Again He bringeth fear on all by not mentioning (the traitor) by name.

Ver. 22. "But they are in doubt";(6) although conscious to themselves of nothing evil; but they deemed the declaration of Christ more to be believed than their own thoughts, Wherefore they "looked one on another." By laying the whole upon one, Jesus would(7) have cut short their fear, but by adding, "one of you," He troubled all. What then? The rest looked upon one another; but the ever fervent Peter "beckoneth"(8) to John. Since he had been before rebuked, and when Christ desired to wash him would have hindered Him, and since he is everywhere found moved indeed by love, vet blamed; being on this account afraid, he neither kept quiet, nor did he speak, but wished to gain information by means of John. But it is a question worth asking, why when all were distressed, and trembling, when their leader was afraid, John like one at ease(9) leans on Jesus' bosom, and not only leans, but even (lies) on His breast? Nor is this the only thing worthy of enquiry, but that also which follows. What is that? What he saith of himself, "Whom Jesus loved." Why did no one else say this of himself? yet the others were loved too. But he more than any. And if no other hath said this about him, but he about himself, it is nothing wonderful. Paul too does the samed(10) when occasion calls, saying thus, "I knew a man fourteen years ago"; yet in fact he(11) has gone through other no trifling praises of himself. Seems it to thee a small thing that, when he had heard, "Follow Me,"(12) he straightway left his nets, and his father, and followed; and that Christ took him alone with Peter into the mountain, (Matt. xvii. 1,) and another time again when He went into a house?(13)(Luke viii. 51.) What high praise also has he himself passed on Peter without concealment, telling us that Christ said, "Peter,(14) lovest thou Me more than these?" (c. xxi. 15), and everywhere he showeth him warm, and nobly disposed towards himself;(15) for instance, when he said, "Lord, and what shall this man do?" he spake from great love. But why did(16) no other say (this(17)) concerning him? Because he would not himself have said it, unless he had come to this passage.(1) For if after telling us that Peter beckoned to John to ask, he had added nothing more, he would have caused considerable doubt, and have compelled us to enquire into the reason. In order therefore himself to solve this difficulty, he saith, "He lay on the bosom of Jesus." Thinkest thou that thou hast learnt a little thing when thou hast heard that "he lay," and that their Master allowed such boldness to them?(2) If thou desirest to know the cause of this, the action was of love;(3) wherefore he saith, "Whom Jesus loved."(4) I suppose also that John doth this for another reason, as wishing to show that he was exempt from the charge and so he speaks openly and is confident. Again, why did he use these words, not at any other point of time,(5) but only when the chief of the Apostles beckoned? That thou mightest not deem that Peter beckoned to him as being greater, he saith that the thing took place because of the great love (which Jesus bare him). But why doth he even lie on His bosom? They had not as yet formed any high surmises concerning Him; besides, in this way He(6) calmed their despondency; for it is probable that at this time their faces were overclouded. If they were troubled in their souls, much more would they be so in their countenances. Soothing them therefore by word and by the question, He makes a way beforehand, and allows him to lean on His breast. Observe too his modesty he mentions not his own name, but, "whom He loved." As also Paul, when he said, "I knew a man about fourteen years ago." Now for the first time Jesus convicted the traitor, but not even now by name; but how?

Ver. 26. "He it is, to whom I shall give a sop when I have dipped it."(7)

Even the manner (of the rebuke) was calculated to put him to shame. He respected not the table, though he shared the bread; be it so; but the receiving the sop from His own hand, whom would not that have won over? yet him it won not.

Ver. 27. "Then(8) Satan entered into him." Laughing at him for his shamelessness. As long as he belonged to the band of disciples he dared not spring upon him, but attacked(9) him from without; but when Christ made him manifest and separated him, then he sprang upon him without fear. It was not fitting to keep within one of such a character, and who so long had remained incorrigible. Wherefore He henceforth cast him out, and then that other seized him when cut off, and he leaving them went forth by night.(10)

"Jesus saith unto him, Friend,(11) that thou doest, do quickly."

Ver. 28. "Now no man at the table knew with what intent He spake this unto him."(12)

[3.] Wonderful insensibility! How could it be that he was neither softened nor shamed; but rendered yet more shameless, "went out." The "do quickly," is not the expression of one commanding, nor advising, but of one reproaching, and showing him that He desired to correct him, but that since he was incorrigible, He let him go. And this, the Evangelist saith, "no man of those that sat at the table knew." Some one may perhaps find here a considerable difficulty, if, when the disciples had asked, "Who is it?" and He had answered, "He to whom I shall give a sop when I have dipped it," they did not even so understand; unless indeed He spake it secretly, so that no man should hear. For John on this very account, leaning by His breast, asked Him almost close to His ear, so that the traitor might not be made manifest; and Christ answered in like manner, so that not even then did He discover him. And though He spake emphatically,(13) "Friend, that thou doest, do quickly," even so they understood not. But he spake thus to show that the things were true which had been said by Him to the Jews concerning His death. For He had said to them, "I have power to lay down My life, and I have power to take it again": and, "No man taketh it from Me." (c. x. 18.) As long then as He would retain it, no man was able (to take it); but when He resigned it, theft the action became easy. All this He implied when He said, "That thou doest, do quickly." Yet not even then did He expose him,(14) for perhaps the others might have torn him in pieces, or Peter might have killed him. On this account "no man at the table knew." Not even John? Not even he: for he could not have expected that a disciple would arrive(15) at such a pitch of wickedness. For since they were far from such iniquity themselves, they could not suspect such things concerning others. As before He had told them, "I speak not of you all" (ver. 18), yet did not reveal the person; so here, they thought that it was said concerning some other matter.

"It was night," saith the Evangelist, when he went out. "Why tallest thou me the time?" That thou mayest learn his forwardness, that not even the time restrained him from his purpose. Yet not even did this make him quite manifest, for the others were at this time in confusion occupied by fear and great distress, and they knew not the true reason of what had been said but supposed(1) that He spake thus, in order that Judas might give somewhat to the poor. For He cared greatly for the poor, teaching us also to bestow much diligence on this thing. But they thought this, not without a cause, but "because he bad the bag." Yet no one appears to have brought money to Him; that the female disciples nourished Him of their substance, it has said, but this(2) it hath nowhere intimated. (Luke viii. 3.) But how did He who bade His disciples bear neither scrip, nor money, nor staff, Himself bear a bag to minister to the poor? That thou mayest learn, that it behooveth even him who is exceedingly needy and crucified, to be very careful on this point. For many things He did in the way of dispensation(3) for our instruction. The disciples then thought that He said this, that Judas should give something to the poor; and not even this shamed him, His not being willing even to the last day to make him a public example. We too ought to do the like, and not parade the sins of our companions, though they be incurable. For even after this He gave a kiss to the man who came to betray Him, and endured,(4) such an action as that was, and then proceeded to a thing of far greater daring,(5) the Cross itself,(6) to the death of shame, and there again He manifested His lovingkindness. And here He calleth it "glory," showing us that there is nothing so shameful and reproachful which makes not brighter him who goeth to it, if it be done according to the will of God. At least after the going forth of Judas to the betraying, He saith,

Ver. 31. "Now is the Son of Man glorified."(7) In this way rousing the dejected thoughts of the disciples, and persuading them not only not to despond, but even to rejoice. On this account He rebuked Peter at the first, because for one who has been in death to overcome death, is great glory. And this is what He said of Himself, "When I am lifted up,(8) then ye shall know that I Am" (c. viii. 28); and again, "Destroy this Temple" (c. ii. 19); and again, "No sign shall be given unto you(9) but the sign of Jonas." (Matt. xii. 39.) For how can it be otherwise than great glory, the being able even after death to do greater things than before death? for in order that the Resurrection might be believed, the disciples did work greater things. But unless He had lived, and had been God, how could these men have wrought such things in His Name?

