Monday, April 16, 2012

Sententiae Patristicae: Third Sunday of Easter, Year B

The Fathers of the Church on the Readings of the Lectionary

First Reading Acts 3:13–15, 17–19
Second Reading 1 John 2:1–5a
Gospel Luke 24:35–48


For the Gospel, see Easter Sunday, Year C

St. John Chrysosom--Peter, gaining confidence, calls on his own testimony and that of the college of apostles as witnesses of the Resurrection:
‎“The Prince of Life,” he says. In these words he establishes the doctrine of the Resurrection. “Whom God hath raised from the dead.” (ch. 2:26.) “Whence doth this appear?” He no longer refers to the Prophets, but to himself, inasmuch as now he has a right to be believed. Before, when he affirmed that He was risen, he adduced the testimony of David; now, having said it, he alleges the College of Apostles. “Whereof we are witnesses, he says. (Chrysostom, Hom. Act. 9, NPNF1, vol. 11, pg. 55)

St. John Chrysostom--love those who harm you and draw them to repentance; empty your wrath on the devil instead:
‎For He sent the Apostles also for their salvation, at least thou hearest them saying, that, “We know that through ignorance ye did it” (Acts 3:17); and by these means drawing them to repentance. This let us also imitate; for nothing so much maketh God propitious as the loving enemies, and doing good to those who despitefully use us. When a man insults thee, look not to him, but to the devil who moves him, and against him empty all thy wrath, but pity the man who is moved by him. (Chrysostom, Hom. Jn 84.3, NPNF1, vol. 14, pg. 315)

Origen explains how the name "Paraclete" is applied to both the Savior and the Holy Spirit:
‎And since we have made mention of the Paraclete, and have explained as we were able what sentiments ought to be entertained regarding Him; and since our Saviour also is called the Paraclete in the Epistle of John, when he says, “If any of us sin, we have a Paraclete with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and He is the propitiation for our sins;” (1 Jn 2:1, 2) let us consider whether this term Paraclete should happen to have one meaning when applied to the Saviour, and another when applied to the Holy Spirit. Now Paraclete, when spoken of the Saviour, seems to mean intercessor. For in Greek, Paraclete has both significations—that of intercessor and comforter. On account, then, of the phrase which follows, when he says, “And He is the propitiation for our sins,” the name Paraclete seems to be understood in the case of our Saviour as meaning intercessor; for He is said to intercede with the Father because of our sins. In the case of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete must be understood in the sense of comforter, inasmuch as He bestows consolation upon the souls to whom He openly reveals the apprehension of spiritual knowledge. (Origen, De princ. 2.7.4, ANF, vol. 4, pg. 286)

Origen--Christ, the propitiation of our sins and those of the whole world:
‎If any one sin, we read, (1 Jn 2:1, 2) “We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for those of the whole world,” since He is the Saviour of all men, (1 Tim 4:10) especially of them that believe, who (Col 2:14, 15) blotted out the written bond that was against us by His own blood, and took it out of the way, so that not even a trace, not even of our blotted-out sins, might still be found, and nailed it to His cross; who having put off from Himself the principalities and powers, made a show of them openly, triumphing over them by His cross. (Origen, Comm. Jo. 6.37, ANF, vol. 9, pg. 378)

St. Augustine--fear not, your Advocate is no mere eloquent tongue, but the Word Himself:
‎“And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and He is the propitiator for our sins.” (1 Jn 2:1, 2) He then is the advocate; do thou thine endeavor not to sin: if from the infirmity of this life sin shall overtake thee, see to it straightway, straightway be displeased, straightway condemn it; and when thou hast condemned, thou shalt come assured unto the Judge. There hast thou the advocate: fear not to lose thy cause in thy confession. For if oft-times in this life a man commits his cause to an eloquent tongue, and is not lost; thou committest thyself to the Word, and shalt thou be lost? Cry, “We have an advocate with the Father.” (Augustine, Tract. in ep. Joan. 1.7, NPNF1, vol. 7, pg. 464)

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