Appearing againe in Galilee, where Peter was fishing with his fellowes; and causing them after they had al night taken none, to catch a great multitude, which Peter draweth to land, where he also dineth them; 15. he (expressing what his fishing signified) maketh Peter his Vicar, committing vnto him the feeding of his lambs and sheep: 18. and reuealeth vnto him, that he also shal be crucified, to the glorie of God, 20. admonishing him to mind that rather then to be curious about Iohns death. 1. The Ghospel on wenesday in Easter weeke. AFTER Iesvs manifested himself againe to the Disciples at the sea of Tiberias. And he manifested this.
2. There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas who is called Didymus, and Nathanael which was of Cana in Galilee, & the sonnes of Zebedee, and two other of his Disciples.
3. Simon Peter said to them: I goe to fish. They say to him: We also come with thee. And they went forth and got vp into the boat: and that night they tooke nothing.
4. But when morning was now come, Iesvs stood on the shore: yet the Disciples knew not that it was Iesvs.
5. Iesvs therfore saith to them: Children, haue you any meat? They answered him, No.
6. He saith to them: Cast the net on the right side of the boat; and you shal find. They therfore did cast it: and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
7. That Disciples therfore whom Iesvs loued, saith to Peter: It is our Lord. See in S. Augustin Tractat. 122. in Ioa. the great mysterie hereof concerning the CHVRCH, and in S. Gregorie hom. 24. in Euang. and S. Bernard li. 2. c. 8. de consid. Peters PRIMACIE here mystically signified. Simon Peter when he had heard that it is our Lord, girded his coate vnto him (for he was naked) & cast himself into the sea.
8. But the other Disciples came in the boat (for they were not farre from the land, but as it were two hundred cubits) drawing the net of fishes.
9. Therfore after they came downe to land, they saw hot coles lying, and fish laid thereon, and bread.
10. Iesvs saith to them: Bring hither of the fishes that you tooke now.
11. Simon Peter went vp, and drew the net to the land, ful of great fishes, an hundred fiftie thee. And although they were so many the net was not broken.
12. Iesvs saith to them: Come, dine. And none of them that sate at meate, durst aske him: Who art thou? knowing that it is our Lord.
13. And Iesvs commeth & taketh the bread and giueth them, & the fish in like manner.
14. This is now the Not the third apparition, but the third day of his apparitions: for he appeared in the very day of his Resurrection often, againe vpon Low Sunday, then this third time.
And S. Marke saying, last he appeared, c. 16,14. meaneth his last apparition on the first day. third time Iesvs was manifested to his Disciples, after he was risen from the dead.
15. Therfore when they had dines, Iesvs saith to Simon Peter: Simon of Iohn, louest thou me more then these? He saith to him: Yea Lord; thou knowest that I loue thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs.
16. He saith to him againe: Simon of Iohn, louest thou me? He saith to him: Yea Lord, thou knowest that I loue thee. He saith to him: ποίμαινε
feed & rule. Feed my lambs.
17. He saith to him the third time: Simon of Iohn, louest thou me? Peter was stroken sad because he said vnto him the third time, Louest thou me? And he said to him: Lord thou knowest al things: thou knowest that I loue thee. He said to him: Feed my sheep.
Peter is here made the general Pastour, & the Church is builded vpon him.
As it was promised him Mat. 16. that the Church should be builded vpon him, & that the keies of heauen should be giuen to him: so here it is performed, & he is actually made the general Pastour and Gouerner of al Christs sheep. For though the other ten (as Matthias & Paul also afterward) were Apostles, Bishops, Priests, & had authoritie to bind and loose, to remit & retaine, to preach, baptize, and such like, as wel as he: Yet in these things & al other Gouernment, Christ would haue him to be their Head, and they to depend of him as Head of their Colledge, & consequently of the whole flocke of Christ: no Apostle, nor no Prince in earth (if he acknowledge himself to be a sheep of Christ) exempted from his charge.
