« EdellinenJatka »
do they all experience what we read in the Imitation of Christ, that “when Jesus is present, all goes well and nothing seems difficult”?
As for the Blessed Mother, she is the Mirror of Justice. Her soul reflects the Most Holy Soul of her Son. His thoughts are her thoughts. " Blessed Mother of God:
Vitam præsta puram,
Iter para tutum. Watch over us during our journey through life, that we may arrive cleansed from all sin at our death-bed.”
And the Pasch of the Jews was at hand. And many from
the country went up to Jerusalem before the Pasch to purify themselves (St. John xi. 55).
A. May God grant us grace to learn from the stiffnecked Jews! If they purified themselves for their Pasch, what pains ought we to take to purify ourselves for our Pasch—for every Holy Communion ? for the Paschal Communion ? above all, for the Holy Viaticum, our last, our decisive Communion ? Wash me yet more, O Lord, from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin (Psalm i.).
They sought therefore for Jesus, and they discoursed one
with another, standing in the Temple : What think you,
Again we may learn from these Jews. For they were at least anxious to see our Lord and hear Him, and they sought for Him and discussed why He had not come. We are sometimes indifferent whether He is near us or far away; and not anxious to be with Him in the Blessed Sacrament.
B. And the Priests had given a commandment that any man who knew where He was should tell. And therefore our Blessed Saviour is moved by His compassionate Heart to hide Himself, lest the poor people should, through fear of the Pharisees, be tempted to betray Him.
Fac cor dulce Jesu mei, Fac ut nos amemus Te. Grant us, O Lord, to love more and more the circumspect and compassionate charity of Thy Sacred Heart; and grace to be very careful rot to give scandal to any of Thy little ones.
On the Friday then in Passion Week, we may perhaps assume, our Blessed Saviour, accompanied by a large following, has arrived at the eastern side of Mount Olivet. The Holy City lies behind the hill on the other side. He has completed the work of climbing up the rugged ascent from Jericho, and He is now on the level road which runs round the base of Mount Olivet into Jerusalem. Bethany and the grave of Lazarus lie on the hill-side before Him, and He has reached the Stone of Conference, where a fortnight before He spoke with Martha, and then with Magdalen. May we not picture to ourselves Magdalen pointing out the stone to our Blessed Lady, and lingering there with her a while, and Martha too, repeating to the Blessed Mother the memorable words there said to her: I am the Resurrection and the Life, he who believeth in Me, even though he be dead, shall live? These words, with so many others, Holy Mary lays up in her heart, never to lose them.
We may likewise try to read the thoughts of Lazarus when Martha brings him also to the stone. The Apostles point it out to many more.
Meanwhile, as we have seen, pilgrims from many lands are crowding into Jerusalem, through all the gates of the city, for the Great Pasch. Little they know how great a Pasch it is to be. Some of these pilgrims have fallen in with the disciples following Jesus from Jericho, and have heard something of what has passed. They carry the tidings into Jerusalem that Jesus of Nazareth is close at hand, that He has reached Bethany and is staying there. They further report that Lazarus is with Him. The news spreads rapidly through the city, and soon arrives at the villa of the High Priest on the Hill of Evil Counsel. The effect produced by the news is very different in different quarters. SCENE VI.
BETH A N Y.
A great multitude of the Jews knew that He was there, and
they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus (St. John xii. 9). A. On the Friday evening, therefore, and on the
1 Sabbath day that follows, the road from Jerusalem to Bethany is crowded with men and women hastening to see Jesus; and with others, perchance still more eager to look on Lazarus, the man who was dead and is come to life.
Let us contemplate, in the first place, those among the crowd of visitors who are desirous of seeing Jesus. Many among them have a true affection for Him. As we watch them thronging round Him as they have been used to do, and with gladness on their faces gazing upon Him, and trying, perhaps, to touch the hem of His garments, we will pray that we may have some share of their affection for our Saviour, some of their desire to see Him and be near Him.
