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has chosen. He is in the hands of Lucifer and his fallen angels. Thy enemies, lost child of God, shall compass thee round and beat thee flat to the ground, because thou hast not known the day of thy visitation, thy day of privilege, when salvation was easy, when the Mother of God and ten thousand saints and angels were ever ready to pray for thee; when thou couldst have had forgiveness by saying from thy heart the one word, “peccavi”. Alas! alas ! The serpent deceived me.
After our Blessed Lord's most sorrowful lament over Jerusalem, the procession descended to the torrent Cedron, passing on the right hand the Garden of Gethsemani. Then crossing one of the bridges over the torrent, they had to climb a very steep but short ascent to arrive at the Eastern Gate, sometimes called the Shusan Gate, sometimes the Beautiful Gate, later on the Golden Gate. This gate stood near the centre of the Eastern Wall, and led into the inner Court of the Temple, the Court of the Israelites. It was only opened on special occasions, such as this great Paschal season. It is supposed that our Saviour made His entrance through this gate. At present the Golden Gate is walled up. The Turks, it is said, have amongst them a prophecy, handed down from father to son, that one day the Christians will reconquer Palestine and make their entrance into Jerusalem through this Golden Gate. They hope to render this prophecy void by walling up the gateway.
A large part of the Holy City was built on three hills : Mount Sion formed the south-western portion; Mount Acra, the north-western; and Mount Moriah stood on the eastern side. On the southern slope of Mount Moriah down to the valley, lay the district called Ophel, where the poor people congregated. The Temple area occupied the greater part of Mount Moriah. Herod the Great, in the hope that magnificence might draw away the attention of the people from his tyranny and barbarous cruelty, had much enlarged the Temple precincts, and added greatly to the splendour of the buildings. The area, or plateau, in the centre of which the Temple stood, was therefore in our Lord's time about fifteen hundred feet in length, and nine hundred broad. It was divided into the outer court, into which the Gentiles might come, and the inner courts, into which only the children of Abraham might penetrate.
Within this inner court was the portion reserved for the Priests and Levites; and here again in the innermost position stood the Sanctum Sanctorum into which no one but the High Priest could go. So that the Temple was not one large edifice like our cathedrals, but rather a succession of enclosures and buildings one within the other. The whole area was surrounded by a colonnade, called the Portico of Solomon.
The Mosque of Omar occupies now the site of the ancient Temple, and at the southern extremity of the area stands the Mosque of El Aksa, where formerly stood the church built by St. Helen in honour of our Lady's life in the Temple.
Beneath the Temple area are very large excavations called the Stables of Solomon. There, it is said, the Crusaders found room enough to stable two thousand horses.
STATION I. And when He was come to Jerusalem, the whole city was
moved, saying: Who is this? And the people said : This is Jesus the Prophet, from Nazareth of Galilee (St. Matt.
xxi.). 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 had heard that He had done this miracle (St. John xii.).
A. We will contemplate the scene : the persons, the words, the actions as Jesus enters through the Beautiful Gate. Five centuries and a half before this time, the Prophet Zachary had seen in vision this triumphal entrance of our Lord, and had, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and speaking as God's delegate, called on the people to welcome their King. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion: Shout for joy, 0 daughter of Jerusalem : Behold, thy King will come to thee : the Just and Saviour. He is poor, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass (c. ix.).
How thoroughly is the Divine will accomplished ! As we listen, the men and women and children are with a wonderful fervour and enthusiasm crying out: Hosanna to the Son of David ! Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord! Blessed be the King Who cometh in the Name of the Lord! Peace in Heaven, and glory on high (St. Matt. xxi.; St. Luke xix.).
Well may we with pious envy desire to have some share of this fervour. With what good reason Holy Church borrows the words of the inspired crowd and puts them into our hearts when the solemn time of the Consecration at Mass is coming, in the hope that we too, in the moment when our Blessed Saviour appears in the midst of us, shall greet Him from our hearts and say with much faith and hope and love, Blessed is He that cometh
our King so poor and meek, the Son of Man, the Son of Holy Mary, our Brother, our Saviour, our Jesus, our God and our All!
