Alleluia, alleluia. Christ is risen, and has shone upon us, whom He redeemed with His Blood.
Alleluia. I came forth from the Father, and have come into the world. Again I leave the world, and go to the Father. Alleluia.
23. And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. 25. These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. 26. At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: 27. For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. 28. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxix) Again our Lord shews that it is expedient that He should go: And in that day shall ye ask Me nothing.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. ci. 4) The word ask here means not only to seek for, but to ask a question: the Greek word from which it is translated has both meanings.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxix) He says, And in that day, i. e. when I shall have risen again, ye shall ask Me nothing, i. e. not say to Me, Shew us the Father, and, Whither goest Thou? since ye will know this by the teaching of the Holy Ghost: or, Ye shall ask Me nothing, i. e. not want Me for a Mediator to obtain your requests, as My name will be enough, if you only call upon that: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it you. Wherein He shews His power; that neither seen, or asked, but named only to the Father, He will do miracles. Do not think then, He saith, that because for the future I shall not be with you, that you are therefore forsaken: for My name will be a still greater protection to you than My presence: Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My Name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
THEOPHYLACT. For when your prayers shall be fully answered, then will your gladness be greatest.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxix) These words being obscure, He adds, These things have I spoken to you in proverbs, but the time cometh when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs: for forty days He talked with them as they were assembled, speaking of the kingdom of God. And now, He says, ye are in too great fear to attend to My words, but then, when you see Me risen again, you will be able to proclaim these things openly.
THEOPHYLACT. (adhuc.) He still cheers them with the promise that help will be given them from above in their temptations: At that day ye shall ask in My Name. And ye will be so in favour with the Father, that ye will no longer need my intervention: And I say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you, for the Father Himself loveth you. But that they might not start back from our Lord, as though they were no longer in need of Him, He adds, Because ye have loved Me: as if to say, The Father loves you, because ye have loved Me; when therefore ye fall from My love, ye will straightway fall from the Fathers love.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cii) But does He love us because we love Him; or rather do not we love Him, because He loved us? This is what the Evangelist says, Let us love God, because God first loved us. (1 John 4:19) The Father then loves us, because we love the Son, (Diligamus Deum, Vulg.) it being from the Father and the Son, that we receive the love from the Father and the Son. He loves what He has made; but He would not make in us what He loved, except He loved us in the first place.
HILARY. (vi. de. Trin. c. 31) Perfect faith in the Son, which believes and loves what has come forth from God, and deserveth to be heard and loved for its own sake, this faith confessing the Son of God, born from Him, and sent by Him, needeth not an intercessor with the Father: wherefore it follows, And have believed that I came forth from God. His nativity and advent are signified by, I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world. The one is dispensation, the other nature. To have come from the Father, and to have come forth from God, have not the same meaning; because it is one thing to have come forth from God in the relation of Sonship1, another thing to have come from the Father into this world to accomplish the mystery2 of our salvation. Since to come forth from God is to subsist as His Son3, what else can He be but God.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. lxxix) As it was consolatory to them to hear of His resurrection, and how He came from God, and went to God, He dwells again and again on these subjects: Again I leave the world, and go to the Father. The one was a proof that their faith in Him was not vain: the other that they would still be under His protection.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cii) He came forth from the Father, because He is of the Father; He came into the world, because He shewed Himself in the body to the world. He left the world by His departure in the body, and went to the Father by the ascension of His humanity, nor yet in respect of the government of His presence, left the world; just as when He went forth from the Father and came into the world, He did so in such wise as not to leave the Father. But our Lord Jesus Christ, we read, was asked questions, and petitioned after His resurrection: for when about to ascend to Heaven He was asked by His disciples when He would restore the kingdom to Israel; when in Heaven He was asked by Stephen, to receive his spirit. And who would dare to say that as mortal He might be asked, as immortal He might not? I think then that when He says, In that day ye shall ask Me nothing, He refers not to the time of His resurrection, but to that time when we shall see Him as He is: which vision is not of this present life, but of the life everlasting, when we shall ask for nothing, ask no questions, because there will remain nothing to be desired, nothing to be learnt.
