|Fourth Sunday after Easter|
he Catholic Epistle of St. James the Apostle, i. 17-21. Dearly Beloved: Every best gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration. For of His own will hath He begotten us by the word of truth, that we might be some beginning of His creatures. You know, my dearest brethren. And let every man be swift to hear: but slow to speak, and slow to anger. For the anger of man worketh not the justice of God. Wherefore casting away all uncleanness, and abundance of naughtiness, with meekness receive the ingrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
In this epistle the Church teaches us that every good gift comes from God. But the most precious gift is, that He of His grace through the doctrines and institutions of Christianity, has made us new men, children of God, and heirs of the kingdom of heaven. The Church admonishes us, further, to walk worthy of this grace; to love God as our Father, to listen to His word willingly, without complaining when He chastises us, and to shun all impurity, anger, and multiplicity of words, in which "there shall not want sin" (Prov. x. 19).
Help me, O God, to preserve the grace received in baptism; give me, therefore, a great love for Thy word. Deliver me from all inordinate passions, that I may walk worthy of Thee, purely and with patience.
he Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ, According to St. John, xvi. 5-14. At that time Jesus said to His disciples: I go to Him that sent Me; and none of you asketh Me: Whither goest thou? But because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow hath filled your heart. But I tell you the truth: it is expedient to you that I go: for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you: but if I go, I will send Him to you. And when He is come, He will convince the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment; of sin: because they believed not in Me. And of justice: because I go to the Father: and you shall see Me no longer. And of judgment: because the prince of this world is already judged. I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now. But when He the Spirit of truth, is come, He will teach you all truth; for he shall not speak of Himself; but what things soever He shall hear, He shall speak, and the things that are to come He shall show you. He shall glorify Me: because He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it to you.
Why did Jesus say "I go to My Father"?
To reprove His disciples for giving way to excessive sorrow over His departure, which was to be the means of purifying and strengthening their virtue, and of perfecting the work of redemption, for them and for all the world. Learn from this, not to give way to too much sorrow in adversity.
How has the Holy Ghost convinced the world of sin, of justice, and of judgment?
He has convinced the world, 1, of sin, by making the Jews know and lament the monstrous crime which they committed against Christ, and this He effected particularly at Pentecost.
2. Of justice, by teaching the innocence and holiness of Jesus, on account of which God gave Him a kingdom, and required men to worship Him as the true God.
3. Of judgment, by everywhere overcoming the prince of darkness, destroying his kingdom, casting down temples of idolatry, and in their place, by seemingly weak means, establishing the kingdom of truth and virtue.
Whither am I going? Will my life bring me to God? O my God and my Lord, direct my feet in the way of Thy commandments, and keep my heart free from sin, that the Holy Ghost, finding nothing in me worthy of punishment, may teach me all truth, and bring me safely to Thee, Who art the eternal truth. Amen.