Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter


Do you see how [Jesus] has hidden his manifestation in the commandments? Of all the commandments, therefore, the most comprehensive is to love God and our neighbor. This love is made firm through abstaining from material things and through stillness of thoughts.
Knowing this, the Lord enjoins us “not to be anxious about tomorrow,” and rightly so. For if someone has not freed himself from material things and from concern about them, how can he be freed from evil thoughts? And if he is beset by evil thoughts, how can he see the reality of the sin concealed behind them? This sin wraps the soul in darkness and obscurity and increases its hold on us through our evil thoughts and actions. The devil initiates the whole process by testing a person with a provocation that the person is not compelled to accept. But the one urged on by self-indulgence and self-esteem begins to entertain this provocation with enjoyment. Even if their discrimination tells them to reject it, yet in practice they take pleasure in it and accept it. If someone has not perceived this general process of sinning, when will he pray about it and be cleansed from it? And if he has not been cleansed, how will he find purity of nature? And if he has not found this, how will he behold the inner dwelling place of Christ? For we are a dwelling place of God, according to the words of prophet, evangelist and apostle.1


The proof of love is its manifestation in deeds. This is why John says in his letter, “He who says, ‘I love God’ and does not observe his commandments is a liar.” Our love is true if we keep our self-will in check according to his commandments. One who is still wandering here and there through his unlawful desires does not really love God, because he is opposing him in his self-will.2


God does indeed consume and utterly destroy: he consumes evil thoughts, wicked actions and sinful desires when they find their way into the minds of believers. God, with his Son, inhabits those souls that have been rendered capable of receiving his word and wisdom, in line with his saying, “I and the Father shall come and make our abode with him.” After their vices and passions have been consumed, he makes them a holy temple, worthy of himself.3


The Lord comes into the heart and makes his home in one who truly loves God and observes his commandments, since the love of his divine nature so penetrates him that he does not turn away from it during times of temptation. That person loves truly whose heart does not consent to be overcome by wicked pleasures.4


God is not too grand to come, he is not too fussy or shy, he is not too proud—on the contrary he is pleased to come if you do not displease him. Listen to the promise he makes. Listen to him indeed promising with pleasure, not threatening in displeasure, “We shall come to him,” he says, “I and the Father.” To the one he had earlier called his friend, the one who obeys his precepts, the keeper of his commandment, the lover of God, the lover of his neighbor, he says, “We shall come to him and make our abode with him.”5


You know, dearly beloved, that the one speaking, the only-begotten Son, is the Father’s Word. Therefore the word that the Son speaks is not his but the Father’s, because the Son himself is the Father’s Word.6


We must ask why it is said of the Spirit, “He will remind you of everything,” when reminding is usually the action of someone of lesser importance. We sometimes use “remind” to mean “furnish with information,” and so we say that the invisible Spirit “reminds” us because he provides us with knowledge not as an inferior but as one who knows what is secret.7


  1. NO RIGHTEOUSNESS BY WORKS 223–24.  Elowsky, J. C. (Ed.). (2007). John 11–21 (pp. 144–145). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  2. FORTY GOSPEL HOMILIES 30.1.  Elowsky, J. C. (Ed.). (2007). John 11–21 (pp. 145–146). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  3. ON FIRST PRINCIPLES 1.1.2.  Elowsky, J. C. (Ed.). (2007). John 11–21 (p. 146). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  4. FORTY GOSPEL HOMILIES 30.2.  Elowsky, J. C. (Ed.). (2007). John 11–21 (p. 146). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  5. SERMON 23.6.  Elowsky, J. C. (Ed.). (2007). John 11–21 (p. 147). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  6. FORTY GOSPEL HOMILIES 30.  Elowsky, J. C. (Ed.). (2007). John 11–21 (p. 147). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  7. FORTY GOSPEL HOMILIES 30.  Elowsky, J. C. (Ed.). (2007). John 11–21 (p. 151). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
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