In that very favourite hymn of Holy Church,
Keep us pure till life be done :
Pray that safe our course we run:
Then shall we behold thy Son,
And be glad for ever. B. Then, in the next place, as we watch the men and women eagerly thronging round Lazarus and looking in joyful wonder upon him, Sursum corda.
lift up our hearts and see the blessed angels and saints gazing with a joy such as no eye on earth has seen on the poor sinner when he has come home to his Heavenly Father, For he was dead and is come to life (St. Luke xv.). Believe firmly these words of our Lord : So I say to you, there shall be joy before the angels of God on one sinner doing penance (St. Luke xv.). And if joy among the blessed angels, infinitely greater joy to our Heavenly Father Who created the sinner to His likeness, to be His child; infinitely greater also to the Heart of our Blessed Saviour Who sought after him and ransomed him and brought him back.
1 Jesus, therefore, six days before the Pasch came to Bethania (St. John xii.) (see page 284).
The Lord is compassionate and merciful, longsuffering and plenteous in mercy. He will not always be angry, nor will He threaten for ever.-As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our iniquities from us (Psalm cii.). Blessed the day, thrice blessed the hour, when by holy absolution we were raised from death to life for the last time, never to fall again. And if the sinner's coming home gives such gladness to God and to His angels and saints, what is their gratitude to him who helps to bring the prodigal home! Let us resolve with our Lord: I will seek that which was lost; and that which was driven away I will bring again; and I will strengthen that which was weak (Ezech. xxxiv.).
C. At the same time it is better to be anxious to see and know Jesus than to see the man raised to life by miracle, or cured by miracle.
“Many run," Thomas à Kempis writes in one of his admirable chapters on the Blessed Sacrament, “many run to different places to visit the relics of the Saints, and they are astonished as they listen to their deeds, and gaze on the vast structure of their churches, and kiss their sacred bones wrapped up in silk and cloth of gold. And lo! You are here present with me on the altar, my God, the Holy of Holies, the Creator of men, and the Lord of angels” (Bk. iv., c. i.).
My spirit, Holy Mary says, rejoiceth in God my Saviour. As the angels surround the tabernacle they say, What have we in Heaven, Lord Jesus, better than Thee ? And the faithful on earth respond, Outside Thee what is there that I desire upon the earth ? (Psalm lxxii.). It is worth
knowing the Latin language in order to meditate on St.
No music soothes the ear,
No words so sweet to hear,
No memories half so dear,
THE VILLA OF THE HIGH PRIEST ON THE MOUNT OF
The Chief Priests thought to kill Lazarus also: because many
of the fews by reason of him went away and believed in Jesus (vv. 10, 11).
The news that attracts so many of the people from Jerusalem to Bethany also reaches, as has been said, the ears of the Priests and Ancients. Mors est malis, vita bonis—“Death to the wicked, life to the good”. Jesus, the joy of the people, is to them a horrible spectre, a nightmare ever haunting them. At once they meet and conspire against Him.
A. Look at these desecrated Priests. Listen to the foolish words of these “blind guides". The princes have met together, against the Lord, and against His Christ, and they have devised vain things (Psalm ii.).
Does it not occur to any of them that He Who raised Lazarus to life when he died of sickness, could also raise him again if murdered by the Rulers ? earnestly with the Psalmist: I have cried to Thee, for Thou, O God, hast heard me. O incline Thine ear unto me, and hear my words.-From them that resist Thy right hand keep me, as the apple of Thine eye (Psalm xvi.). O Caiphas! O Priest of God! Why dost thou glory in malice, thou that art mighty in iniquity? All the day long thy tongue hath devised injustice.—Thou hast loved malice more than goodness: and iniquity rather than to speak righteousness. Thou hast loved all the words of ruin, o deceitful tongue. Therefore will God destroy thee for ever. He will pluck thee out, and re
Let us pray