Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday of the Fourth Week in Lent

Jesus Is Abandoned to the Power of His Enemies.


He was abandoned by Pilate who should have defended his innocence and who ought to have died rather than commit so great an act of injustice. He was abandoned by his disciples who had declared they would go with him even unto death. He was abandoned by God his Father who could have delivered him from the power of his enemies, but who permitted them to exercise over him all the cruelties and ignominies that their wicked malice could devise. Oh, how often have you not abandoned him, base Christian, when you beheld him condemned and outraged by the impious!


God the Father abandoned his divine Son to the power of his enemies and do you learn from this to abandon yourself to the will of God who is the best of all fathers? Why should you mistrust him? Do you doubt his power or his love? What can you refuse him who has given his only Son and delivered him up to death for your salvation? Can your honor, goods, health, life, soul, and salvation be in better keeping than his? Why do you not abandon yourself entirely to him? Why so many cares, so much trouble and inquietude, when there is so good a Father who cares for you?


Jesus is abandoned by his Father, but not by our Blessed Lady who had followed him thus far, step by step, through the bitter way of his passion and was present at his condemnation. Who can conceive of her grief when she beheld his sacred flesh so frightfully torn that his bones were exposed to sight, when she saw him bathed in his blood wearing on his shoulders a purple rag and holding in his hand the reed which his enemies had placed there in derision and crowned with thorns? Who can comprehend her affliction when she heard the Jews crying out with tumultuous fury: "Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him! Crucify him! His blood be upon us and upon our children!" Consider the grief and agony that pierced her soul, when she saw Pilate wash his hands and heard him pronounce sentence of death against her divine. Son, and then abandon him to his enemies who, with renewed imprecations and insults, seize him and prepare to nail him to the cross?

Resolution: I will abandon myself to the will of God who is all good, even when I feel tried and afflicted. In this way I will be assured of my salvation.

Prayer: Oh, most afflicted Mother, God has also abandoned thee and thou feelest in thy sacred heart all that thy dear Son does in his body. Oh, who is there so insensible as not to be touched with tender compassion at thy wondrous grief? Since God has abandoned thee and thy Son, the two persons most dear to him in heaven or earth, I fear that he will abandon me to the power of the devil to be tempted, tormented, and afflicted in my body and soul, and in all that belongs to me. Oh, my God, my Father. I abandon myself to thee; but do not thou, I beseech thee, abandon me to the power of my enemies.

By a Member of the Society of Jesus, edited and amended by J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.

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