Ver. 32. "And God shall glorify Him."(10)

What is, "And God shall glorify Him in Him: self"? It is "by means of(11) Himself, not by means of another."

"And shall straightway glorify Him."

[4.] That is, "simultaneously with the Cross." "For it will not be after much time," He saith, "nor will He wait for the distant season of the Resurrection, nor will He then show Him glorious, but straightway on the Cross itself His glories shall appear." And so the sun was darkened,(12) the rocks rent; the veil of the temple was parted asunder, many bodies of saints that slept arose, the tomb had its seals, the guards sat by, and while a stone lay over the Body the Body rose; forty days passed by, and the Gift of the Spirit came, and they all straightway preached Him. This is, "shall glorify Him in Himself, and shall straightway glorify Him"; not by Angels or Archangels, not by any other power, but by Himself. But how did He also glorify Him by Himself? By doing all for the glory of the Son. Yet the Son did all. Seest thou that He referreth to the Father the things done by Himself?

Ver. 33. "Little children, yet a little while I am with you--and(13) as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go ye cannot come, so now I say to you."

He now begins words of sorrow after the supper. For when Judas went forth it was no longer evening, but night. But since they 14 were about to come shortly, it was necessary to set all things before the disciples, that they might have them in remembrance; or rather, the Spirit recalled all to their minds. For it is likely that they would forget many things, as hearing for the first time, and being about to undergo such temptations. Men who were weighed down to sleep, (as another Evangelist saith,--Luke xxii. 45,) who were possessed by despondency, as Christ saith Himself, "Because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your hearts(12) (c. xvi. 6), how could they retain all these things exactly? Why then were they spoken? It became no little gain to them with respect to their opinion of(15) Christ, that in after times when reminded(16) they certainly knew that they had long ago heard these things from Christ. But wherefore cloth He first cast down their souls, saying, "Yet a little while I am with you"? "To the Jews indeed it was said with reason, but wherefore dost Thou place us in just the same class with those obstinate ones?" He by no means did so. "Why then said He, 'As I said to the Jews?" He reminded them that He did not now, because troubles were upon them, warn them of these things, but that He had foreknown them from the first, and that they were witnesses who had heard that He had said these things to the Jews. Wherefore He added also the word, "little children," that when they heard, "As I said to the Jews," they might not deem that the expression was used in like sense towards themselves. It was not then to depress but to comfort them that He thus spake, that their dangers might not, by coming upon them suddenly, trouble them to excess.

"Whither I go, ye cannot come." He showeth that His death is a removal, and a change for the better(1) to a place which admits not corruptible bodies. This He saith, both to excite their love towards Him, and to make it more fervent. Ye know that when we see any of our dearest friends departing from us, our affection is warmest, and the more so, when we see them going to a place to which it is not even possible for us to go. These things then He said, terrifying the Jews, but kindling longing in the disciples. "Such is the place, that not only not they, but not even you, My best beloved, can come there." Here He showeth also His Own dignity.

"So now I say to you." Why "now"? "In one way to them, to you in another way"; that is, "not with them." But when did the Jews seek Him, when the disciples? The disciples, when they fled i the Jews, when they suffered miseries unendurable and surpassing all description at the capture of their city, when the wrath of God was borne down upon them from every side. To the Jews therefore He(2) spake then, because of their unbelief, "but to you now, that troubles might not come upon you unexpected."

Ver. 34. "A new commandment I give unto you."(3)

For since it was likely that they would be troubled when they heard these things, as though they were about to be deserted, He comforteth them, investing them with that which was the root of all blessings and a safeguard, love. As though He had said, "Grieve ye at My departure? Nay, if ye love one another, ye shall be the stronger." Why then said He not this? Because He said what profiled them more than this.

Ver. 35. "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples."(4)

[5.] By this He at the same time showed that the company(5) should never be extinguished, when He gave them a distinguishing token. This He said when the traitor was cut off from them. But how calleth He that a new commandment which is contained also in the Old (covenant)? He made it new Himself by the manner; therefore He added, "As I have loved you." "I have not paid back to you a debt of good deeds first done by you, but Myself have begun," He saith. "And so ought you to benefit your dearest ones, though you owe them nothing"; and omitting to speak of the miracles which they should do, He maketh their characteristic, love. And why? Because it is this which chiefly shows men holy; it is the foundation of all virtue; by this mostly we are all even saved. For "this," He saith, "is to be a disciple; so shall all men praise you, when they see you imitating My Love." What then? Do not miracles much more show this? By no means. For "many will say, Lord, have we not in Thy Name cast out devils?" (Matt. vii. 22.) And again, when they rejoice that the devils obey them, He saith, "Rejoice not that the devils obey(6) you, but that your names are written in heaven." (Luke x. 20.) And(7) this indeed brought over the world, because that(8) was before it; had not that been, neither would this have endured. This then straightway made them perfect,(9) the having(10) all one heart and one soul. But had they separated one from the other, all things would have been lost.

Now He spake this not to them only, but to all who should believe on Him; since even now, there is nothing else that causes the heathen n to stumble, except that there is no love. "But," saith some one, "they also urge against us the absence of miracles." But not in the same way. "But where did the Apostles manifest their love?" Seest thou Peter and John inseparable from one another, and going up to the Temple? (Acts iii. 1.) Seest thou Paul disposed in a like way towards them, and dost thou doubt? If they had gained the other blessings, much more had they the mother of them all. For this is a thing that springs from a virtuous soul; but where wickedness is, there the plant withers away. For "when,"(12) it saith, "iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." (Matt. xxiv. 12.) And miracles do not so much attract the heathen as the mode of life; and nothing so much causes a right life as love. For those who wrought miracles they often even called deceivers; but they could have no hold upon a pure life. While then the message of the Gospel was not yet spread abroad, miracles were with good reason marveled at, lint now men must get to be admired by their lives. For nothing so raises respect in the heathen as virtue, nothing so offends them as vice. And with good reason. When one of them sees the greedy man, the plunderer, exhorting others to do the contrary, when he sees the man who was commanded to love even his enemies, treating his very kindred like brutes, he will say that the words are folly. When he sees one trembling at death, how will he receive the accounts of immortality? When he sees us fond of rule, and slaves to the other passions, he will more firmly remain in his own doctrines, forming no high opinion of us. We, we are the cause of their remaining in their error. Their own doctrines they have long condemned, and in like manner they admire ours, but they are hindered by our mode of life. To follow wisdom in talk is easy, many among themselves have done this; but they require the proof by works. "Then let them look to the ancients of our profession." But about them they by no means believe; they enquire concerning those now living. For, "show me," it saith, "thy faith by thy works "(1) (Jas. ii. 18); but this is not the case; on the contrary, seeing us tear our neighbors worse than any wild beast, they call us the curse of the world. These things restrain the heathen, and suffer them not to come over to our side. So that we shall be punished for these also; not only for what we do amiss ourselves, but because the name of God is blasphemed. How long shall we be given up to wealth, and luxury, and the other passions? For the future let us leave them. Hear what the Prophet saith of certain foolish ones, "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die." (Isa. xxii. 31.) But in the present case we cannot even say this,(5) so "many" gather round themselves what belongs to all. So chiding them also, the Prophet said, "Will ye dwell alone upon the earth?" (Isa. v. 8.) Wherefore I fear test some grievous thing come to pass, and we draw down upon us heavy vengeance from God. And that this may not come to pass, let us be careful of(6) all virtue, that we may obtain the future blessings, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom and with whom, to the Father and the Holy Ghost, be glory now and forever, and world without end. Amen.

