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Commentary On The Gospel According To Saint John Volumes 1&2

That nought of God-befitting Dignities or Excellences is in the Son, by participation, or from without.

22 For neither doth the Father judge any man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.

HE introduceth another God-befitting and marvellous thing, in many ways persuading them that He is God by Nature and Verily. For to what other would it befit to judge the world, save Him Alone Who is God over all, Whom too the Divine Scriptures call to this, saying in one place, Arise, O God, judge the earth, in another again, For God is the Judge, He putteth down one and setteth up another. But He says that judgment has been given Him by the Father, not as being without authority hereto, but economically as Man, teaching that all things are more suitably referred to the Divine Nature, whereto Himself too being not external, in that He is Word and God, hath inherently authority over all; but in that He is made Man, to whom it is said, What hast thou that thou didst not receive, He fittingly acknowledges that He received it.

To these things again one of our opponents will say, “Lo, the Son evidently declares that He hath received judgement of the Father; but He receives (it is plain) as not having. How then will not He That gives with Authority be greater and of Superior Nature to Him Who must needs receive?”

What then do we say to these things? Our prearranged argument has been, I think, not unskilfully managed, introducing a consideration specially befitting the time, to wit of the Incarnation, and most accordant with the economy of the Flesh, when He was called a servant, when He humbled Himself, made in our likeness. But since it seemeth good to thee haughtily to despise the simpler doctrines, and to make more critical examination of them, come then, opposing thy objections, let us first say, Not altogether, nor of necessity, sir, doth he that is said to give anything, impart it to the recipient as though he had it not, nor yet is the giver always greater than the receiver. For what wilt thou do, when thou seest the holy Psalmist saying in the Spirit, Give glory to God? Shall we consider that God is in need of glory, or that we who are commanded to offer Him this, are on this account greater than the Creator? But not even thou wilt dare to say this, who shunnest not the fear of blasphemies. For full of glory is the Godhead, even though It receive it not from us. For He who receives as honour, what He hath of Own, will never be thought inferior to those who offer Him glory as a gift. One may often see that he who has received anything is not inferior to the giver, and that the Father is not therefore of Superior Nature to His offspring, because He hath committed to Him all judgment.

Next we must consider this too. To judge or to give judgment, are rather operations and acts conceived as properties of essences than themselves truly essences. For we in giving judgment do something, being in ourselves what we are. But if we grant that judging or giving judgment is of the nature of an essence, how must we not needs grant, even against our wills, that some cannot exist at all, except as judges, and that their being wholly ceases together with the termination of the judgment? But so to think, is most absurd. Judgment then is an operation, and nothing else. What then hath the Father committed to the Son? No accession from His Own Nature, in committing all judgment to Him, but rather an operation in respect of them that are judged. How then will He herein be greater, or of Superior Nature, by having added anything which was not in the Son Who saith, All things that the Father hath are Mine?

How then He must be conceived of as giving, hear now. As God the Father, having the Power to create, createth all things through the Son, as through His own Power and Might: so having the Power too to judge, He will work this too through the Son, as His Own Righteousness. As though it were said that fire too yielded up burning to the operation that is of itself by nature, the fact taking this direction: so piously interpreting, Hath committed, shall we escape the snare of the devil. But if they persist in shamelessly asserting that glory is added to Him of the Father, through His being manifested Judge of the earth, let them teach us, how He is any longer to be considered Lord of glory, Who in the last times was crowned with the honours hereunto pertaining.








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