PS: Fourth Sunday of Easter

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Each week, a Dominican member of the Province of St. Joseph’s Preaching Advisory Board prepares this Preacher’s Sketchbook in anticipation of the upcoming Sunday Mass. The idea of the Preacher’s Sketchbook is to take quotations from the authority of the Church–the Pope, the Fathers of the Church, documents of the Councils, the saints–that can help spark ideas for the Sunday homily. Just as an artist’s sketchbook preserves ideas for later elaboration, so we hope the Preacher’s Sketchbook will provide some ideas for homiletical elaboration.

St. John Chrysostom, from Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles

Full of great gentleness are these words. He did not say, ‘we abandon you,’ but so that it is possible he says, that we may turn to here again. And this was not the result of your affront, ‘for so the Lord has commanded us.’ Then why have you not done this? There was indeed need that the Gentiles should hear. But the ‘before you’ came about not from us but from you.’ For so the Lord has commanded us. ‘I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation.’” That is, to be the knowledge to salvation. And not only for the Gentiles but for all who were ordained to eternal life.

St. Bede, from Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles

What was said with specific reference to Christ the Lord is here taken by the Apostles as referring to themselves.

St. Caesarius of Arles, from Exposition of the Apocalypse

He did not say, “After this I saw another people,” but “I saw a people,” that is, the same people that he had seen in the mystery of the 144,000 which he know sees as without number… For by believing, all nations have been engrafted into the root.

St. Bede, from Homilies on the Gospels

To be continuously present at the praises of God is not a laborious servitude but a servitude that is pleasant and desirable. ‘Day and night,’ indeed, do not exclusively signify the vicissitude of time, but typologically its perpetuity.

St. Hilary of Poitiers

Seeing that the heretics cannot get around these words because they are so clearly understood, they try nevertheless to explain them away. They maintain that “I and the Father are one” refers to a mere union of unanimity only—a unity of will, not of nature; that is, that the two are one not by essence of being but by identity of will…. They make use of the example of our own union with God, as though we were united to the Son and through the Son to the Father by mere obedience and a devout will and not through the communion of our nature that is pledges to us through the sacrament of the Body and Blood.

St. Augustine, from On the Trinity

The Father is not anything in respect to His own substance. What is said about Him—that He is the Father and His very existence as Father—is all said in relation to the Son…. Neither exists in respect to Himself alone but both exist in relationship to one another.

 

Fr Pius Pietrzyk, OP