SATURDAY AFTER THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT
GOSPEL. ST. JOHN viii, 12-20.
(The Testimony of the Light. The Crucifixion of the Redeemer.)
At that time: Jesus spoke to the multitude of the Jews, saying: I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me, walketh not in darkness, but shall have the light of life. The Pharisees therefore said to Him: Thou givest testimony of Thyself: Thy testimony is not true. Jesus answered, and said to them: Although I give testimony of Myself, My testimony is true: for I know whence I came or whither I go. You judge according to the flesh: I judge not any man. And if I do judge, My judgment is true; because I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent Me. And in your law it is written, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that give testimony of Myself: and the Father that sent Me, giveth testimony of Me. They said therefore to Him: Where is Thy Father? Jesus answered: Neither Me do you know, nor My Father: If you did know Me, perhaps you would know My Father also. These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, teaching in the temple: and no man laid hands on Him, because His hour was not yet come.
Christian soul, Jesus declares Himself clearly and distinctly to be the Light of the world, the Witness of the Father and the just Judge. But the Jews did not believe in Him: the only effect on them of His teaching was: "No man laid hands on Him"; not because they did not wish to do so, but "because His hour was not yet come." But the hour came, that hour of horror and terror, concerning which the Scripture says: "And it was the third hour, and they crucified Him."
His right hand was pierced with a nail to expiate the sins which men commit with their hands by robbery and theft, by fraud and injustice, by blows and ill-treatment, by sinful and immodest touches.
His left hand was pierced with a nail to expiate the sins of negligence and omission, remissness in prayer, retaining of ill-gotten goods, neglect of good works.
What pain was experienced by the humble and patient Redeemer, when His right foot was penetrated by a nail and He thereby expiated all the sinful steps made by men from motives of vanity, lust, pride and disobedience, steps leading to occasions of sin, to dangerous places, to bad company.
When they pierced His left foot, how severely did He suffer for our carelessness in attending divine worship, and our indifference in helping those that are in need.
Entreat Almighty God, O Christian Soul, that He may pardon the sins of your hands and feet; that Jesus, the light of the world, may guide all your steps and actions. Pray to your crucified Savior for those who are wandering along dangerous paths, and for those who are unwilling to perform their Easter duty.
LET US PRAY.
May our devotion be made fruitful by Thy grace, we beseech Thee, O Lord, for the fasts we have undertaken will become profitable to us only if they are pleasing to Thy clemency.
O Crucified and Loving Savior, by the merits of Thy unspeakable pains in the crucifixion, pardon our sins, and direct our steps in the path of virtue and justice. Amen.