The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Aquinas’ Homily Notes on John 16:5-14

Posted by Dim Bulb on April 30, 2010

These notes can be used for sermon ideas, points for meditation or further study.

Fourth Sunday after Easter. — (From the Gospel.)
“And when He is come He will reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment”— S. John 16:8.

In these words three things are laid down, concerning which the Holy Spirit will reprove the world. Firstly, He will reprove of sin, because men ought not to commit it.  Secondly, of righteousness, because men ought to perform it.
Thirdly, of judgment, because men ought to fear it.

I. On the first head it is to be noted, that sin is to be avoided for many reasons, but chiefly for three great evils which it brings to man —

  • (1) Because it places man here in many miseries: (Prov14:34), ” Sin is a reproach to any people.”
  • (2) Because it deprives man of eternal glory: (Isa 26:10), “In the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord.”
  • (3) Because  it leads man to eternal punishment: (Mt 25:46), “These shall go away into everlasting punishment.”

II. On the second head it is to be noted, that righteousness is chiefly to be followed for three reasons-

  • (1) Because it places man in many joys: (Ps 19:8), ” The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart.”
  • (2) Because it liberates man from perpetual death : Prov. xi. 4, ” But righteousness,” i.e., the works of righteousness, ” delivereth from death,” i.e., eternal. Prov 21:25, ” He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life.”
  • (3) Because it leads man to eternal joys: (Mt 25:46), ” The righteous into life eternal.”

III. On the third head it is to be noted, that the future judgment is to be feared for three reasons-

  • (1) On account of the equity of the Judge: (Ps 7:12, Vulg), ” God is a just Judge, strong and patient: is He angry every day?”
  • (2) Because of the severity of the Judge: (Judith 16:20-21), ” In the Day of Judgment He will visit them, for He will give fire and worms into their flesh.”
  • (3) Because of the irrevocability of the sentence: (Mt 25:41), “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels.” It is called “everlasting fire” because it has no end ; from which may we be delivered, &c.
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