Whitsunday GOSPEL St. John 14:23-31 The Sunday Meditation: A Plaine Path-Way To Heaven By Fr.Thomas Hill 1634
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: If anyone love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me, does not keep My words. And the word that you have heard is not Mine, but the Father’s Who sent Me. These things I have spoken to you while yet dwelling with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My Name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your mind whatever I have said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, or be afraid. You have heard Me say to you, ‘I go away and I am coming to you.’ If you loved Me, you would indeed rejoice that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes to pass, that when it has come to pass you may believe. I will no longer speak much with you, for the prince of the world is coming an in Me he has nothing. But he comes that the world may know that I love the Father, and that I do as the Father has commanded Me.
Fifty days after the people of Israel were delivered out of their long captivity of egypt,which was four hundred years, God gave unto them the law of ten Commandments in the lont Sina. Of this benefit they kept a yearly solemn Feast called Pentecost, a Greek word, which signifeth fifty days, as much to say in English, as the Feast of the fifty day, after their deliverance out of Egypt by their miraculous passage through the red Sea dry foot,their enemies pursuing them & being drowned therein.
Christ fifty days after his Resurrection having delivered us from the captivity of the devil, through the red Sea of his bloody death, sent the holy Ghost upon his disciples in Jerusalem, to give them a new law, to wit, the law of the gospel, and abundant grace to fulfill it, and to plant and propagate it in the world.
And as the Church of the old law kept a yearly Feast in remembrance of the benefit of receiving their law, which they called the feast of Pentecost: so the Church of the new Law, keepeth this Feast of Pentecost in remembrance of their receiving the new Law,and the grace of the holy Ghost to preach and plant it throughout the world, and more plentiful grace to keep is then the in the old law had to keep theirs, being but a figure of ours.
The coming of down of the holy Ghost from heaven upon the disciples of Christ, his blessed mother being with them was thus:Christ foreseeing the heaviness & desolation of them for his departure, whereof he had told them before,although indeed they had more cause to rejoice because he ascended,as he told them, to his Father and their Father, to prepare mansions in heaven for them; yet they were so much delighted with the sweetness of his presence, that it was almost death for them to leave it: Christ foreseeing this, I say, to comfort them, told them he would not them orphans, but send them another comforter equal to himself, to wit, the Holy Ghost.
Having thus put them in heart he took them with him to mount Olivet a little distance from Jerusalem, and bid them when he was ascended from them into heaven, to tarry together in Jerusalem in the great chamber where he had instituted the Blessed Sacrament and after ten days he would perform his promise, and so he did indeed upon the day of Pentecost, which is now our Whitsunday, in that ample manner, that they were spiritually inebriated and drunken therewith; & so the Jews that were there present, which was a great multitude that came thither to see the strangeness thereof, thought and said, in so much that St. Peter was fain to make an Apology for them,saying they were not drunken as they took them to be, for it was then but the third hour of the day.
Here we may learn learn that God will not fail to comfort his servants in all their afflictions,only this was a special favor of Christ to his disciples to appoint them a day, but we mus expect our Lords time, which he always ordaineth for the best, to them that love him.
Likewise we must learn with the disciples to be content to leave God sometimes for God, as they did, God the son, for God the holy Ghost, that is to say, we must leave prayer or any other spiritual exercise,though never so sweet & delightful unto us, to do the works of obedience or mercy, when need is,or to omit one good work for another that is more necessary, or expedient for the present.
Also we may see, how much more sober men,were in those days then in these, the people taking it for a sufficient reason to excuse the disciples from being drunk, because it was but the third hour of the day, that is to say our nine a clock in the morning,which now is no excuse at all.
Lastly we may note the reason why, for the most part they use to begin the solemn high Mass, at nine a clock,which is done in respect of the hour wherein the holy Ghost descended upon the disciples at Pentecost, and replenished them with grace,it being probable and pious believe that hour is sanctified ever since,and fittest to serve for that use.