Passion Sunday The Gospel John. 6.v.1 Monday Meditation
GOSPEL (John 8:46-59)
At that time, Jesus said to the crowds of the Jews, "Which of you shall convince me of sin? If I say the truth to you, why do you not believe me: He that is of God heareth the words of God. Therefore you hear them not, because you are not of God." The Jews therefore answered and said to him: "Do not we say well that thou art a Samaritan and hast a devil?" Jesus answered: "I have not a devil: but I honour my Father. And you have dishonoured me. But I seek not my own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth. Amen, amen, I say to you: If any man keep my word, he shall not see death for ever." The Jews therefore said: "Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets: and thou sayest: If any man keep my word, he shall not taste death for ever. Art thou greater than our father Abraham who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Whom dost thou make thyself?" Jesus answered: "If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father that glorifieth me, of whom you say that he is your God. And you have not known him: but I know him. And if I shall say that I know him not, I shall be like to you, a liar. But I do know him and do keep his word. Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see my day: he saw it and was glad." The Jews therefore said to him: "Thou art not yet fifty years old. And hast thou seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them:"Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham was made, I AM." They took up stones therefore to cast at him. But Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
Christ having done many miracles for the credit and confirmation of his doctrine, which is requisite for introducing of any new Doctrine, as his seemed to be, and abolishing the old: and Scribes & Pharisees and greater sort of the people rejecting them all, yea even the very casting out of devils, as done by the power of the devil, as in this gospel they said unto him, Do we not say well that thou art a Samaritan, that is to say a Schismatic introducing a new doctrine, and hast a devil? Christ having done this I say, and not profiting thereby; being now to go out of the world, to his father,betook himself to another course, to confirm his doctrine to see if that would prevail any better, to wit his innocence of life, expostulating with them thus. Which of you can accuse me of sin? If I have spoken the truth unto you, why do you not believe me? as if he should say: If I have taught you the truth, and confirmed it with miracles, and have not contradicted it in my life and conversation, by way of scandal,why do you not believe me?
He describe to a man his way to a City. if his description be right, a man may find it out, with care & diligence, and without that he may easily miss it: but if a man goeth with another all the way, who guideth him, he cannot miss.
Such a one was Christ, that did not only teach us the way to heaven by his doctrine; but walketh along with us every foot, such a one was St. Paul, who saith to the Corinthians Be ye imitators of me as I am of Christ, and St.Peter exhorteth pastors & teachers, to be a form or example to their flocks. They must be like those that built the walls of Jerusalem who built with one hand, & held their sword ready drawn in the other to defend it from the enemy that lay about it. They must build up the Church with one hand by doctrine,and defend it with the other hand, by good example, which is a living doctrine; the other which is without it, is dead.
Every good pastor or teacher if he will profit his flock, must be able with Christ to say unto his people by way of expostulation, which of you can accuse me of sin? Thus much concerning teachers: now concerning learners.Christ commanded the people to do as the scribes & pharisees taught them, though their lives should not be answerable thereunto: and yield the reason thereof, because, saieth he, they sit upon the chair of Moses, that is to say, because they are called and allowed by the high priest, who derives his authority from Moses, unto whom and his successors and such teachers as they should send & allow of, God commanded the people very strictly to obey in all controversies and doubts in Religion whatsoever, and this Christ calleth the chair of Moses, the firmness whereof consists in this: If God commanded the people to obey them that sat upon this chair, no doubt he bound himself to preserve them from error, else he should have commanded them sometimes to err.
Instead if the chair of Moses, we have the chair of Peter, no less warranted of God then that of Moses, but much more. Therefore what Christ said to the people of the chair of Moses, he saieth to us of the chair of Peter. Likewise in Christ being going out of the world to his father, asked which of them could accuse him of sin: So it were good for us, at our death, to ask, which of our senses,and faculties of our body or soul, can accuse us of any sin in all our life time, not confessed before: and if there can, to make an humble and full confession of it in the Sacrament of Penance before we depart of this life, or, for more certainly to make a general confession again of all.
A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634