MONDAY AFTER PASSION SUNDAY
GOSPEL. ST. JOHN vii, 32-39.
(The Last Teaching of Jesus. The Thief on the Left.)
At that time: The rulers and Pharisees sent ministers to apprehend Jesus. Jesus therefore said to them: Yet a little while I am with you: and then I go to Him that sent Me. You shall seek Me, and shall not find Me: and where I am, thither you cannot come. The Jews therefore said among themselves: Whither will He go, that we shall not find Him? Will He go unto the dispersed among the gentiles, and teach the gentiles? What is this saying that He hath said: You shall seek Me, and shall not find Me: and where I am, you cannot come? And on the last and great day of the festivity, Jesus stood and cried, saying: If any man thirst, let him come to Me, and drink. He that believeth in Me, as the Scriptures saith, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. Now this He said of the spirit which they should receive who believed in Him.
With what zeal did our divine Savior, as the hour of His passion drew nigh, endeavor to point out to men the way of the true faith, happiness and blessedness. But the people did not listen to Him, and they persecuted the eternal, divine Truth.
Christian soul, look up to the cross of Jesus on Mt. Calvary; even in the face of death, the thief on the left refuses to recognize Jesus, His divine truth and redeeming power. From the days of his youth he despised God, and now he blasphemes his divine Savior with his dying lips. From the gibbet of the cross he sees and hears how the scribes and Pharisees insult and blaspheme Jesus; instead of entering into himself and adoring the innocence, patience and humility of the God-man, he imitates their wicked example and also scoffs at Jesus in the impious language of unbelief.
Behold, O Christian soul, how the wicked man turns to his ruin the sufferings which Jesus intended for his spiritual benefit; how, instead of rejecting bad examples, he joins the company of the godless and imitates them. In the unhappy end of this impenitent thief, contemplate the ruin of all those hardened sinners, concerning whom our Lord said: "You shall seek Me, and you shall not find Me." Pray for the conversion of those who err in faith: and pray that God may grant a happy death to all those sinners who are dangerously ill or dying.
LET US PRAY.
Sanctify our fasts, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and mercifully grant us the pardon of all our faults.
O Divine Savior hanging on the cross, for how many souls, besides that of the thief on Thy left, must Thy precious blood be shed in vain! For the sake of Thy holy passion, have mercy on us. We promise Thee that we will never permit ourselves to be guided by the wicked example of others, that we will never neglect a good work on account of the influence of the wicked and that we will never think, speak or do anything evil for the sake of gaining the applause of godless men. Grant us the grace of perseverance, the grace of a good preparation for death, and the grace of a happy death. Amen.