Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tuesday of the First Week of Lent


GOSPEL. ST. MATT, xxi:10-17.

(Money-changers and Merchants Driven out of the Temple. Jesus is Betrayed by Judas.)

At that time: When Jesus was come into Jerusalem, the whole city was moved, saying: Who is this? And the people said: This is Jesus, the prophet, from Nazareth of Galilee. And Jesus went into the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the chairs of them that sold doves, and He saith to them: It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves. And there came to Him the blind, and the lame in the temple; and he healed them. And the chief priests and scribes seeing the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying: Hosanna to the son of David; were moved with indignation, and said to Him: Hearest Thou what they say? And Jesus said to them: Yea, have you never read: Out of the mouth of infants and of sucklings Thou hast perfected praise? And leaving them, He went out of the city into Bethania, and remained there.

Admire, O Christian soul, the power of the divinity of Jesus. Out of the temple He drives the profaners, and in the temple He heals the lame and the blind. The whole city is aroused, and innocence praises the Savior of the world. Only the rulers of the temple and the learned scribes remain obstinate in their pride, remain obdurate and full of envy and hatred. Later on in the person of Judas they find a companion in their godlessness, and he performs the atrocious act of treason for thirty pieces of silver. He, one of the twelve apostles, and with him a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, come to Mt. Olivet. The traitor gave them a sign, saying: Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is He; hold Him fast. And forthwith coming to Jesus, he said: Hail Rabbi! And he kissed Him. And Jesus said to him; "Friend, whereto art thou come? Judas, with a kiss dost thou betray the Son of Man?" The Pharisees, and Judas, who betrayed our Savior by a kiss, the most expressive sign of love and reverence, did not fall suddenly into this depth of perversion and godlessness. The unrestrained passions of envy, avarice, and pride, brought them to this fall, as the same passions have done with hundreds and thousands in the history of the Church. One unworthy communion is an ungrateful insult, as grievous as the betrayal of Judas and his kiss of treason. Therefore, O Christian soul, do not trust in yourself, watch and pray, and with God s grace fight against your predominate passion; with the scourge of penance drive it out of the sacred temple of your soul.
Look down upon Thy family, O Lord, and grant that while we chastise ourselves by mortifying the flesh, our minds may be inflamed with the love and desire of Thee; and grant that, after this short life, we may all gather in Thy temple of eternal glory and sing: Hosanna to the Son of David. Amen.

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