ALCUIN. This is His meaning then: In the world to come, ye shall ask Me nothing: but in the mean time while ye are travelling on this wearisome road, ask what ye want of the Father, and He will give it you: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it you.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cii) The word whatsoever, must not be understood to mean any thing, but something which with reference to obtaining the life of blessedness is not nothing. That is not sought in the Saviour’s name, which is sought to the hindering of our salvation; for by, in My name, must be understood not the mere sound of the letters or syllables, but that which is rightly and truly signified by that sound. He who holds any notion concerning Christ, which should not be held of the only Son of God, does not ask in His name. But he who thinks rightly of Him, asks in His name, and receives what he asks, if it be not against his eternal salvation: he receives when it is right he should receive; for some things are only denied at present in order to be granted at a more suitable time. Again, the words, He will give it you, only comprehend those benefits which properly appertain to the persons who ask. All saints are heard for themselves, but not for all; for it is not, will give, simply, but, will give you; what follows: Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name, may be understood in two ways: either that they had not asked in His name, because they had not known it as it ought to be known; or, Ye have asked nothing, because with reference to obtaining the thing ye ought to ask for, what ye have asked for is to be counted nothing. That therefore they may ask in His name not for what is nothing, but for the fulness of joy, He adds, Ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. This full joy is not carnal, but spiritual joy; and it will be full, when it is so great that nothing can be added to it.
AUGUSTINE. (1. de Trin. c. 8) And this is that full joy, than which nothing can be greater, viz. to enjoy God, the Trinity, in the image of Whom we are made.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cii) Whatsoever then is asked, which appertained to the getting this joy, this must be asked in the name of Christ. For His saints that persevere in asking for it, He will never in His divine mercy disappoint. But whatever is asked beside this is nothing, i. e. not absolutely nothing, but nothing in comparison (computatione) with so great a thing as this. It follows: These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. The hour of which He speaks may be understood of the future life, when we shall see Him, as the Apostle saith, face to face, (1 Cor. 13:12) and, These things have I spoken to you in proverbs, of that which the Apostle saith, Now we see as in a glass darkly. But I will shew you that the Father shall be seen through the Son; For no man knoweth the Father save the Son, and he to whom the Son shall reveal Him. (Mat. 11:17)
GREGORY. (xxx. Moral. viii.) When He declares that He will shew them plainly of the Father, He alludes to the manifestation about to take place of His own majesty, which would both shew His own equality with the Father, and the procession of the coeternal Spirit from both.
AUGUSTINE. (Tr. cii. c. 3) But this sense seems to be interfered with by what follows: At that day ye shall ask in My name. What shall we have to ask for in a future life, when all our desires shall be satisfied? Asking implies the want of something. It remains then that we understand the words of Jesus going to make His disciples spiritual, from being carnal and natural beings. The natural man so understands whatever he hears of God in a bodily sense, as being unable to conceive any other. Wherefore whatever Wisdom saith of the incorporeal, immutable substance are proverbs to him, not that he accounts them proverbs, but understands them as if they were proverbs. But when, become spiritual, he hath begun to discern all things, though in this life he see but in a glass and in part, ye doth he perceive, not by bodily sense, not by idea of the imagination, but by most sure intelligence of the mind, perceive and hold that God is not body, but spirit: the Son sheweth so plainly of the Father, that He who sheweth is seen to be of the same nature with Him who is shewn. Then they who ask, ask in His name, because by the sound of that name they understand nothing but the thing itself which is expressed by that name. These are able to think that our Lord Jesus Christ, in so far as He is man, intercedes with the Father for us, in so far as He is God, hears us together with the Father: which I think is His meaning when He says, And I say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you. To understand this, viz. how that the Son does not ask the Father, but Father and Son together hear those who ask, is beyond the reach of any but the spiritual vision.