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exception, but not all : for the traitor is gone to be the apostle of another master and the guide of the enemies of Jesus.
Therefore now they are all clean.
Besides this, we remember how some days later the disciples at Emmaus said: Was not our heart burning within us while He spoke in the way ? (St. Luke xxiv.). Well, our Lord has this evening been speaking many words to His Apostles, and speaking with special tenderness and love. They are farewell words; and with each word there went from His Heart into theirs some of that fire which He is come to cast on this cold earth. So that we may surely take for granted that their hearts are now full of lively sentiments of faith and hope, and well warmed with Divine charity.
This being so, we may contemplate our Lord Jesus now saying in His Heart to His Eternal Father: It is time to have mercy (on Sion), for the time is come (Psalm ci.).
THE APARTMENT WHERE OUR LADY AND THE DEVOUT
WOMEN HAVE EATEN THE PASCH.
Arise, let us go hence.
Some of those who hold the opinion that the Blessed Eucharist was instituted at the supper-table, and during the Supper, teach, as a consequence, that she was not present at the Institution, and are consequently obliged to say also that she did not receive the new Pasch, the adorable Sacrament, on this holy night; and therefore, not till after the Resurrection, and perhaps not till after the Descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost.
Those, on the contrary, who prefer the common opinion that our Lord, after the Supper was over, offered up the Holy Sacri. fice as a sacred service apart, gladly take for granted that she did assist at the first Mass and did receive sacramentally the Sacred Body of her Divine Son.
Some writers go still further, and consider it probable that Jesus under the Eucharistic veil remained sacramentally present within her during the whole of the terrible conflict which she sustained next day, and during her own peculiar Passion-time that followed, when she was Maria Desolata. The Gospel gives us no help on this point. Neither do we find a tradition of the Church supporting the opinion.
As we are following the more common opinion that He as High Priest offered up the unbloody Sacrifice of the New Law with rites and ceremonies that were to be a model to His future Church, we may also in our contemplation assume that the Ever Blessed Mother was present at this first Holy Mass; and that with her, Magdalen and the devout women from Galilee, and possibly too some privileged disciples, such as Lazarus and Zacheus, and John, Mark, and others of the seventy-two disciples came to join the Apostles. We read in certain histories of the Sacred Passion that Cleophas and other disciples served at the Last Supper and brought the water for the washing of the feet. And there are writers who gather from old traditions that all the seventy-two disciples eat the Pasch in a separate chamber of the Cænaculum. If so they may have all assisted at the Holy Mass.
A. Arise, let us go hence.
At Bethany, Martha went and called her sister, Mary, secretly (silentio), saying: The Master is come and caileth for thee.
Did our Divine Lord at this point select a fit messenger to go to His Holy Mother ? (Who so fit as the disciple whom He loved and whom she loved ?) And did John find her, and reverently and secretly deliver his message: “ The Master says: My hour is come; and He calleth for thee” ?
If so, we may contemplate the intensity and the depth of the consolation with which she receives the invitation. Whenever she is away from Him she bears the separation with a most humble resignation, and says: Fiat. But when she may be in His presence, her spirit doubtless exults anew in God her Saviour, and she speaks to herself in psalms and hymns and spiritual canticles, singing and making melody in her heart to the Lord (Ephes. v.). With great tranquillity and gentleness and prudence she arranges in order the devout women who are to accompany her, that all may be seemly and becoming around the holy altar, for she loves the beauty of God's house (Psalm xxv.).
B. And now we are further permitted to try in contemplation to picture to ourselves in our poor way some of her thoughts concerning the adorable mysteries that are to be accomplished.
For we may, as has been said, take for granted that she knows all that is to come. Her Divine Son on this night is treating the fishermen of Galilee as His intimate friends, and saying to them: All things whatsoever I have heard of My Father I have made known to you.
Did He not then surely in those long years of patient waiting at Nazareth comfort His overburdened Heart and her motherly heart by sharing all His secrets with her? Can I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? (Genesis xviii.).