B. Now, too, Sursum corda ! We must lift up our hearts; for during His Passiontide our Blessed Lord often reminds us that He will come again one day, not in His littleness and poverty, but as the King and Lord and Judge of all the living and the dead. If all the faithful on earth were joined to the Jews and Galileans at the Shusan Gate, all singing from their hearts the same Hosanna, that loud anthem would still give us no idea at all of the new Magnificat which the Blessed Mother will intone, and the heavenly choirs of angels and of men will take up and prolong when all is ended, when Judgment is done, and the King of Glory, followed by the countless hosts of His redeemed and sanctified, shall pass through the eternal gates into the Heavenly Jerusalem : The tabernacle of God with men (where) He will dwell with them : and they shall be His people, and God Himself with them shall be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes : and death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away (Apoc. xxi.).
Here on this earth, eye hath not seen what that pageant shall be ; ear hath not heard anything like that new song, Neither hath it entered into the heart of man what things, what manner of triumph the Eternal Father hath prepared for His Divine Son Who loved Him so well, and for all who have faithfully followed their Lord, and remained
with Him in His temptations (St. Luke xxiii.).
C. Here, too, we see in its true character the poverty of Christ Jesus; how He has nothing, but possesses all things. Silver and gold He hath none; but when was there ever on this earth emperor or conqueror so privileged as to have a triumph such as this one is ?
Let us observe, moreover, how while He sits so poor on the ass, His poverty is enriching many, and will to the end of time enrich many.
“ Poor Mother of a poor Son, Blessed Mother of a Blessed Son, pray for us that our hearts may learn to love this poverty so real, and yet enriching so many."
D. In this large multitude gathering on Mount Moriah we may distinguish three groups: the first, of those
: believing disciples who have come from Bethany and Jericho, and witnessed the raising of Lazarus; the second, of strangers who as yet know not Jesus, and are asking: Who is this? The third, of those who are looking on in malice incurable. Every Hosanna is only adding virulence to the poison that is corrupting their hearts. Judas is among them, still meditating how he can betray Him conveniently, and so regain what he lost at Bethany, when the true spikenard of Magdalen was not sold for three hundred pence, but wasted, as he thought, on the Body of the Lord. Ab ira, et odio, et omni mala voluntate, libera
nos, Domine—“From anger and hatred and all ill-will, deliver us, O Lord”.
E. The multitude gave testimony which was with Him when He called Lazarus out of the grave. The whole city was moved. And behold, greater wonders far are wrought in our midst; and so plentiful is redemption that we grow familiar with these miracles as we do with the every-day sunlight.
Not one Lazarus, but ten thousand times a thousand are called out of the grave and raised from eternal death to heavenly life.
Men make long pilgrimages to see the tomb of Lazarus. How reasonable were the words of St. Louis: “I care not to see any miracle but the miracle wrought upon the altar by consecration”. The tabernacle is better than the tomb of Lazarus. Better is one day, O Lord, in Thy courts above thousands. The Most Holy Eucharist is the memorial of (all) His wonderful works (Psalm cx.).
Spiritual writers warn us not to rely too much on sensible consolations and sensible fits of fervour, which come and go, but to labour to acquire a firm faith and strong convictions which are not so changeable. We are not bound to believe that all who cried Hosanna on Palm Sunday joined in the uproar of Good Friday against Jesus, but there is much reason to fear that very many were scandalised in Him.
And He entered into Jerusalem into the Temple, and having
viewed all things round about, when now the eventide
The last of the Prophets foretold this visit. Presently the Lord Whom you seek, and the Angel of the Testament Whom you desire, shall come to His Temple. Behold, He cometh, saith the Lord of Hosts .; and who shall stand to see Him? for He is like a refining fire (Malach. iii.).
The time is at hand when He shall sit refining and cleansing. For the present, He merely goes round as the Lord and Master to see in what condition His house is. He will return again to-morrow.
Let us pray for priests and people that we may all be able to say when He comes to judge: Lord, I have loved the beauty of Thy house (Psalm xxv.).
B. When now the eventide was come, He went out to Bethania, because now, as at His Birth, there is no place