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338 SAINT JOHN CHRYSOSTOM Homily 78 (fohn 16.5-15) 'These things, however, I did not tell you from the beginning , because I was with you. And now I am going to him who sent me, and no one of you asks me, "Where art thou going?" But because I have spoken to you these things, sadness has filled your heart.'l The tyranny exercised over us by despondency is a strong one. We need great courage if we are to persevere in resisting this emotion, and if, after deriving from it what profit we can, we are to refrain from indulging in it to excess-for, actually, it does have some usefulness. When we or other men commit sin, only then is it salutary to give in to sadness. But when we meet with misfortune in human affairs, then sadness has no efficacy. Therefore, as despondency was taking hold of the disciples, since they were not yet perfect, see how Christ set them right by a rebuke. Before this, to be sure, they had asked Him questions without number. (Peter, for instance, had said: 'Where art thou going?' and Thomas: 'We do not know where thou art going, and how can we know the way?' and Philip: 'Show us thy Father.') 2 Yet these men now, on hearing: 'They w~ll expel you from the synagogue,' and 'They will hate you,' and 'Everybody who kills you will think that he is offering worship to God,'3 were so downcast that they were struck dumb for the moment, and said nothing to Him. Therefore, reproaching them with this, He said: 'These things I did not tell you from the beginning, because I was with you. And now I am going to him who sent me, and no one of you asks me, "Where art thou going?" But because I 1 John 16.5.6. 2 John 13.36; 14.5,8. 3 Cf. John 15.19. HOMILIES 339 have spoken to you these things, sadness has filled your heart.' A terrible thing indeed, a terrible thing is uncontrolled sadness, and it leads to spiritual death. That is why Paul said: 'Lest perhaps such a one be overwhelmed by too much sorrow.'4 '''These things 1 did not tell you from the beginning," Christ said. But why did He not tell them from the beginning?' That no one might declare that He said them by conjecturing from what often happens. 'Yet why in the world did He begin to discuss a matter likely to give rise to such great dissatisfaction?' He meant: 'I knew these things from the beginning, and it was not because of not knowing them that 1 did not say them, but because 1 was with you.' Moreover, He was speaking in human fashion once again, as if He said: 'Because you were in safety, and while it was possible for you to ask questions whenever you wished, and because all the hostility was directed only at Me, it would have been superfluous to tell you these things in the beginning.' 'But did He not tell this? After He had called the Twelve, did He not say: "You will be brought before governors and kings, and they will scourge you in their synagogues"?5 How is it, then, that He said: "I did not tell you from the beginning"?' Because He had foretold scourgings and arrests, but not that their death would seem so desirable to the Jews that it would be even considered worship of God. This, indeed, more than anything else, was'capable of terrifying them: namely, the fact that they were to be brought to judgment as impious and pernicious. Besides, we may mention that other fact, 4 2. Cor. 2.7. 5 Matt. 10.18,17. 340 SAINT JOHN CHRYSOSTOM also: that on the previous occasion He told them the sufferings they would endure from the Gentiles, while here He added to these the sufferings to be inflicted by the Jews, speaking in greater detail, and He informed them that this was close at hand. 'And now I am going to him who sent me, and no one of you asks, "Where art thou going?" But because I have spoken to you these things, sadness has filled your heart.' Even this was no small consolation to them: that He was aware of their excessive sadness. For they were frightened out of their wits by the anguish they felt at the thought of His departure...

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