Fourth Sunday after Easter—19 May AD 2019
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Ordinary of the Mass
Mass Text - Latin
Mass Text - English
There are two separate
(but related) issues about today's readings that I want to bring to your
The first issue is
probably no more than a grammatical matter in the Gospel.
Our Lord speaks of “convicting the world of sin, of Justice, and of
judgement.” Some translations use the word “convince” instead of “convict”
— which seems even less comprehensible. While the Holy Ghost is often
referred to as our “Advocate,” in this Gospel is cast in the role of
prosecutor of the world. In the conscience of of the Apostles He will put
the world on trial. He will prosecute (and convict) the world of sin—the
worst of sins; not believing in Jesus as the Son of God. He will prosecute
(and convict) the world of Justice in that in spite of His unjust
condemnation by Pontius Pilate, Jesus has returned to His just and proper
place in heaven with God the Father. He will prosecute (and convict) the
world of judgement (a.k.a. “condemnation”), in that the devil (the Prince of
the World) is condemned by Jesus’ death on the Cross. A strong warning, in
that those who continue to sin follow a leader who is already condemned!
Jesus will send the Holy
Ghost, the Spirit of Truth, to be constantly with the Church, teaching
precisely the same unchanging doctrine and morals that Jesus teaches. “He
shall glorify me, because he shall receive of mine, and shall show it to
you.” We are told that in this teaching of the Holy Ghost—and in our
acceptance of this teaching—we and the Holy Ghost will together glorify
Jesus Christ. We will partner with the Holy Ghost for our own holiness and
“All things whatsoever
the Father has, are Mine. Therefore I said, that He shall receive of Mine,
and show it to you.”
It should not surprise anyone that the teaching of the Father, the Son, and
the Holy Ghost is all the same. They are three Persons in one and the same
God! The idea that one of the Divine Persons could have a different
“opinion” from the others is the height of absurdity!
Indirectly, that brings
us to the second issue which I said I wanted to address. In today’s
epistle, Saint James tells us that in the “Father of lights … there is no
change, nor shadow of alteration.”
Just as there can be no differences of “opinion” among the Persons of the
Trinity, God must be eternally unchanging.
If God were subject to
change, He could not be eternal—If He were subject to change, the God who
told Moses: “I am Who am” (“My essence is eternal existence”) could change
from existing to non‑existing! This amounts to saying that at some future
time there would be no God!
Were God subject to
change, He would not be perfect. He Who is perfect cannot be subject to
loss of that perfection, otherwise He would not be perfect—and any increase
in His perfection would demonstrate that He was not perfect beforehand.
Were God subject to
change, He would not be Truth, and there could be no objective truth! If
the Creator of all things were subject to change, there could be no
scientific truth: Nature might change to love a vacuum, rather than
abhorring it; gravity might change to make things fall up!
Were the moral Lawgiver
to change there could be no moral Truth. We might be directed (among other
things) to hate our fathers and mothers, to lie to our neighbors, and to
covet our neighbors’ wives and possessions. All of this can be judged
preposterous by human experience, for millennia of human experience have
found God’s Natural Law to be essential. We have found, time and again,
that human society just does not work with people hating, beating, killing,
lying, cheating, and envying each other’s goods—it just doesn’t work! And
we have thousands of years’ experience by which to know this! There
is moral Truth!
And, since truth and the
moral law are unchanging, we know that all of the modernist priests and
bishops who claim to find truth and morality by “dialoging” are dead wrong.
Sitting around a table, listening to other peoples’ opinions does absolutely
nothing to change God, Who is the ground of all truth and morality.
In the “Father of lights …
there is no change, nor shadow of alteration.”