Among other mysteries, then, He has no doubt fully revealed to her the design of His Eternal Father, that when His natural life on earth is ended, He shall live on here below in a new and ineffable manner in the Blessed Eucharist.
C. And her tears are flowing fast and her humble heart is throbbing and burning as He explains to her how it is, in the first place, love and reverence for her that constrains Him to enter upon this most marvellous sacramental existence. She is to give up, for love of Him, her right to die with Him. She is to survive Him, a widowed, childless, exiled mother. Woe is me that my sojourning is prolonged : my soul hath been long a sojourner! (Psalm cxix.). For very compassion then for her, if other reasons there were none, His filial Heart is restless till He has invented this plan of abiding still with her.
Qui pro nobis natus,
Thus does Holy Church sing in our familiar hyrn, the dve Maris stella. That is to say, the Incarnation is for us all. For all men the Lord is made Flesh. But in a way most special and transcendent, the Son of God has become Man for her, and to belong to her.
So is it now. The Most Holy Eucharist is for us all : for, O Lord, Thou didst feed Thy people with the food of angels, and gavest them Bread
from Heaven prepared without labour; having in it all that is delicious, and the sweetness of every taste.
For Thy sustenance showed Thy sweetness to Thy children, and serving every man's will it was turned to what every man liked (Wisdom xvi.).
Yes, for every man Jesus Christ was born; for every man He died; and with all His Heart and with all His strength He wishes all men to be saved. So, too, does He now wish all men to eat His Flesh and drink His Blood, that every man may live by Him and have everlasting life (St. John vi.). All this is true ; but as in a very special and transcendent sense He became Incarnate for her, and in a better, higher, and supereminent way by His Death redeemed her; so is the Adorable Sacrament of His love in a special and excellent way instituted for her. Through her He was given to us in Bethlehem ; and through her, in another sense, He is given to us in the Most Adorable Sacrament of the Eucharist.
D. The Blessed Eucharist, as has been said, is to be the Sun in the firmament of the Church, from Whose light no one can hide himself (Psalm xviii.). What wonder therefore, if, knowing as they do that the Blessed Eucharist and
every other good thing come to us through the Mother of God, holy and learned men are not afraid to apply to her the words of Ecclesiasticus : I made that in the Heavens there should rise light that never faileth ? (c. xxiv.).
E. Tertullian, using human language, represents God, when creating the body and soul of Adam, as entirely absorbed, if we may so speak, in the work, because He knew that He was creating a likeness of His Divine Son -forma futuri-a figure of the second Adam, Who was to come (Romans v.). Totum Deum occupatum et deditum ; manu, sensu, opere, consilio, sapienter providentem—“ The whole Godhead occupied and devoted to the work-with hand, perception, labour, prudence-arranging every detail most wisely”.
These words contain a great truth. A painter prepares most carefully the sketch of the grand picture to come. And so God creates Adam with infinite care, because He is creating an image of Christ Jesus. The sketch or image must foreshow fitly the perfection of the excellent and transcendent work that is to come.
But if Adam was to be the figure, so are all intended by God to be copies and images of Christ Jesus-Whom He predestinated to be made conformable to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren (Romans viii.). Here is the secret of our being so precious to our God. We are images, most carefully made by the Creator Himself, of His one begotten Son. Since thou becamest honourable in My eyes, thou art glorious : I have loved thee (Isaias xliii.).
It is because we are images, living images of Christ Jesus, and His brethren and therefore children of His Mother, that we are admitted to a share in all the good things created for Him and for her.
“Blessed be God. Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man. Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy."
F. Here, too, we have the secret why man, redeemed and become Christ's image, is so hated and persecuted by Lucifer. God, knowing well why Lucifer hates us, treats us with infinite compassion.
But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as
the Father hath given Me commandment, so do I. Arise,
Therefore those theologians who think that Jesus here rises to go and begin His Passion at Gethsemani, naturally understand these words to mean that our Saviour is going forth to prove that His loving obedience is strong as death and far stronger. But according to the view of Father