HOMILY LXXIII.

JOHN xiii. 36.

"Simon Peter said unto Him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go thou canst not follow Me now, but thou shalt follow Me afterwards."

[1.] A Great thing(2) is love, and stronger than fire itself, and it goeth up to the very heaven; there is(3) no hindrance which can restrain its tearing(4) force. And so the most fervent Peter, when he hears, "Whither I go ye cannot come," what saith he? "Lord, whither goest thou?" and this he said, not so much from wish to learn, as from desire to follow. To say openly, "I go," he dared not yet, but, "Whither goest thou?" Christ answered, not to his words, but to his thoughts. For that this was his wish, is clear from what Christ said, "Whither I go thou canst not follow Me now. Seest thou that he longed for the following Him, and therefore asked the question? And when he heard, "thou shalt follow Me afterwards," not even so did he restrain his longing, and, though he had gained good hopes, he is so eager as to say,

Ver. 37. "Why cannot I follow Thee now? I will lay down my life for Thee."

When he had shaken off the dread of being the traitor, and was shown to be one of His own,(7) he afterwards asked boldly himself, while the others held their peace. "What sayest thou, Peter? He said, 'thou canst not,' and thou sayest, 'I can'? Therefore thou shalt know from this temptation that thy love is nothing without the presence of the impulse(8) from above." Whence it is clear that in care for him He allowed even that fall. He desired indeed to teach him even by the first words, but when he continued in his vehemence, He did not indeed throw or force him into the denial, but left him alone, that he might learn his own weakness. Christ had said that He must be betrayed; Peter replied, "Be it far from Thee, Lord; this shall not happen unto Thee." (Matt. xvi. 22.) He was rebuked, but not instructed. On the contrary, when Christ desired to wash his feet, he said, "Thou shall never wash my feet."(9) (Ver. 8.) Again, when he hears, "Thou canst not follow Me now," he saith, "Though all deny Thee, I will not deny Thee." Since then it was likely that he would be lifted up to folly by his practice of contradiction, Jesus next teacheth him not to oppose Him. This too Luke implies, when he telleth us that Christ said, "And I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not" (Luke xxii. 32); that is, "that thou be not finally lost." In every way teaching him humility, and proving that human nature by itself is nothing. But, since great love made him apt for contradiction, He now sobereth him, that he might not in after times be subject to this, when he should have received the stewardship of the world, but remembering what he had suffered, might know himself. And look at the violence of his fall; it did not happen to him once or twice, but he was so beside himself, that in a short tithe thrice did he utter the words of denial, that he might learn that he did not so love as he was loved. And yet, to one who had so fallen He saith again, "Lovest thou Me more than these?" So that the denial was caused not by the cooling of his love, but from his having been stripped of aid from above. He accepteth then Peter's love, but cutteth off the spirit of contradiction engendered by it. "For if thou lovest, thou oughtest to obey Him who is beloved. I said(1) to thee and to those with thee, 'Thou canst not'; why art thou contentious? Knowest thou what a thing it is to contradict God? But since thou wilt not learn in this way that it is impossible that what I say should not come to pass, thou shalt learn(2) it in the denial." And yet this appeared to thee to be much more incredible. For this thou did, not even understand, but of that thou hadst the knowledge(3) in thy heart. Yet still that came to pass which was not even(4) expected.

"I will lay down my life for Thee." For since he had heard, "Greater love than this hath, no man,"(5) he straightway sprang forward, insatiably eager and desirous to reach even to the highest pitch of virtue. But Christ, to show that it belonged to Himself alone to promise these things with authority, saith,

Ver. 39. "Before the cock crow."(6)

That is, "now"; there was but a little interval. He spake when it was late at night, and the first and second watch was past.

Chap. xiv. ver. 1. "Let not your heart be troubled."

This He saith, because it was probable that when they heard they would be troubled. For if the leader of their band, one so entirely fervent, was told that before the cock crew he should thrice deny his Master, it was likely that they would expect to have to undergo some great reverse, sufficient to bend even souls of adamant. Since then it was probable that they considering these things would be astounded, see how He comforteth them, saying, "Let not your heart be troubled." By this first word showing the power of His Godhead, because, what they had in their hearts He knew and brought to light.

"Ye believe in God, believe also in Me." That is, "All dangers shall pass you by, for faith in Me and in My Father is more powerful than the things which come upon you, and will permit no evil thing to prevail against you." Then He addeth,

Ver. 2. "In My Father's house are many mansions."

As He comforteth Peter when bewildered(7) by saying, "but thou shall follow afterwards," so also He gives this glimpse of hope to the others. For lest they should think that the promise was given to him alone, He saith, "In My Father's house are many mansions."

"If it were not so I would have said to you, I go(8) to prepare a place for you."

That is, "The same place which receiveth Peter shall receive you." For a great abundance of dwellings is there, and it may not be said that they need preparation. When He said, "Ye cannot follow Me now," that they might not deem that they were finally cut off, He added,

Ver. 3.(9) "That where I am, there ye may be also." "So earnest have I been concerning this matter,(10) that I should already have been given up to it,(11) had not preparation been made long ago for you." Showing them that they ought to be very bold and confident. Then that He may not seem to speak as though enticing them, but that they may believe the thing to be so, He addeth,

[2.] Ver. 4. "And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know."

Seest thou that He giveth them proof that these things were not said without a meaning? And He used these words, because He knew in Himself that their souls now desired to learn this. For Peter said what he said, not in order to learn, but that he might follow. But when Peter had been rebuked, and Christ had declared(12) that to be possible which for the time seemed impossible,(13) and when the apparent impossibility led him to desire to know the matter exactly, therefore He saith to the others, "And the way ye know." For as when He hath said, "Thou shalt deny Me," before any one spake a word, searching into their hearts, He said, "Be not troubled," so here also by saying "Ye know," He disclosed the desire which was in their heart, and Himself giveth them an excuse for questioning. Now the, "Whither goest Thou?" Peter used from a very loving affection, Thomas from cowardice.

Ver. 5. "Lord,(1) we know not whither Thou goest."(2)

"The place," he saith, "we know not, and how shall we know the way leading thither?" And observe with what submissiveness he speaks; he saith not, "tell us the place," but, "we know not whither Thou goest"; for all had long yearned to hear this. If the Jews questioned among themselves when they heard (of His departure), although desirous to be rid of Him much more would those desire to learn, who wished never to be separated from Him. They feared therefore to ask Him, but yet they asked Him, from their great love and anxiety. What then saith Christ?

Ver. 6. "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."

