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

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on John 14:21-28

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 2, 2015

Jn 14:21. The above favours are not confined to the Apostles alone. They extend to all the faithful. “He that hath My commandments,” bears them in mind, “and keepeth them.” It won’t do, to believe and retain them in mind. It is necessary to observe them in deed. “He it is that loveth Me.” The observance of My commandments is the true test of love. “And he that loveth Me will be loved by My Father.” My commandments are the commandments I received of My Father. He, then, who keeps them, loves My Father, and shall be loved by Him in turn, and shall receive from Him abundant proofs of His love in the great blessings He shall bestow. “And I shall love him,” not only as God, but as man, and shall bestow on him great gifts here and hereafter

“And will manifest Myself to him,” in this life, by a clearer revelation of Myself, by a practical knowledge and feeling of love, such as My Saints experience when they taste and see how good God is; and in the life to come, when he shall see Me face to face.

Jn 14:22. Judas Iscariot had left, the Evangelist, therefore, who had already stated that he had left, here guards against any mistake. The Judas here referred to was Thaddeus, the brother of James, the Less. He was the author of the Catholic Epistle.

“How is it, that Thou wilt manifest?” etc. He refers to Jn 14:19–21. He could not understand how our Lord, in His glorious manifestation after death, would conceal Himself from worldly men, while showing Himself to His disciples.

 Jn 14:23. Our Lord, replying in very general terms, says, that He will manifest Himself to more than His apostles, that “if any one”—no matter who—“love Him,” and—in proof of his love—“keep his word,” His “Father will love him,” in turn, and so will the Son also, as is conveyed in the plural form in next words, “and We will come,” Father and Son; the Holy Ghost also comes, “and make our abode with him,” as guests, in the house of our friend. He will speedily manifest Himself, in His glorified body, to His Apostles after His Resurrection, and He will also specially manifest Himself to all the faithful, during life, by indwelling in them by His grace and communication of heavenly, spiritual and interior gifts. In this verse it is implied, that it is because worldly men do not love Him nor keep His commandments, He does not manifest Himself to them.
Jn 14:24. He here conveys, that many keep not His commandments, because they do not love Him. And to add greater importance to His commandments, and assert the honour of His Father, as is His invariable custom, He says these commandments are not His, “is not Mine,” independently of His Father, who, in communicating His Divine nature, to His Son in His eternal generation, communicated also all knowledge. “In Him were shut up all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom” (Ser. Jn 7:16). Hence, neither the Father nor the Son love the world, nor shall They manifest themselves to it.
Jn 14:25. “Remaining with you.” Conversing in My mortal state with you, who understand the sublimity, as well as the novelty of My doctrines only imperfectly, on account of your rude state of mind.
Jn 14:26. “But the Paraclete,” the Consoler, to whom I referred already (Jn 14:16), “the Holy Ghost,” He now mentions who that Paraclete is, “whom the Father will send in My name” (i.e.), at My entreaty; or on account of My merits. It may also mean, in My place, who am soon to leave you. “He will teach you all things,” causing you to understand clearly what, owing to your rude and imperfect state, you now can hardly understand or apprehend, “and bring to your minds,” on all befitting occasions, in the hour of trial and temptation, He will bring to your mind, what you might forget and lose sight of, and not even apprehend, in order to strengthen and console you.
All things whatever”—pertaining to salvation—“I have said to you,” while remaining here with you, in My visible, mortal state.
Jn 14:27. In this valedictory or leave-taking address, our Lord uses the form of benediction in use among the Jews, when using salutations and leave-taking. “Peace be with you.” This form of words embraced the abundance of all temporal and spiritual blessings. Our Redeemer, in leaving His Apostles peace, gives a never-failing promise of all blessings, especially tranquillity of soul, and holy resignation in the midst of the trials in store for them, and especially in the midst of their sorrows at His approaching death, and departure from them. In these words our Lord employs the general form in use. In the next words He specially applies and emphasizes it. “My peace, I give you.” a solid, abiding, never-ending peace, both to themselves and their successors. His peace embraces reconciliation and friendship with God, tranquillity of conscience, interior joy in one’s self and concord with our brethren. This He bequeaths as His undying inheritance. “Not as the world giveth.” The professions of friendship on the part of worldlings are vain, hollow, and insincere, ever changing and changeable. Worldlings may wish us blessings, but, they cannot confer them; and these blessings, such as wealth, pleasures, enjoyment, are brief and changeable. His peace is solid, enduring, and ever fruitful of priceless blessings, giving grace and help here, which will lead to eternal happiness hereafter.
Let not your heart be troubled,” etc., at my departure, bearing in mind the many motives of consolation I have proposed to you, and the unfailing promises of support and peace I make you in the midst of tribulations.
This is a repetition of the consolatory affectionate language addressed to them (v. 1).
Jn 14:28. “You have heard that I said to you, I go away” (Jn 14:3), “and I come to you” (Jn 14:17-18). This He said, because, He saw them sorrowful at the prospect of His approaching death, as if they would be left destitute, as children without a father, sheep without a shepherd, exposed to the fury of the Jews.

 

I go away”—owing to My death—“and I come to you again,” and shall show Myself visibly, after My resurrection, and also by the manifest protection I shall extend to you in all your trials, from My throne of glory in heaven.
If you loved Me,” with sincere love, unmixed with selfishness, putting your entire trust in Me. He knew they loved Him; still, it was a love mixed with selfishness; nor did they fully understand whither He was going, or the result of it.

 

You would indeed be glad, because I go to the Father.” True love rejoices at the prosperity and advancement of the object loved. They should, therefore, rejoice at seeing Him return to His throne of glory in the bosom of His Father. This would also tend to their benefit, owing to the blessings He would confer on them by establishing the spiritual kingdom of His Church for ever, and delivering His people from their spiritual foes.
For the Father is greater than I,” as man. This is clear if we consider our Lord’s human nature, which was to be glorified by His Father. In this sense, He might say, “I,” considered in My Divine Person, am greater than Myself, considered according to My humanity. “For”—as St. Augustine expresses it—“the form of God which He did not lose, is greater than the form of man, which he assumed.” It is of His humanity he speaks; for, in His Divine nature, He is equal to God (Philip. 2), and it is only in relation to it, He could say, “I go to the Father,” and he does not institute a comparison precisely between His Divine nature and that of the Father; but, between His present lowly condition, in which He was soon to suffer; and the state of glory, He was to resume, when returning to the bosom of His Father. This should be for them, rather a cause of joy than otherwise.
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