Fourth Sunday After Easter GOSPEL John 16. 5-14 The Tuesday Meditation: A Plaine Path-Way To Heaven By Fr.Thomas Hill 1634
GOSPEL John 16. 5-14.
At that time Jesus said to His disciples: I go to Him that sent Me: and none of you asketh Me: Whither goest Thou? But because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow hath filled your heart. But I tell you the truth: it is expedient to you that I go: for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you: but if I go, I will send Him to you. And when He is come, He will convince the world of sin, and of justice and of judgment. Of sin, because they believed not in Me: and of justice, because I go to the Father, and you shall see Me no longer: and of judgment, because the prince of this world is already judged. I have yet many things to say to you; but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will teach you all truth. For He shall not speak of Himself: but what things soever He shall hear He shall speak, and the things that are to come, He shall show you. He shall glorify Me: because He shall receive of Mine and shall show it to you.
I go to him that sent me, and none of you asketh me wither goest thou?
As Christ is the natural son of God, by eternal generation:so are we by grace and regeneration in the Sacrament of baptism; and as Christ was sent by his Father into the world to do his will: so are we sent into the world to do the will of God our heavenly Father. While we do the will of God we need not ask ourselves whither we go,but give thanks to God that giveth us grace to go, and desire him to give us grace to go forward still from virtue to virtue till we come to see the God of Gods in Sion: but if we go from him out of this way, either by misbelief or ill life, let us quickly ask our selves, whither we go, and say unto God with St.Peter, Lord thou hast the words of eternal life, if I go from thee, whither shall I go? and if I do not ask this question in time before I run into a custom, I shall be so dull and stupid, that I shall not have grace to ask my self whither I go, no more then the disciples could ask Christ whither he went, but with the prodigal Son run into a far Country from God, even into the region of death and damnation, ere I be aware, and this in punishment of my improvidence to ask my self in time, whither I went,before I had spent all my substance, with the prodigal son, that is to say, all the abilities of my body, mind, fortunes, fame, time, & all, as many do.
When Judith had cut off Holofernes head, all the courage & counsaile of the army fled from them that they could think of nothing to help themselves withall, though they were very strong, but run away: which refuge yet is more then I shall have, for whither shall I fly sayth the Prophet David, in the person of such, from the hands of God? If I ascend into heaven he is there, if into hell he is there: if I say the darkness shall hide me, the night is as light to God as the day. Therefore Christ said not, I will go, but I do go to him that sent me, to teach us not to defer and procrastinate our going to God from time to time, least we be intercepted by death, before we be ready, or God suffer our hearts to be hardened, and dulled that we cannot help ourselves, as he doth to many, and may as well to us; but we must go without delay, and continue to the end, or rather run with the Prophet David in the ways of our Lord, ascending still to heaven after Christ from virtue to virtue, as it were by a long ladder of many steps, as we must if we will come there.
A little before Christ spake these words to all his disciples together, I go to him that sent me, and none of them asked him whither he went, he said the same to St. Peter, and he asked him whither he went, he was not so amazed at it as the disciples were, but the reason was, Christ told St.Peter only of his own death, but he foretold his disciples not only of his own death, but of the great afflictions, troubles and persecutions which they should suffer, when he was gone from them,whereby it should seem the disciples were more dismayed, and appalled at their own hurt then at the hurt of Christ; but he was more tender of their own hurt then his own, & suffered all he did for us, not for himself.
When they came to apprehend him in the garden he demanded them,whom they sought, they answered they sought him. If you seek me, quote he, let these my disciples go their way: being more careful of them then of himself. Let us consider whether this of the disciples be not our case,or no in most things, whether we are not more troubled, more vexed and discontented at our own offence, then at the offence of God, at our own wrongs, neglect, dishonor and contempt then at his; and let us be ashamed at our ingratitude, & slight regard of such a one as he.