"Why then, when He was asked by Peter, Whither goest Thou,' did He not say directly, ' I go to the Father, but ye cannot come now' ? Why did He put in a circuit of so many words, placing together questions and answers? With good reason He told not this to the Jews; but why not to these?" He had indeed said both to these and to the Jews, that He came forth from God, and was going to God, now He saith the same thing more clearly than before. Besides, to the Jews He spake not so clearly; for had He said, "Ye cannot come to the Father but by Me," they would straightway hard deemed the matter mere boasting; but now by concealing this, He threw them(3) into perplexity. "But why," saith some one, "did He speak thus both to the disciples and to Peter?" He knew his great forwardness, and that he would by reason of this(4) the more press on and trouble Him; in order therefore to lead him away, He hideth the matter. Having then succeeded in what He wished by the obscurity and by veiling His speech, He again discloseth the matter. After saying, "Where I am, no man can come," He addeth, "In My Father's house are many mansions"; and again, "No man cometh to the Father but by Me." This He would not tell them at first, in order not to throw them into greater despondency, but, now that He hath soothed them, He telleth them. For by Peter's rebuke He cast out(5) much of their despondency; and dreading lest they should be addressed in the same way, they were the more restrained. "I am the Way." This is the proof of the, "No man cometh to the Father but by Me";(6) and, "the Truth, and the Life," of this, "that these things shall surely be." "There is then no falsehood with Me, if I am 'the Truth'; if I am ' Life' also, not even death shall be able to hinder you from coming to Me. Besides; if I am 'the Way,' ye will need none to lead you by the hand; if I am also 'the Truth,' My words are no falsehoods; if I am also 'Life,' though ye die ye shall obtain what I have told you." Now His being "the Way," they both understood and allowed, but the rest they knew not. They did not indeed venture to say what they knew not. Still they gained great consolation from His being "the Way." "If," saith He, "I have sole authority to bring(7) to the Father, ye shall surely come thither; for neither is it possible to come by any other way." But by saying before, "No man can come to Me except the Father draw him"; and again, "If I be lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all men unto Me" (c. xii. 32); and again, "No man cometh to the Father but by Me" (c. xiv. 6); He showeth Himself equal to Him who begat Him. But how after saying, "Whither I go ye know, and the way ye know," hath He added,

Ver. 7. "If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also; and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him"?

He doth not contradict Himself; they knew Him indeed, but not so as they ought. God they knew, but the Father not yet. For afterwards, the Spirit having come upon them wrought(8) in them all knowledge. What He saith is of this kind. "Had ye known My Essence and My Dignity, ye would have known that of the Father also; and henceforth ye shall know Him, and have seen Him," (the one belonging to the future, the other to the present,) that is, "by Me." By "sight," He meaneth knowledge by intellectual perception. For those who are seen we may see and not know; but those who are known we cannot know and not know. Wherefore He saith, "and ye have seen Him"; just as it saith, "was seen also of Angels." (1 Tim. iii. 16.) Yet the very Essence was not seen; yet it saith that He "was seen," that is, as far as it was possible for them to see. These words are used, that thou mayest learn that(9) the man who hath seen Him(10) knoweth Him who begat Him. But they beheld Him not in His unveiled Essence, but clothed with flesh. He is wont elsewhere to put "sight" for "knowledge"; as when He saith," Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."(Matt. v. 8.) By "pure," He meaneth not those who are free from fornication only, but from all sins. For every sin brings filth upon the soul.

[3.] Let us then use every means to wipe off the filthiness. But first the font cleanseth, afterwards other ways also, many and of all kinds. For God, being merciful, hath even after this(1) given to us various ways of(2) reconciliation, of all which the first is that by alms-doing. "By alms-deeds," it saith, "and deeds of faith sins are cleansed away." (Ecclus. iii. 30.) By alms-doing I do not mean that which is maintained by injustice, for this is not alms-doing, but savageness and inhumanity. What profits it to strip one man and clothe another? For we ought to begin the action with mercy, but this is inhumanity. If we give away everything that we have got from other people, it is no gain to us. And this Zacchæus shows, who on that occasion said, that he propitiated God by giving four times as much as he had taken. (Luke xix. 8.) But we, when we plunder unboundedly, and give but little, think that we make God propitious, whereas we do rather(3) exasperate Him. For tell me, if thou shouldest drag a dead and rotten ass from the waysides and lanes, and bring it to the altar, would not all stone thee as accursed and polluted?(4) Well then, if I prove that a sacrifice procured by plunder is more polluted than this, what defense shall we obtain? Let us suppose that some article has been obtained by plunder, is it not of fouler scent than a dead ass? Wouldest thou learn how great is the rottenness of sin? Hear the Prophet saying, "My wounds stank, and were corrupt." (Ps. xxxviii. 5, LXX.) And dost thou in words entreat God to forget thy misdeeds, and dost thou by what thou thyself doest, robbing and grasping, and placing thy sin upon the altar, cause Him to remember them continually? But now, this is not the only sin, but there is one more grievous than this, that thou defilest the souls of the saints.(5) For the altar is but a stone, and is consecrated, but they ever bear with them Christ Himself; and darest thou to send thither any of such impurity? "No," saith one, "not the same money, but other." Mockery this, and trifling. Knowest thou not, that if one drop of injustice fall on a great quantity of wealth, the whole is defiled? And just as a man by casting dung into a pure fountain makes it all unclean, so also in the case of riches, anything ill-gotten entering in makes them to be tainted with the ill savor from itself. Then we wash our hands when we enter into church, but our hearts not so. Why, do our hands send forth a voice? It is the soul that utters(6) the words: to that God looketh; cleanness of the body is of no use, while that is defiled. What profits it, if thou wipe clean thine outward hands, while thou hast those within impure? For the terrible thing and that which subverts all good is this, that while we are fearful about trifles, we care not for important matters. To pray with unwashed hands is a matter indifferent; but to do it with an unwashed mind, this is the extreme of all evils. Hear what was said to the Jews who busied themselves about such outward impurities. "Wash thine heart from wickedness, how long shall there be in thee thoughts of thy labors?"(7) (Jer. iv. 14.) Let us also wash ourselves, not with mire, but with fair water, with alms-doing, not with covetousness. First get free from rapine, and then show forth alms-deeds. Let us "decline from evil, and do good." (Ps. xxxvii. 27.) Stay thy hands from covetousness, and so bring them to alms-giving. But if with the same hands we strip one set of persons,(8) though we may not clothe the others with what has been taken(9) from them, yet we shall not thus escape punishment. For that which is the groundwork(10) of the propitiation is made the groundwork of all wickedness. Better not show mercy, than show it thus; since for Cain also it had been better not to have n brought his offering at all. Now if he who brought too little angered God, when one gives what is another's, how shall not he anger Him? "I commanded thee," He will say, "not to steal, and honorest thou Me from that thou hast stolen? What thinkest thou? That I am pleased with these things?" Then shall He say to thee, "Thou thoughtest wickedly that I am even such an one as thyself; I will rebuke thee, and set before thy face thy sins." (Ps. 1. 21, LXX.) But may it not come to pass that any one of us hear this voice, but having wrought pure alms-deeds, and having our lamps burning, so may we enter into the bride-chamber by the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost(12) be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

HOMILY LXXIV.

JOHN xiv. 8, 9.

