Saturday, March 15, 2008

Saturday of Passion Week


GOSPEL. ST. JOHN xii, 10-36.

(The Voice from Heaven and the Fourth Word of Jesus on the Cross.)

At that time a great multitude, that was come to the festival day, when they had heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went forth to meet Him, and cried: Hosanna, blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord, the king of Israel. And Jesus found a young ass, and sat upon it, as it is written: Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold thy King cometh sitting on an ass’s colt. These things His disciples did not know at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him. The multitude therefore gave testimony, which was with Him when He called Lazarus out of the grave, and raised him from the dead. For which reason also the people came to meet Him: because they heard that He had done this miracle. The Pharisees therefore said among themselves: Do you see that we prevail nothing? Behold, the whole world is gone after Him. Now there were certain gentiles among them who came up to adore on the festival day. These therefore came to Philip, who was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying: Sir, we would see Jesus. But Jesus answered them, saying: The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified. Amen, amen, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, itself remaineth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it: and he that hateth his life in this world, keepeth it unto life eternal. If any man minister to Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there also shall My minister be. If any man minister to Me, him will My Father honor. Now is My soul troubled. And what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour. But for this cause I came unto this hour. Father, glorify Thy name. A voice therefore came from heaven: I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The multitude therefore that stood and heard said that it thundered. Others said, An angel spoke to Him. Jesus answered, and said: This voice came not be cause of Me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of the world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself. (Now this He said, signifying what death He should die.) The multitude answered Him: We have heard out of the law, that Christ abideth forever: and how sayest Thou: The Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man? Jesus therefore said to them Yet a little while the light is among you. Walk whilst you have the light, that the darkness overtake you not. And he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. Whilst you have the light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light. These things Jesus spoke, and He went away, and hid Himself from them.

What a striking difference between the voice of the eternal Father in heaven amidst the sublime teachings and prayers of His divine Son: "I have both glorified it and will glorify it again"; and the voice of the divine Savior on the cross, as He, in the midst of appalling darkness, exclaimed: "My God, My God! why hast Thou forsaken Me." This word of Jesus gives expression to the unspeakable suffering of His holy body, to the disconsolateness of His soul, and to His grief over the shameful flight of all His friends and disciples. But He, who taught us to pray: "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," resigned Himself immediately to the Will of His heavenly Father and recalls to mind that "the hour is come that the Son of man shall be glorified." How remarkably God fulfills this prophecy in the glorious resurrection and ascension of His divine Son.

Learn, O Christian soul, to have recourse to God, in all the afflictions of your body and soul, in anguish and distress, in trouble and misery. Learn to submit to the wise and gracious ordinances of God, and to fulfill the will of God with that resignation which merited for Jesus the glory of His heavenly Father; and then you too will one day be glorified.


May the people consecrated to Thy service, we beseech Thee, O Lord, improve in the affections of piety; that instructed by these holy mysteries, they may be so much the more enriched with Thy heavenly gifts, as they become more acceptable to Thy divine Majesty.

O Jesus, Who didst exclaim in Thy death agony: " My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me," Grant that in all our distress and adversity we may never despair, but always strive "that Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven," and that we may once obtain the crown of eternal glory. Amen.

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