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

Saturday, May 28: Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (John 15:18-21)

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 27, 2011

This post includes commentary on verse 17.

Ver 17. These things I command you, that you love one another.18. If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you.19. If you were of the world, the world would love his own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.20. Remember the word that I said to you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If’ they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.21. But all these things will they do to you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

AUG. Our Lord had said, I have ordained that you should walk and bring forth fruit. Love is this fruit. Wherefore, He proceeds: These things I command you, that you love one another. Hence the Apostle said, The fruit of the Spirit is love(Gal_5:22), and enumerates all other graces as springing from this source. Well then does our Lord commend love, as if it were the only thing commanded: seeing that without it nothing can profit, with it nothing be wanting, whereby a man is made good.

CHRYS. Or thus: I have said that I lay down My life for you, and that I first chose you. I have said this not by way of reproach, but to induce you to love one another.

Then as they were about to suffer persecution and reproach, He bids them not to grieve, but rejoice on that account: If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you: as if to say, I know it is a hard trial, but you will endure it for My sake.

AUG. For why should the members exalt themselves above the head? You refuse to be in the body, if you are not willing, with the head, to endure the hatred of the world. For love’s sake let us be patient; the world must hate us, whom it sees hate whatever it loves;If you were of the world, the world would love his own.

CHRYS. As if Christ’s suffering were not consolation enough, He consoles them still further by telling them, the hatred of the world would be an evidence of their goodness; so that they ought rather to grieve if they were loved by the world, as that would be evidence of their wickedness.

AUG. He said this to the whole Church which is often called the world; as God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself (2Co_5:19). The whole world then is the Church, and the whole world hates the Church. The world hates the world, the world in enmity, the world reconciled, the defiled world, the changed world. Here it may be asked, If the wicked can be said to persecute the wicked; e. g., if impious kings, and judges, who persecute the righteous, punish murderers and adulterers also, how are we to understand our Lord’s words, If you were of the world, the world would love his own? In this way; The world is in them who punish these offenses, and the world is In them who love them. The world then hates its own so far as it punishes the wicked, loves its own so far as it favors them. Again, if it be asked how the world loves itself, when it hates the means of its redemption, the answer is, that it loves itself with a false, not a true love, loves what hurts it; hates nature, loves vice. Wherefore we are forbidden to love what it loves in itself; commanded to love what it hates in itself. The vice in it we are forbidden, the nature in it we are commanded, to love. And to separate us from this lost world, we are chosen out of it, not by merit of our own, for we had no merits to begin with, not by nature which was radically corrupt, but by grace: But because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

GREG. For the dispraise of the perverse, is our praise. There is nothing wrong in not pleasing those who do not please God. For no one can by one and the same act please God, and the enemies of God. He proves himself no friend to God, who pleases His enemy; and he whose soul is in subjection to the Truth, will have to contend with the enemies of that Truth.

AUG. Our Lord, in exhorting His servants to bear patiently the hatred of their world, proposes to them an example than which there can be no better and higher one, viz. Himself: Remember the word that I said to you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.

GLOSS. They observed it in order to calumniate it, as we read in the Psalms, The ungodly sees the righteousness .
THEOPHYL. Or thus: If, He says, they have persecuted your Lord, much more will they persecute you; if they had persecuted Him, but kept His commandments they would keep yours also.

CHRYS. As if He said, you must not be disturbed at having to share My sufferings; for you are not better than I.

AUG. The servant is not greater than his lord. Here the servant is the one who has the purified fear, which abides for ever.

CHRYS. Then follows another consolation, viz. that the Father is despised and injured with them: But all these things will they do unto you for My name’s sake, because they know not Him that sent Me.

AUG. All these things, viz. what He had mentioned, that the world would hate them, persecute them, despise their word. For My Name’s sake, i.e., in you they will hate Me, in you persecute Me, your word they will not keep, because it is mine. They who do these things for His name’s sake are as miserable, as they who suffer them are blessed: except when they do them to the wicked as well; for then both they who do, and they who suffer, are miserable. But how do they do all these things for His name’s sake, when they do nothing for Christ’s name’s sake, i.e., for justice sake? We shall do away with this difficulty, if we take the words as applying to the righteous; as if it were, All these things will you suffer from them, for My name’s sake. If for My name’s sake mean this, i.e., My name which they hate in you, justice which they hate in you; of the good, when they persecute the wicked, it may be said in the same way, that they do so both for righteousness’ sake, which they love, which love is their motive in persecuting, and for unrighteousness’ sake, the unrighteousness of the wicked, which they hate. Because they know not Him that sent Me, i.e. know not according to that knowledge of which it is said, To know you is perfect righteousness (Wisdom 15:3).

4 Responses to “Saturday, May 28: Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (John 15:18-21)”

  1. […] Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (John 15:18-21). […]

  2. […] Forms)St Augustine's Commentary on the Gospel for the Sixth Sunday of Easter (John 14:15-21)Saturday, May 28: Aquinas' Catena Aurea on Today's Gospel (John 15:18-21)St Cyril of Alexandria on John 14:15-21 for Sunday Mass, May 29, 2011St John Chrysostom's Commentary […]

  3. […] Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (John 15:18-21). […]

  4. […] Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (John 15:18-21). […]

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