"Philip saith unto Him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He who hath seen Me, hath seen the Father."(1)

[1.] THE Prophet said to the Jews, "Thou hadst the countenance of a harlot, thou wert shameless towards all men." (Jer. iii. 3, LXX.) Now it seems fitting to use this expression not only against that city,(2) but against all who shamelessly set their faces against the truth. For when Philip said to Christ, "Show us the Father," He replied, "Have I been so long time with you, and hast thou not known Me, Philip?" And yet there are some Who even after these words separate the Father from the Son. What proximity dost thou require closer than this? Indeed from this very saying some have fallen into the malady of Sabellius. But let us, leaving both these and those as involved in directly opposite error, consider the exact meaning of the words. "Have I been so long time with you, and hast thou not known Me, Philip?" He saith. What then? replieth Philip, "Art thou the Father after whom I enquire?" "No," He saith. On this account He said not, "hast thou not known Him," but," hast thou not known Me," declaring nothing else but this, that the Son is no other than what the Father is, yet continuing to be a Son. But how came Philip to ask this question? Christ had said, "If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also" (c. xiv. 7), and He had often said the same to the Jews. Since then Peter and the Jews had often asked Him, "Who is the Father?" since Thomas had asked Him, and no one had learnt anything clear, but His words were still not understood; Philip, in order that He might not seem to be importunateand to trouble Him by asking in his turn after the Jews, "Show us the Father," added, "and it sufficeth us," "we seek no more." Yet Christ had said, "If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also," and by Himself He declared the Father. But Philip reversed the order, and said, "Show us the Father," as though knowing Christ exactly. But Christ endureth him not, but putteth him in the right way, persuading him to gain the knowledge of the Father through Himself, while Philip desired to see Him with these bodily eyes, having perhaps heard concerning the Prophets, that they "saw God." But those cases, Philip, were acts of condescension. Wherefore Christ said, "No man hath seen God at any time" (c. i. 18); and again, "Every man that hath heard and hath learned from God cometh unto Me." (c. vi. 45.) "Ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape." (c. v. 37.) And in the Old Testament, "No man shall see My face, and live." (Ex. xxxiii. 20.) What saith Christ? Very reprovingly He saith, "Have I been so long time with you, and hast thou not known Me, Philip?" He said not, "hast thou not seen," but, "hast thou not known Me." "Why," Philip might say, "do I wish to learn concerning Thee? At present I seek to see Thy Father, and Thou sayest unto me, hast thou not known Me?" What connection then hath this with the question? Surely a very close one; for if He is that which the Father is, yet continuing a Son, with reason He showeth in Himself Him who begat Him. Then to distinguish the Persons He saith, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father," lest any one should assert that the same is Father, the same Son. For had He been the Father, He would not have said, "He that hath seen Me hath seen Him." Why then did He not reply, "thou askest things impossible, and not allowed to man; to Me alone is this possible"? Because Philip had said, "it sufficeth us," as though knowing Christ, He showeth that he had not even seen Him. For assuredly he would have known the Father, had he been able to know the Son.(3) Wherefore He saith, "He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father." "If any one hath seen Me, he shall also behold Him." What He saith is of this kind: "It is not possible to see either Me or Him." For Philip sought the knowledge which is by sight, and since he thought that he had so seen Christ, he desired in like manner to see the Father; but Jesus showeth him that he had not even seen Himself, And if any one here call knowledge, sight, I do not contradict him, for, "he that bath known Me," saith Christ, "hath known the Father." Yet He did not say this, but desiring to establish the Consubstantiality, declared, "he that knoweth My Essence, knoweth that of the Father also." "And what is this?" saith some one; "for he who is acquainted with creation knoweth also God." Yet all are acquainted with creation, and have seen it, but all do not know God. Besides, let us consider what Philip seeks to see. Is it the wisdom of the Father? Is it His goodness? Not so, but the very whatever God is, the very Essence. To this therefore Christ answereth, "He that hath seen Me." Now he that hath seen the creation, hath not also seen the Essence of God. "If any one hath seen Me, he hath seen the Father," He saith. Now had He been of a different Essence, He would not have spoken thus. But to make use of a grosser argument, no man that knows not what gold is, can discern the substance of gold in silver. For one nature is not shown by another. Wherefore He rightly rebuked him, saying, "Am I so long with you?" Hast thou enjoyed such teaching, hast thou seen miracles wrought with authority, and all belonging to the Godhead, which the Father alone worketh, sins forgiven, secrets published, death retreating, a creation Wrought from earth,(1) and hast thou not known Me? Because He was clothed with flesh, therefore He said, "Hast thou not known Me?"

[2.] Thou hast seen the Father; seek not to see more; for in Him thou hast seen Me. If thou hast seen Me, be not over-curious; for thou hast also in Me known Him.

Ver. 10. "Believest thou not that I am in the Father?"(2)

That is, "I am seen in that Essence."

"The words that I speak, I speak not of Myself,"

Seest thou the exceeding nearness, and the proof of the one Essence?

"The Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works."

How, beginning with words, doth He come to works? for that which naturally followed was, that He should say, "the Father speaketh the words." But He putteth two things here, both concerning doctrine and miracles. Or it may have been because the words also were works. How then doeth He(3) them? In another place He saith, "If I do not the works of My Father, believe Me not." (c. x. 37.) How then saith He here that the Father doeth them? To show this same thing, that there is no interval between the Father and the Son. What He saith is this: "The Father would not act in one way, and I in another." Indeed in another place both He and the Father work; "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" (c. v. 17); showing in the first passage the unvaryingness of the works,(4) in the second the identity. And if the obvious meaning of the words denotes humility, marvel not; for after having first said, "Believest thou not?" He then spake thus, showing that He so modeled His words to bring him to the faith; for He walked in their hearts.

Ver. 11. "Believe(5) that I am in the Father and the Father in Me."

"Ye ought not, when ye hear of 'Father' and 'Son,' to seek anything else to the establishing of the relationship(6) as to Essence, but if this is not sufficient to prove to you the Condignity and Consubstantiality, ye may learn it even from the works." Had the, "he that hath seen Me, hath seen My Father," been used with respect to works, He would not afterwards have said,

"Or else believe Me for the very works' sake." And then to show that He is not only able to do these things, but also other much greater than these, He putteth them with excess. For He saith not, "I can do greater things than these," But, what was much more wonderful, "I can give to others also to do greater things than these."

Ver. 12. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do, because I go to the Father.''

That is, "it now remaineth for you to work miracles, for I go away." Then when He had accomplished what His argument intended, He saith,

Ver. 13. "Whatsoever ye shall ask in My Name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in Me."

Seest thou again that it is He who doeth it? "I," saith He, "will do it"; not, "I will ask of the Father," but, "that the Father may be glorified in Me." In another place He said, "God shall glorify Him in Himself" (c. xiii. 32), but here, "He shall glorify the Father"; for when the Son shall appear with great power, He who begat shall be glorified. But what is, "in My Name"? That which the Apostles said, "In the Name of Jesus Christ, arise and walk." (Acts iii. 6.) For all the miracles which they did He wrought in them, and "the hand of the Lord was with them." (Acts xi. 21.) Ver. 14. "I will do(7) it," He saith.

