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The unworthy excluded for amendment.
HOMIL. punished, but those, when they draw nigh unworthily, are LXXXII delivered over to undying punishment. Let us not therefore drive away these only, but all without exception, whomsoever we may see coming unworthily.
one communicate who is not of the disciples. Let no Judas receive, lest he suffer the fate of Judas. This multitude also is Christ's Body. Take heed, therefore, thou that ministerest at the Mysteries, lest thou provoke the Lord, not purging this Body. Give not a sword instead of
Nay, though it be from ignorance that he come to communicate, forbid him, be not afraid. Fear God, not man. If thou shouldest fear man, thou wilt be laughed to scorn even by him, but if God, thou wilt be an object of respect even
But if thou darest not to do it thyself, bring him to me; I will not allow any to dare do these things. I would give up my life rather than impart of the Lord's Blood to the unworthy; and will shed my own blood rather than impart of such awful Blood contrary to what is meet.
But if any hath not known the bad man, after much enquiry, it is no blame. For these things have been said about the open sinners. For if we amend these, God will speedily discover to us the unknown also; but if we let these alone, wherefore should He then make manifest those that are hidden.
But these things I say, not that we repel them only, nor cut them off, but in order that we may amend them, and bring them back, that we may take care of them. For thus shall we both have God propitious, and shall find many to receive worthily; and for our own diligence, and for our care for others, receive great reward; unto which God grant we may all attain by the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory world without end. Amen.
MATT. XXVI. 36-38.
Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the Disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy: and He saith unto them, My Soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death; tarry ye here, and watch with Me.
BECAUSE they clung to Him inseparably, therefore He saith, Tarry ye here, while I go away and pray. For it was usual with Him to pray apart from them. And this He did teaching us in our prayers, to prepare silence for ourselves. and great retirement.
And He takes with Him the three, and saith unto them, My Soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. Wherefore doth He not take all with Him? That they might not be cast down; but these He taketh that had been spectators of His glory. However, even these He dismisses: And He went on v.39.41. a little farther, and prayeth, saying, Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt. And He cometh unto them, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Not without reason doth He inveigh against Peter most, although the others also had slept; but to make him feel by this also, for the cause which I mentioned before. Then
1096 Provision against denial of Our Lord's real Manhood.
HOMIL. because the others also said the same thing, (for when Peter LXXXIII had said, (these are the words,) Though I must die with 26, 36. Thee, I will not deny Thee; likewise also, it is added, said
all the Disciples;) He addresses Himself to all, convicting their weakness. For they who are desiring to die with Him, were not then able so much as to sorrow with Him wakefully, but sleep overcame them.
And He prays with earnestness, in order that the thing might not seem to be acting. And sweats flow over him for the same cause again, even that the heretics might not say this, that He acts the agony. Therefore there is a sweat like drops of blood, and an Angel appeared strengthening Him, and a thousand sure signs of fear, lest any one should affirm the words to be feigned. For this cause also was this prayer. By saying then, If it be possible, let it pass from Me, He shewed His Humanity; but by saying, Nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt, He shewed His virtue and self-command, teaching us even when nature. pulls us back, to follow God. For since it was not enough for the foolish to shew His Face only, He uses words also. Again, words sufficed not alone, but deeds likewise were needed; these also He joins with the words, that even they who are in a high degree contentious may believe, that He both became man and died. For if, even when these things are so, this be still disbelieved by some, much more, if these had not been. See by how many things He shews the reality of the Incarnation: by what He speaks, by what He suffers. After that He cometh and saith to Peter, as it
2 Comp. is said, 2 What, couldest thou not watch one hour with Me? Mark 14, 37. All were sleeping, and He rebukes Peter, hinting at him, in what He spake. And the words, with Me, are not employed without reason; it is as though He had said, Thou couldest not watch with Me one hour, and wilt thou lay down thy life for Me? and what follows also, intimates this selfsame thing. For, Watch, saith He, and pray not to enter into temptation. See how He is again instructing them not to be self-confident, but contrite in mind, and to be humble, and to refer all to God.
And at one time He addresses Himself to Peter, at another to all in common. And to him He saith, Simon, Simon,
The Disciples taught the need of God's help.
1097 Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as MATT. XXVI. wheat; but I have prayed for thee; and to all in common, 42. 43. Pray that ye enter not into temptation; every way plucking up their self-will, and making them earnest-minded. Then, that He might not seem to make His language altogether condemnatory, He saith, The spirit indeed is ready, but the flesh is weak. For even although thou dost desire to despise death, yet thou wilt not be able, until God stretch forth His hand, for the carnal mind draws down.
And again He prayed in the same way, saying, Father, v. 42. if this cup cannot pass from Me except I drink it, Thy will be done, shewing here, that He fully harmonizes with God's will, and that we must always follow this, and seek after it.
And He came and found them asleep. For besides that v. 43. it was late at night, their eyes also were weighed down by their despondency. And the third time He went and spake the same thing, establishing the fact, that He was become man. For the second and third time is in the Scriptures especially indicative of truth; like as Joseph also said to Pharaoh, Did the dream appear to thee the second time? For' truth was this done, and that thou mightest be assured1 Gen. that this shall surely be. Therefore He too once, and twice, and three times spake the same thing, for the sake of proving the Incarnation2.
And wherefore came He the second time? In order to reprove them, for that they were so drowned in despondency, as not to have any sense even of His Presence. He did not however reprove them, but stood apart from them a little, shewing their unspeakable weakness, that not even when they had been rebuked, were they able to endure. But He doth not awake and rebuke them again, lest He should smite them that were already smitten, but He went away and prayed, and when He is come back again, He saith, Sleep on now, and take your rest. And yet then there was need to be wakeful, but to shew that they will not bear so much as the sight of the dangers, but will be put to flight and desert Him from their terror, and that He hath no need of their succour, and that He must by all means be delivered up, Sleep v. 43.
1098 The Betrayal. Our Lord's free-will and power shewn.
HOMIL. on now, He saith, and take your rest; behold the hour is at LXXXIII. hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of
He shews again that what is done belongs to a Divine [2.] dispensation; but He doth not this only, but also, by saying, into the hands of sinners, He cheers up their minds, shewing it was the effect of their wickedness, not of His being liable to any charge.
Rise, let us be going; behold, he is at hand that doth betray Me. For by all means He taught them, that the matter was not of necessity, nor of weakness, but of some secret dispensation. For, as we see, He foreknew that Judas would come, and so far from flying, He even went to meet him. At any rate, While He yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. Seemly surely are the instruments of the priests! with swords and staves do they come against Him! And Judas, it is said, with them, one of the twelve. Again he calleth him of the twelve, and is not ashamed. Now he that betrayed Him gave them a
v. 48. sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is He, hold Him fast. Oh! what depravity had the traitor's soul received. For with what kind of eyes did he then look at his Master? with what mouth did he kiss Him? Oh! accursed purpose; what did he devise? What did he dare? What sort of sign of betrayal did he give? Whomsoever I shall kiss, he saith. He was emboldened by his Master's gentleness, which more than all was sufficient to shame him, and to deprive him of all excuse, for that he was betraying One so meek.
But wherefore doth He say this? Because often when seized by them He had gone out through the midst, without their knowing it. Nevertheless, then also this would have been done, if it had not been His own will that He should
be taken. It was at least with a view to teach them this, that John He then blinded their eyes, and Himself asked, 'Whom seek
ye? And they knew Him not, though being with lanterns and torches, and having Judas with them. Afterwards, as they had said, Jesus; He saith, I am He Whom ye seek: and here again, Friend, wherefore art thou come?