The Protestants otherwise denying this preeminence of Peter, yet to vp-hold their Archbishops, doe auouch & proue it against the Puritanes.
And that Christ maketh a difference betwixt Peter and the rest, and giueth him some greater preeminence and regiment then the rest, it is plaine by that he is asked whether he loue our Lord more then the other Apostles doe: where, for equal charge no difference of loue had been required. To Peter (saith S. Cyprian*) our Lord after his Resurrection said, Feed my sheep, and builded his Church vpon him alone, & to him he giueth the charge of feeding his sheep. For although after his Resurrection he gaue his power alike to al, saying, As my Father sent me, so I send you, take the Holy Ghost, if you remit to any their sinnes, they shal be remitted &c. Yet so manifest vnitie, be constituted one Chaire, & so disposed by his authoritie that vnitie should haue origine of one. The rest of the Apostles were that Peter was, in equal fellowship of honour and power, but the beginning commeth of vnitie: the Primacie is giuen to Peter, that the Church of Christ may be showed to be one, & one Chaire. S. Chrysostom **also saith thus: Why did our Lord sheed his blood? truly to redeeme those sheep, the cure of which he committed both to Peter and also to his Successours.
Peters successours succeede him in vniuersal authoritie.
And a litle after, Christ would haue Peter indowed with such authoritie, and to be far aboue al his other Apostles. For he saith: Peter, dost thou loue me more then al these do? Wherevpon our Maister might haue inferred, If thou loue me Peter, vse much fasting, sleep on the hard floore, watch much, be patrone to the oppressed, father to the orphans, and husband to the widowes: but omitting al these things, he saith, Feed my sheep. For, al the foresaid vertues certes may be done easily of many subiects, not only men but women: but when it commeth to the government of the Church and committing the charge of so many soules, al woman-kind must needes wholy giue place to the burden and greatnes thereof, and a great number of men also. So writeth he.
S. Gregorie though he misliked the title of vniuersal Bishop, yet is most plaine both in his writings & doings for the Popes Supremacie, as also S. Leo the great.
And because the Protestants would make the vnlearned thinke, that S. Gregorie deemed the Popes Supremacie to be wholy vnlawful and Antichristian, for that he condemneth Iohn of Constantinople for vsurping the name of vniuersal Bishop, resembling his insolence therein to the pride of Antichrist; note wel the wordes of this Holy Father in the very same place and Epistle against the B. of Constantinople, by which you shal easily see that to deny him to be vniuersal Bishop, is not to deny Peter or the Pope to be Head of the Church, or supreme Gouerner of the same, as our Aduersaries fraudulently pretend. ***It is plaine to al men, saith he, that euer read the Ghospel, that by our Lordes mouth the charge of the whole Church was committed to S. Peter Prince of the Apostles. For to him it was said: Feed my sheep: for him was the prayer made that his faith should not faile: to him were the keies of Heauen giuen, and authoritie to bind and loose: to him the care of the Church and principalitie was deliuered: and yet he was not called the vniuersal Apostle. This title indeed was offered for the honour of S. Peter Prince of the Apostles, to the Pope of Rome by the holy Councel of Chalcedon: but none of that See did euer vse it or consent to take it.
The title of vniuersal Bishop refused, but vniuersal iurisdiction alwaies acknowledged and practised.
Thus much S. Gregorie, aWho though he both practised iurisdiction throughout al Christendom, as other of that See haue euer done, and also acknowledged the Principalitie and Soueraigntie to be in Peter and his Successours: yet would he not for iust causes vse that title subiect to vanitie and misconstruction. But both he & al the Popes since haue rather called themselues, Seruos seruorum Dei, the Seruants of Gods seruants. Though the word, vniuersal Bishop, in that sense wherein the holy Councel of Chalcedon offered it to the See of Rome, was true & Lawful. For that Councel would not have giuen any Antichristian or vniust title to any man. Only in the B. of Constantinople and other, which in no sense had any right to it, and who vsurped it in a very false & tyrannical meaning, it was insolent, vniust, & Antichristian. See also the Epistles of S. Leo the Great concerning his practise of vniuersal iurisdiction, though he refused the title of vniuersal Bishop. And S. Bernard b(that you may better perceiue that the general charge of Christs sheep was not only giuen to Peters Person, but also to his Successours the Popes of Rome, as S. Chrysostom also before alleaged doth testifie) writeth thus to Eugenius: Thou art he to whom the keies of Heauen are deliuered, & to whom the sheep are committed.