Seest thou His authority? The things done by means of others Himself doeth; hath He no power for the things done by Himself, except as being wrought in by the Father? And who could say this? But why doth He put it second? To_confirm His own words, and to show that the former sayings were of condescension. But the, "I go to the Father," is this: "I shall not perish, but remain in My own proper Dignity, and Am in Heaven." All this He said, comforting them. For since it was likely that they, not yet understanding His discourses concerning the Resurrection, would imagine something dismal, He in other discourses promiseth that He will give them such things, soothing them in every way, and showing that He abideth continually; and not only abideth, but that He will even show forth greater power.

[3.] Let us then follow Him, and take up the Cross. For though persecution be not present, yet the season for another kind of death is with us. "Mortify," it saith, "your members which are upon earth." (Col. iii. 5.) Let us then quench concupiscence, slay anger, abolish envy. This is a "living sacrifice." (Rom. xii. 1.) This sacrifice ends not in ashes, is not dispersed in smoke, wants neither wood, nor fire, nor knife. For it hath both fire and a knife, even the Holy Spirit. Using this knife, circumcise the superfluous and alien portion of thy heart; open the closedness of thine ears, for vices(1) and evil desires are wont to stop the way against the entrance of the word. The desire of money, when it is set before one, permits not to hear the word concerning almsgiving; and malice when it is present raises a wall against the teaching concerning love; and some other malady falling on in its turn, makes the soul yet more dull to all things. Let us then do away these wicked desires; it is enough to have willed, and all are quenched. For let us not, I entreat, look to this, that the love of wealth is a tyrannical thing, but that the tyranny is that of our own slackmindedness. Many indeed say that they do not even know what money is. For this desire is not a natural one; such as are natural were implanted in us from the first, from the beginning, but as for gold and silver, for a long time not even what it is was known. Whence then grew this desire? From vainglory and extreme slackmindedness. For of desires some are necessary, some natural, some neither the one nor the other. For example, those which if not gratified destroy the creature are both natural and necessary, as the desire of meat and drink and sleep; carnal desire is natural indeed but not necessary, for many have got the better of it, and have not died. But the desire of wealth is neither natural nor necessary, but superfluous; and if we choose we need not admit its beginning. At any rate, Christ speaking of virginity saith, "He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." (Matt. xix. 12.) But concerning riches not so, but how? "Except a man forsake all that he hath, he is not worthy of Me." (Luke xiv. 33.) What was easy He recommended, but what goes beyond the many He leaveth to choice. Why then do we deprive ourselves of all excuse? The man who is made captive by some more tyrannical passion shall not suffer a heavy punishment, but he who is subdued by a weak one is deprived of all defense. For what shall we reply when He saith, "Ye saw Me hungry and fed Me not"? (Matt. xxv. 42); what excuse shall we have? We shall certainly plead poverty; yet we are not poorer than that widow, who by throwing in two mites overshot all the rest. For God requireth not the quantity of the offering, but the measure of the mind; and that He doth so, comes from His tender care. Let us then, admiring His lovingkindness, contribute what is in our power, that having both in this life and in that which is to come obtained in abundance the lovingkindness of God, we may be able to enjoy the good things promised to us, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

HOMILY LXXV.

JOHN xiv. 15--17.

"If ye love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him."(2)

[1.] WE need everywhere works and actions, not a mere show of words. For to say and to promise is easy for any one, but to act is not equally easy. Why have I made these remarks? Because there are many at this time who say that they fear and love God, but in their works show the contrary; but God requireth that love which is shown by works. Wherefore He said to the disciples, "If ye love Me, keep My commandments." For after He had told them, "Whatsoever ye shall ask,(3) I will do it," that they might not deem the mere "asking" to be availing, He added, "If ye love Me," "then," He saith, "I will do it." And since it was likely that they would be troubled when they heard that, "I go(4) to the Father," He telleth them "to be troubled now is not to love, to love is to obey My words. I have given you a commandment that ye love one another, that ye do so to each other as I have done to you; this is love, to obey these My words, and to yield to Him who is the object of your love."

"And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter." Again His speech is one of condescension. For since it was probable, that they not yet knowing Him would eagerly seek His society, His discourse, His presence in the flesh, and would admit of no consolation when He was absent, what saith He? "I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter," that is, "Another like unto Me." Let those be ashamed who have the disease of Sabellius,(1) who hold not the fitting opinion concerning the Spirit. For the marvel of this discourse is this, that it hath stricken down contradictory heresies with the same blow. For by saying" another," He showeth the difference of Person, and by "Paraclete," the connection of Substance. But why said He, "I will ask the Father"? Because had He said, "I will send Him," they would not have so much believed and now the object is that He should be believed. For afterwards He declares that He Himselfsendeth Him, saying, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost" (c. xx. 22); but in this place He telleth them that He asketh the Father, so as to render His discourse credible to them. Since John saith of Him, "Of His fullness have all we received" (c. i. 16); but what He had, how receiveth He from another? And again, "He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire." (Luke iii. 16.) "But what had He more than the Apostles, if He was about to ask It of His Father in order to give It to others, when they often even without prayer appear to have done thus?" And how,(2) if It is sent according to request from the Father, doth It descend of Itself? And how is that which is everywhere present sent by Another, that which "divideth to every man severally as He will" (1 Cor. xii. 11), and which saith with authority, "Separate Me Paul and Barnabas"? (Acts xiii. 2.) Those ministers were ministering unto God, yet still It called them authoritatively to Its own work; not that It called them to any different work, but in order to show Its power. "What then," saith some one, "is, 'I will ask the Fathers'?" (He saith it) to show the time of Its coming. For when He had cleansed them by the sacrifice,(3) then the Holy Ghost lighted upon them. "And why, while He was with them, came it not?" Because the sacrifice was not yet offered. But when afterwards sin had been loosed, and they were being sent forth to dangers, and were stripping themselves for the contest, then need was that the Anointer(4) should come. "But why did not the Spirit come immediately after the Resurrection?" In order that being greatly desirous of It, they might receive It with great joy. For as long as Christ was with them, they were not in tribulation; but when He departed, being made defenseless and thrown into much fear, they would receive It with much readiness.

"He remaineth with you." This showeth that even after death It departeth not. But lest when they heard of the "Paraclete," they should imagine a second Incarnation, and expect to see It with their eyes, He setteth them right by saying, "Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not." "He will not be with you as I have been, but will dwell in your very souls"; for this is the, "shall be in you."(5) He calleth it the "Spirit of truth"; thus explaining the types in the Old Testament. "That He may be(6) with you." What is, "may be with you"? That which He saith Himself, that "I am with you." (Matt. xxviii. 20.) Besides, He also implieth something else, that "the case of the Spirit shall not be the same as Mine, He shall never leave you." "Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not." "Why, what is there belonging to the other Persons that is visible?" Nothing; but He speaketh here of knowledge; at least He addeth, "neither knoweth Him." For He is wont, in the case of exact knowledge, to call it "sight"; because sight is clearer than the other senses, by this He always representeth exact knowledge. By "world," He here speaketh of "the wicked," thus too comforting the disciples by giving to them a special gift. See in how many particulars He raised His discourse concerning It. He said, "He is Another like unto Me"; He said, "He will not leave you"; He said, "Unto you alone He cometh, as also did I"; He said, that "He remaineth in you"; but not even so did He drive out their despondency. For they still sought Him and His society. To cure then this feeling, He saith,

Ver. 18. "I will not leave you orphans, I will come unto you."

