Fifth Sunday After Easter GOSPEL John 16:23-30 The Saturday Meditation: A Plaine Path-Way To Heaven By Fr.Thomas Hill 1634
GOSPEL Jn. 16:23-30
At that time Jesus saith to His disciples: "Amen, amen, I say to you: if you ask the Father any thing in My Name, He will give it to you. Hitherto you have not asked any thing in my name: Ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full. These things I have spoken to you in proverbs. The hour cometh when I will no more speak to you in proverbs, but I will show you plainly of the Father. In that day you shall ask in My Name; and I say not to you that I will ask the Father for you: for the Father Himself loveth you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father and am come into the world; again I leave the world and I go to the Father." His disciples say to Him: Behold, now Thou speakest plainly and speakest no proverb. Now we know that Thou knowest all things and Thou needest not that any man should ask of Thee: by this we believe that Thou camest forth from God.
Almighty God is by his nature triangular, or like a three-cornered Figure, having the threefold faculities understanding, will, and memory, though all be but one single nature and essence in him. The soul of man is likewise triangular, made to the Image and likeness of God, with the same three faculties of understanding,will and memory, saving they are not essential. or of his nature. The world is round in form, and all worldly things, though not in form yet in property,are round, wherefore no worldly thing, which is property round, can satiate and fill the soul of a man, which is triangular, no mote then a round or circular thing, to wit a bowl or the like, can fill a triangle or three cornered thing, but there will always remain empty corners which a round thing cannot fill.
As no round thing I say can fill a Triangle but another Triangle; so no worldly thing which is in property round can satiate and fill the soul of man, but another Triangle, to wit almighty God, to whose Image and likeness the soul of man is made, of which the Prophet David sayeth thus to almighty God: I shall be satiated, to wit, fully, when thy glory doth appear in me, by the fruition of thee in heaven, and never before, but that there will still be empty corners of desire, which no worldly thing can satiate and fill.
And though no thing can satiate the soul of man fully but the fruition of God in his glory: yet next unto that, is the fruition of him here by grace, which will yield us far fuller joy then any worldly thing, though not so full, but that we shall still desire with St. Paul, in soul and spirit, though our flesh be frail, to be dissolved and to be with Christ, that though our joy may be full here in this life, by the grace of the holy Ghost; yet it may be fuller in the next by glory.
Both these plenitudes or fullness of joy did Christ invite his disciple to ask, that their joy, might be full here by grace, and in heaven by glory, and because they had not asked this before, thinking, yet ignorantly, that Christ his kingdom was of this world, & they should be partakers thereof, as John and James asked to sit, the one at his right hand, and the other at his left, in his worldly kingdom. for of his heavenly they thought nothing: therefore Christ told his disciples, that before they had asked nothing, because all the world without that is nothing, & only that is only something, & that if they did ask that which was something, to wit grace in this life, and glory in the next, they should have it, that their joy might be full, that their triangular soul might be filled with another triangle,to wit, almighty God, without which all things in this world were nothing nor could not make their joy to be full. For as much therefore as Christ though he spake these sweet and comfortable words unto his disciples only,yet he meant them also for our comfort & instruction;for all things that are written in holy Scripture as this is, let us endeavor to make use of, and let us esteem all this world, with St.Paul, as nothing in comparison of grace and glory in heaven , & therefore these two to ask absolutely and without condition, and to ask them confidently, earnestly, incessantly, importunately, humbly reverently, and devoutly, but other things conditionally, that is, so far forth as they may conduce unto these two, that our joy may be full.