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IHS Fourth Sunday after Easter—19 May AD 2019 Ave Maria!

There are two separate (but related) issues about today's readings that I want to bring to your attention:

The first issue is probably no more than a grammatical matter in the Gospel.[1] Our Lord speaks of “convicting the world of sin, of Justice, and of judgement.” Some translations use the word “convince” instead of “convict” — which seems even less comprehensible. While the Holy Ghost is often referred to as our “Advocate,” in this Gospel is cast in the role of prosecutor of the world. In the conscience of of the Apostles He will put the world on trial. He will prosecute (and convict) the world of sin—the worst of sins; not believing in Jesus as the Son of God. He will prosecute (and convict) the world of Justice in that in spite of His unjust condemnation by Pontius Pilate, Jesus has returned to His just and proper place in heaven with God the Father. He will prosecute (and convict) the world of judgement (a.k.a. “condemnation”), in that the devil (the Prince of the World) is condemned by Jesus’ death on the Cross. A strong warning, in that those who continue to sin follow a leader who is already condemned!

Jesus will send the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth, to be constantly with the Church, teaching precisely the same unchanging doctrine and morals that Jesus teaches. “He shall glorify me, because he shall receive of mine, and shall show it to you.” We are told that in this teaching of the Holy Ghost—and in our acceptance of this teaching—we and the Holy Ghost will together glorify Jesus Christ. We will partner with the Holy Ghost for our own holiness and God’s glory.

“All things whatsoever the Father has, are Mine. Therefore I said, that He shall receive of Mine, and show it to you.”[2] It should not surprise anyone that the teaching of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost is all the same. They are three Persons in one and the same God! The idea that one of the Divine Persons could have a different “opinion” from the others is the height of absurdity!

Indirectly, that brings us to the second issue which I said I wanted to address. In today’s epistle, Saint James tells us that in the “Father of lights … there is no change, nor shadow of alteration.”[3] Just as there can be no differences of “opinion” among the Persons of the Trinity, God must be eternally unchanging.

If God were subject to change, He could not be eternal—If He were subject to change, the God who told Moses: “I am Who am” (“My essence is eternal existence”) could change from existing to non‑existing! This amounts to saying that at some future time there would be no God!

Were God subject to change, He would not be perfect. He Who is perfect cannot be subject to loss of that perfection, otherwise He would not be perfect—and any increase in His perfection would demonstrate that He was not perfect beforehand.

Were God subject to change, He would not be Truth, and there could be no objective truth! If the Creator of all things were subject to change, there could be no scientific truth: Nature might change to love a vacuum, rather than abhorring it; gravity might change to make things fall up!

Were the moral Lawgiver to change there could be no moral Truth. We might be directed (among other things) to hate our fathers and mothers, to lie to our neighbors, and to covet our neighbors’ wives and possessions. All of this can be judged preposterous by human experience, for millennia of human experience have found God’s Natural Law to be essential. We have found, time and again, that human society just does not work with people hating, beating, killing, lying, cheating, and envying each other’s goods—it just doesn’t work! And we have thousands of years’ experience by which to know this! There is moral Truth!

And, since truth and the moral law are unchanging, we know that all of the modernist priests and bishops who claim to find truth and morality by “dialoging” are dead wrong. Sitting around a table, listening to other peoples’ opinions does absolutely nothing to change God, Who is the ground of all truth and morality.

In the “Father of lights …

there is no change, nor shadow of alteration.” None whatsoever


[1] Gospel: John xvi: 5‑14

[2] Verse 15

[3] Epistle: James i:15-21

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