The Pope is the Pastour of al Pastours.
There be other Porters of Heauen, & other Pastours of flockes: but thou hast inherited in more glorious and different sort. For they haue euery one their particular flocke, but to thee al vniuersally, as one flocke to one man, are credited, being not only the Pastour of the sheep, but the one Pastour of al the Pastours themselues. But thou wilt aske me how I proue that euen by our Lordes word. For to whom of al, I say not only Bishops, but Apostles, were the sheep so absolutely & without limitation committed? If thou loue me Peter, feed my sheep. He saith not, the people of this Kingdom or that citie, but, my sheep, Without al distinction. So S. Bernard. And hereunto may be added that the second, cfeed, is in Greek a word that signifieth withal to gouern and rule, as Ps. 2. Mich. 5. Mat. 2. Apoc. 2. & therfore it is spoken of Dauid also & other temporal Gouerners (as the Hebrew word answering thereunto) in the dScriptures often & the Greek in profane writers also.
*Cypr. de vnit. Ec.
**Lib. 2. de Sacerd.
***Greg. li. 4, ep. 76.
aSee li. 1. ep. 73. 75, li. 2. ep. 37. 45. li. 4. ep. 95. li, 7. ep. 63.
bBernar. li. 2. c. 8. de consid.
d2. King. c. 5. Psa. 77. Feed my sheep.
18. Amen, amen I say to thee, when thou wast yonger, thou didst gird thy self, and didst walke where thou wouldest. But when thou shalt be old thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and Another shal gird thee.
Peter Crucified at Rome.
He prophecieth of Peters Martyrdom, and of the kind of death which he should suffer, that was, crucifying. Which *the Heretikes, fearing that it were a step to proue he was martyred in Rome, deny: whereas the Fathers and ancient Writers are as plaine in this, as that he was at Rome. Origen apud. Euseb. li. 3. c. 1. Euseb. li. 2. c. 24. Hist. Ec. Tertul. de præscript. nu. 14. Aug. tract. 123. in Ioan. Chrysost. Beda in hunc locum.
*Beza in hunc locum. another shal gird thee, and lead thee whither thou wilt not.
19. The Ghospel vpon S. Iohn Euangelists day in Christmas Decem. 27. And this he said, signifying by what death he should glorifie God. And when had said this, he saith to him: Follow me.
20. Peter turning, saw that Disciple whom Iesvs loued, following, Iohn 13,23. who also leaned at the supper vpon his bread, and said, Lord who is he that shal betray thee?
21. Him therfore when Peter had seen, he saith to Iesvs: Lord and this man what?
22. Iesvs saith to him: So readeth S. Ambr. in Ps. 45. & ser. 20. in Ps. 118. S. Aug. tra. 124. in Io. & most ancient copies and seruice bookes extant in Latin. Others read, If I wil: others, If so I wil, &c. So I wil haue him remaine til I come, what to thee? follow thou me.
23. This saying therfore went abrode among the Brethren, that the Disciple dieth not. And Iesvs did not say to him, he dieth not; but, So I wil haue him to remaine til I come, what to thee?
24. This is that Disciple which giueth testimonie of these things, and hath written these things: and we know that his testimonie is true.
25. But there are Iohn 20,30. many How few things are written of Christs actes & doctrine in comparison of that which he did and spake: and yet the Heretikes wil needs haue al in Scripture, trusting not the Apostles owne preaching, or report of any thing that our Maister did or said, if it be not written. other things also which Iesvs did: which if they were written in particular, neither the world it-self I thinke were able to containe those books that should be written.