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300 SAINT JOHN CHRYSOSTOM Homily 75 (John 14.15-30) 'If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate to dwell with you forever, the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him.'l At all times it is works and deeds we need, not vain display in word. For, it is easy for a person to make promises, but not as easy to carry them out. Why, indeed, do I say this? Because there are many at present who say that they fear and love God, while they give example of the opposite in their deeds. God, on the contrary, seeks for the love that is evidenced by deeds. That is why He said to His disciples: 'If you love me, keep my commandments.' For, since He had said: 'Whatever you ask, that I will do,' in order that they might not think that the mere asking was enough, He added: 'If you love me.' He meant: 'Then I will do what you ask.' But because, on hearing: 'I am going to the Father,' it was likely that they were troubled, He declared: 'The fact that you are troubled at these words does not mean that you love Me, but your love is proved by your obedience to My words. I have given you a command to love one another: that you should do to one another as I have done to you. Your obedience to these words and your submission to the Beloved prove your love. 'And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate.' Once again the statement is one of humble tenor. It was probable that, because they did not yet rightly know Him, they would miss that companionship with which they had grown so familiar: His conversation, His presence in the flesh, and would receive no consolation if He were absent. Therefore, what did He say? 'I will ask the Father and he 1 John 14.15-17. HOMILIES 301 will give you another Advocate'; that is, 'Another like Me.' Let those afflicted with the disease of Sabellius2 blush for shame, and likewise those who do not have the proper opinion of the Holy Spirit.3 And they should be discomfited, for the marvel of His statement is this: that with one blow it has felled heresies that teach doctrines diametrically opposite . For by saying 'another' He showed His distinction of Person; and by saying 'Advocate,' He showed the sameness of Their essence. 'But why did He say: "I will ask the Father"?' Because, if He had said 'I will send,' they would not have believed in the same way, and at the moment what He was striving to achieve was this: that He should be believed. Later, to be sure, He would Himself declare that it was He Himself who sent Him, in the words, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'4 Here, however, that He might make His words seem credible to them, He said that He would ask the Father. 'Since John said of Him: "Of his fullness we have all received," how is it that He receives from another what He has? And again: "He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."5 But how much greater was His power than that of the Apostles, if He was going to ask the Father to give the Spirit to others, inasmuch as the Apostles are frequently to be seen doing this, even without prayer? And if the Spirit is sent by the Father in answer to Christ's prayer, how is it that the Spirit Himself descends at times of His own accord? Furthermore, how can the Spirit be sent by another, when He is everywhere present, and "divides to everyone according as He wills," and says with authority: "Set apart for me Saul and Barnabas"?'6 2 That is, those who support the erroneous belief that there is but one Person in God. 3 See art. 'Pneumatomachi' in Catholic Encyclopedia. 4 John 20.23. 5 John 1.16; Luke 3.16. 6 I Cor. 12.l1; Acts 13.2. 302 SAINT JOHN CHRYSOSTOM Though these ministers were engaged in the service of God, He summoned them with authority to His own works, not because He was calling them to a different work, but to show His power. 'What, then, is the meaning of "I will ask the...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780813211411
Print ISBN
9780813210254
MARC Record
OCLC
647919787
Pages
507
Launched on MUSE
2013-05-20
Language
English
Open Access
N
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