TUESDAY IN HOLY WEEK
EPISTLE. JEREMIAS xi, 18-20.
(The Lamentation of the Prophet, and the Seventh Word on the Cross.)
In those days Jeremias said: Thou, O Lord, hast showed me, and I have known: then Thou showed me their doings. And I was as a meek lamb that is carried to be a victim: and I know not that they had devised counsels against me, saying: Let us put wood on his bread, and cut him off from the land of the living, and let his name be remembered no more. But Thou, O Lord of Sabaoth, Who judgest justly, and triest the reins and the hearts, let me see Thy revenge on them: for to Thee have I revealed my cause, O Lord my God.
The prophet places touching words on the lips of our Savior, who is the meek lamb that is led to slaughter. The discourse closes with an expression of resignation: "for to Thee have I revealed my cause, O Lord my God."
The Passion which is read today in holy Mass, relates that Jesus exclaimed from the cross with a loud voice: "Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit." And when He said this He bowed His head and gave up the ghost.
Contemplate, O Christian soul, your Savior’s divine power which proclaims with a loud voice, even at the moment of expiring, that He surrenders Himself to death voluntarily, that the power of God manifests itself chiefly in trials and sufferings, and especially in the hour of death. Not with out reason did our divine Savior teach us to conclude the Our Father with the words: "But deliver us from evil. Amen." There is no greater evil than an unhappy death; there is no greater blessing than to be able to die in the grace of God, and to commend one s soul into the hands of God.
O Christian soul, accustom yourself to commend your soul often to God, especially every night before failing asleep. Recite in union with your dying Savior: "Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit" And as Jesus recommended all men to His heavenly Father, so you should commend to Him the souls that daily pass into eternity. Do this especially during Holy Week. Attend diligently and devoutly divine service in the morning, the Tenebrae in the evening, and the touching and magnificent services on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Do not begrudge the time. Perhaps you will not live to celebrate many more Holy Weeks. Use well this time of grace in meditating with deep sorrow on the bitter passion and death of your Savior. Then, after the Good Friday of this life, He will conduct you into the Holy Saturday rest of your body, and unto the resurrection of your soul to everlasting happiness.
LET US PRAY.
O Almighty and Eternal God, grant that we may so celebrate the mysteries of our Lord’s passion that we may deserve to obtain pardon.
"Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit." O Jesus, thus didst Thou cry out with a loud voice, bowed Thy head and died. By the merits of these holy words, preserve us, O kind and loving Savior, from the greatest of all evils, from an unhappy death. Bless our dying lips with the same sacred words, and then take up our souls into Thy hands. Amen.