[2.] "Fear not," He saith, "I said not that I would send you another Comforter, as though were Myself withdrawing from you for ever; I said not that He remaineth with you, as though I should see you no more. For I also Myself will come to you, I will not leave you orphans." Because when commencing He said, "Little children," therefore He saith also here, "I will not leave you orphans." At first then He told them, "Ye shall come whither I go"; and, "In My Father's house there are many mansions"; but here, since that time was long, He giveth them the Spirit; and when, not knowing what it could be of which He spoke, they were not sufficiently comforted, "I will not leave you orphans," He saith; for this they chiefly required. since the, "I will come to you," was the saying of one declaring a "presence," observe how in order that they might not again seek for the same kind of presence as before, He did not clearly tell them this thing, but hinted at it; for having said,

Ver. 19. "Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me not"; He added, "but ye see Me."

As though He had said, "I come indeed to you, but not in the same way as before, ever being with you day by day." And lest they should say, "How then saidst Thou to the Jews, Henceforth ye shall not see Me?" He solveth the contradiction by saying, "to you alone"; for such also is the nature of the Spirit.

"Because I live, ye shall live also."

For the Cross doth not finally separate us, but only hideth for a little moment; and by "life" He seemeth to me to mean not the present only, but the future also.

Ver. 20. "At that day ye shall know that am in the(1) Father, and you in Me, and I in you."

With regard to the Father, these words refer to Essence; with regard to the disciples, to agreement of mind and help from God. "And how, tell me, is this reasonable?" saith some one. And how, pray, is the contrary reasonable? For great and altogether boundless is the interval between Christ and the disciples. And if the same words are employed, marvel not; for the Scripture is often wont to use in different senses the same words, when applied to God and to men. Thus we are called "gods," and "sons of God," yet the word hath not the same force when applied to us and to God. And the Son is called "Image," and "Glory"; so are we, but great is the interval between us. Again, "Ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's" (1 Cor. iii. 23), but not in like manner as Christ is God's are we Christ's. But what is it that He saith? "When I am arisen," He saith, "ye shall know that I am not separated from the Father, but have the same power with Him, and that I am with you continually, when facts proclaim the aid which cometh to you from Me, when your enemies are kept down, and you speak boldly, when dangers are removed from your path, when the preaching of the Gospel flourisheth day by day, when all yield and give ground to the word of true religion. "As the Father hath sent Me, so send I you." (c. xx. 21.) Seest thou that here also the word hath not the same force? for if we take it as though it had, the Apostles will differ in nothing from Christ. But why saith He, "Then ye shall know"? Because then they saw Him risen and conversing with them, then they learnt the exact faith; for great was the power of the Spirit, which taught them all things.

[3.] Ver. 21. "He that hath My commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me."

It is not enough merely to have them, we need also an exact keeping of them. But why doth He frequently say the same thing to them? as, "If ye love Me, ye will keep(2) My commandments" (ver. 15); and, "He that hath My commandments and keepeth them"; and, "If any one heareth My word and keepeth it, he it is that loveth Me--he that heareth not My words, loveth Me not." (Ver. 24.) I think that He alluded to their despondency; for since He had uttered many wise sayings to them concerning death, saying, "He that hateth his life in this world shall save it unto life eternal" (c. xii. 25); and," Unless a man take(3) his cross and follow Me, he is not worthy of Me" (Matt. x. 38); and is about to say other things besides, rebuking them, He saith, "Think ye that ye suffer sorrow from love? The not sorrowing would be a sign of love." And because He wished all along to establish this, as He went on He summed up His discourse in this same point; "If ye loved Me," He saith, "ye would have rejoiced, because--I go to My Father" (ver. 28), but now ye are in this state through cowardice. To be thus disposed towards death is not for those who remember My commandments; for you ought to be crucified, if you truly loved Me, for My word exhorteth you not to be afraid of those that kill the body. Those that are such both the Father loveth and I. "And I will manifest Myself unto him.(4) Then saith Judas,(5)

Ver. 22. "How is it that Thou wilt manifest Thyself unto us?"(6)

Seest thou that their soul was close pressed(7) with fear? For he was confounded and troubled, and thought that as we see dead men in a dream, so He also would be seen. In order therefore that they might not imagine this, hear what He saith.

Ver. 23. "I and the Father will come unto him, and make Our abode with him."(8)

All but saying, "As the Father revealeth Himself, so also do I." And not in this way only He removed the suspicion, but also by saying, "We will make Our abode with him," a thing which doth not belong to dreams. But observe, I pray you, the disciple confounded, and not daring to say plainly what he desired to say. For he said not, "Woe to us, that Thou diest, and will come to us as the dead come"; he spake not thus; but, "How is it that Thou wilt show Thyself to us, and not unto the world?" Jesus then saith, that "I accept you, because ye keep My commandments." In order that they might not, when they should see Him afterwards,(1) deem Him to be an apparition, therefore He saith these things beforehand. And that they might not deem that He would appear to them so as I have said, He telleth them also the reason, "Because ye keep My commandments"; He saith that the Spirit also will appear in like manner. Now if after having companied with Him so long time, they cannot yet endure that Essence, or rather cannot even imagine It, what would have been their case had He appeared thus to them at the first? on this account also He ate with them, that the action might not seem to be an illusion. For if they thought this when they saw Him walking on the waters, although His wonted form was seen by them, and He was not far distant, what would they have imagined had they suddenly seen Him arisen whom they had seen taken(2) and swathed? Wherefore He continually telleth them that He will appear, and why He will appear, and how, that they may not suppose Him to be an apparition.

Ver. 24. "He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings; and the word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father's which sent Me."

"So that he that heareth not these sayings not only doth not love Me, but neither doth he love the Father." For if this is the sure proof of love, the hearing the commandments, and these are of the Father, he that heareth them loveth not the Son only, but the Father also. "And how is the word 'thine' and 'not thine'?" This means, "I speak not without the Father, nor say anything of Myself contrary to what seemeth good to Him."

Ver. 25. "These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you."

Since these sayings were not clear, and since some they did not understand, and doubted about the greater number, in order that they might not be again confused, and say, "What commands?" He released them from all their perplexity, saying,

Ver. 26. "The Comforter, whom the Father shall send in My Name, He shall teach you."(3)

"Perhaps these things are not clear to you now, but 'He'(4) is a clear teacher of them." And the, "remaineth with you" (ver. 17), is the expression of One implying that Himself will depart. Then that they may not be grieved, He saith, that as long as He should remain with them and the Spirit should not come, they would be unable to comprehend anything great or sublime. And this He said to prepare them to bear nobly His departure, as that which was to be the cause of great blessings to them. He continually calleth Him "Comforter," because of the afflictions which then possessed them. And since even after hearing these things they were troubled, when they thought of the sorrows, the wars, His departure, see how He calmeth them again by saying,

Ver. 27. "Peace I leave to you."(5)

All but saying, "What are ye harmed by the trouble of the world, provided ye be at peace with(6) Me? For this peace is not of the same kind as that. The one is external, is often mischievous and unprofitable, and is no advantage to those who possess it; but I give you peace of such a kind that ye be at peace with one another, which thing rendereth you stronger." And because He said again, "I leave," which was the expression of One departing, and enough to confound them, therefore He again saith,

"Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Seest thou that they were affected partly by loving affection, partly by fear?

Ver. 28. "Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved Me, ye would rejoice because I said, I go unto the Father; for My Father is greater than I."

[4.] And what joy would this bring to them? What consolation? What then mean the words? They did not yet know concerning the Resurrection, nor had they right opinion concerning Him; (for how could they, who did not even know that He would rise again?) but they thought that the Father was mighty. He saith then, that "If ye are fearful for Me, as not able to defend Myself, and if ye are not confident that I shall see you again after the Crucifixion, yet when ye heard that I go to the Father, ye ought then to have rejoiced because I go away to One that is greater, and able to undo all dangers." "Ye have heard how I said unto you." Why hath He put this? Because, He saith, "I am so firmly confident about the things which come to pass, that I even foretell them, so far am I from fearing." This also is the meaning of what follows.

Ver. 29. "And now I have told you before it come to pass, that when it is come to pass, ye might believe that I Am."(1) As though He had said, "Ye would not have known, had I not told you. And I should not have told you, had I not been confident." Seest thou that the speech is one of condescension? for when He saith, "Think ye that I cannot pray to the Father, and He shall presently give Me more than twelve legions of Angels" (Matt. xxvi. 53), He speaketh to the secret thoughts of the hearers; since no one, even in the height of madness, would say that He was not able to help Himself, but needed Angels; but because they thought of Him as a man, therefore He spoke of" twelve legions of Angels." Yet in truth He did but ask those who came to take Him a question, and cast them backwards. (c. xviii. 6.) (If any one say that the Father is greater, inasmuch as(2) He is the cause of the Son, we will not contradict this. But this doth not by any means make the Son to be of a different Essence.) But what He saith, is of this kind: "As long as I am here, it is natural that you should deem that I am a in danger; but when I am gone 'there,'(4) be confident that I am in safety; for Him none will be able to overcome." All these words were addressed to the weakness of the disciples, for, "I Myself am confident, and care not for death." On this account, He said, "I have told you these things before they come to pass"; "but since," He saith, "ye are not yet able to receive the saying concerning them, I bring you comfort even from the Father, whom ye entitle great." Having thus consoled them, He again telleth them sorrowful things,

Ver. 30. "Hereafter I will not talk(5) with you." Wherefore? "For the ruler of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me."

By "ruler of this world," He meaneth the devil, calling wicked men also by the same name. For he ruleth not heaven and earth, since he would have been subverted, and cast down all things, but he ruleth over those who give themselves up to him. Wherefore He calleth him, "the ruler of the darkness of this world," in this place again calling evil deeds, "darkness." "What then, doth the devil slay Thee?" By no means; "he hath nothing in Me." "How then do they kill Thee? "Because I will it, and,

Ver. 31. "'That the world may know that I love the Father.'"(6)

"For being not subject," He saith, "to death, nor a debtor to it, I endure it through My love to the Father." This He saith, that He may again rouse their souls, and that they may learn that not unwillingly but willingly He goeth to this thing, and that He doth it despising the devil. It was not enough for Him to have said, "Yet a little while I am with you" (c. vii. 33), but He continually handleth this painful subject, (with good reason,) until He should make it acceptable to them, by weaving along with it pleasant things. Wherefore at one time He saith, "I go, and I come again"; and, "That where I there ye may be also"; and, "Ye cannot follow Me now, but afterwards ye shall follow Me"; and, "I go to the Father"; and, "The Father is greater than I"; and, "Before it come to pass, I have told you"; and, "I do not suffer these things from constraint, but from love for the Father." So that they might consider, that the action could not be destructive nor hurtful, if at least He who greatly loved Him, and was greatly loved by Him, so willed. On this account, while intermingling these pleasant words, He continually uttered the painful ones also, practicing their minds. For both the, "remaineth with you" (c. xvi. 7), and, "My departure is expedient for you," were expressions of One giving comfort. For this reason He spake by anticipation ten thousand sayings concerning the Spirit,(7) the, "Is in you," and, "The world cannot receive," and, "He shall bring all things to your remembrance," and, "Spirit of truth," and, "Holy Spirit," and, "Comforter," and that "It is expedient for you," in order that they might not despond, as though there would be none to stand before and help them. "It is expedient," He saith, showing that It(8) would make them spiritual.

[5.] This at least, we see, was what took place. For they who now trembled and feared, after they had received the Spirit sprang into the midst of dangers, and stripped themselves for the contest against steel, and fire, and wild beasts, and seas, and every kind of punishment; and they, the unlettered and ignorant, discoursed so boldly as to astonish their hearers. For the Spirit made them men of iron instead of men of clay, gave them wings, and allowed them to be cast down by nothing human. For such is that grace; if it find despondency, it disperses it; if evil desires, it consumes them; if cowardice, it casts it out, and doth not allow one who has partaken of it to be afterwards mere man, but as it were removing him to heaven itself, causes him to image to himself all that is there. (Acts iv. 32, and ii. 46.) On this account no one said that any of the things that he possessed was his own, but they continued in prayer, in praise, and in singleness of heart. For this the Holy Spirit most requireth, for "the fruit of the Spirit is joy, peace--faith, meekness." (Gal. v. 22, 23.) "And yet spiritual persons often grieve," saith some one. But that sorrow is sweeter than joy. Cain was sorrowful, but with the sorrow of the world; Paul was sorrowful, but with godly sorrow. Everything that is spiritual brings the greatest gain, just as everything that is worldly the utmost loss. Let us then draw to us the invincible aid of the Spirit, by keeping the commandments, and then we shall be nothing inferior to the Angels. For neither are they therefore of this character, (1) because they are incorporeal, for were this the case, no incorporeal being would have become wicked, but the will is in every case the cause of all. Wherefore among incorporeal beings some have been found worse than men or things irrational, and among those having bodies some better than the incorporeal. All just men, for instance, whatever were their righteous deeds, did them while dwelling on earth, and having bodies. For they dwelt on earth as those who were pilgrims and strangers; but in heaven, as citizens. Then say not thou either, "I am clothed with flesh, I cannot get the mastery, nor undertake the toils(2) which are for the sake of virtue." Do not accuse the Creator. For if the wearing the flesh make virtue impossible, then the fault is not ours. But that it does not make it impossible, the band of saints has shown. A nature of flesh did not prevent Paul from becoming what he was, nor Peter from receiving the keys of heaven; and Enoch also, having worn flesh, was translated, and not found So also Elias was caught up with the flesh. Abraham also with Isaac and his grandson shone brightly, having the flesh; and Joseph in the flesh struggled against that abandoned woman. But why speak I of the flesh? For though thou place a chain upon the flesh, no harm is done. "Though I am bound," saith Paul, yet "the word of God is not bound." (2 Tim. ii. 9.) And why speak I of bonds and chains? Add to these the prison,(6) and bars, yet neither are these any hindrance to virtue; at least so Paul hath instructed us. For the bond of the soul is not iron but cowardice, and the desire of wealth, and the ten thousand passions. These bind us, though our body be free. "But," saith some one, "these have their origin from the body." An excuse this, and a false pretense. For had they been produced from the body, all would have undergone them. For as we cannot escape weariness, and sleep, and hunger, and thirst, since they belong to our nature; so too these, if they were of the same kind, would not allow any one to be exempt from their tyranny; but since many escape them, it is clear that such things are the faults of a careless soul. Let us then put a stop to this, and not accuse the body, but subdue it to the soul, that having it under command, we may enjoy the everlasting good things, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

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