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F. As the present life is soon to have an end, wisely indeed does St. Paul advise us: It is now the hour to rise from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we (first) believed (Romans xiii.).
And again : See therefore, brethren, now you walk circumspectly, not as unwise, but as wise, redeeming the time (Ephes. v.).
How can time be redeemed ? If a man is making for a train, and falls down and thus loses some time, he tries hard to regain what is lost by walking or running more quickly than he would otherwise have done. In the Collect for the feast of St. Stanislaus Kostka, we are taught to redeem time by working very diligently. The young saints who in few years reached to great holiness, condemn the long lives of the remiss and the slothful (Wisdom iv.).
But they said, Lord, behold here are two swords. And He
said to them, It is enough (v. 38). Some commentators think that they were two large sacrificial knives used in the immolation of the lamb. Others maintain that they were swords.
A. He said to them, It is enough.
Our Blessed Saviour knows all that is to happen to Malchus, and sees good reasons for allowing Peter and the rest to remain in their error about the sword.
Azarias was walking in the midst of the flaming furnace when he said the words which we too must say in gladness:
Blessed art Thou, O Lord ; all Thy works are true, and Thy ways right, and all Thy judgments true.
“ Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. He is well known to thee, and beloved by thy whole heart. Mother of God, pray for us sinners. Show us the Blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus, that we may love Him with some share of thy love."
END OF THE FIRST NIGHT WATCH.
And going out He went according to His custom to the Mount
of Olives ; and His disciples followed Him (St. Luke xxii.). When Jesus had said these things He went forth with His
disciples over the brook Cedron, where there was a garden, into which He entered with His disciples (St. John xviii.).
Some holy and learned interpreters of the Sacred Scriptures seem to say that the strife among the Apostles, which we have been considering, and the prophetic warnings which our Saviour uttered so solemnly of the dangers that were to come that night, were incidents which occurred during the walk from the Cænacu. lum to Gethsemani; but we are perhaps justified in following the order which we find in St. Luke's narrative. For it is after he has recorded the conversation which arose out of the strife, and how our Lord then foretold the scandals to come, that he writes the words: Going out He went according to His custom to the Mount of Olives.
A. He went forth with His disciples.
If the common tradition be correct, we are at the night of the 24th of March, according to our modern calendar. And, as far as we can calculate or conjecture, it is about nine o'clock, that is, about the beginning of the second night watch, when Jesus leaves the Conaculum. In the Jewish calendar we know that it is the fourteenth day of the month of Nizan, which shall be to you the beginning of
F. Stone WHERE THREE APOSTLES SLEPT AND
WHERE JUDAS KISSED JESUS. G. PLACE WHERE JESUS WEPT. H. WHERE HE TAUGHT THE PATER NOSTER. 1. PLACE OF THE ASCENSION.
months. It shall be the first in the months of the year (Exodus xii.).
At this season in Jerusalem, a chill evening and a cold night succeed to the warmth and bright sunshine of the mid-day. The full moon is shedding its tranquil light on Mount Sion, Mount Olivet, Mount Moriah, and Mount Calvary; names which before to-morrow's sunset will be graven in characters of heavenly light never to be effaced, and set as a seal on the heart of the Bride of Christ, His Holy Church, and as a seal upon her arm.
This still moonlight, we have seen, is most deceptive. It suggests nothing but peace and repose, and gives no sign or indication whatsoever that the greatest, the fiercest, the most stupendous death-struggle that shall ever be decided in this world is about to begin; we may say is begun.
Lucifer was not only infuriated with envy and malice against God's new creation when he assailed the first man and woman in Paradise ; but he and the rest of the fallen angels, moreover, looked upon Adam and Eve with unspeakable scorn and contempt, because they were beings of a lower grade, and made out of the slime of the earth. It was in order to confound and scatter these proud spirits in the conceit of their hearts that the Lord God decreed that they were to be conquered and crushed this time not by their faithful compeers, Michael, and Gabriel, and the rest, but by a Man and a Woman of the race that they contemned so much.
Duello conflixere mirando. Death and life, light and darkness, are to meet in a contest that the blessed angels shall gaze upon with silent amazement. Now therefore the second Adam and the second Eve are ready, and the fight is commencing.
B. Going out He went, and His disciples followed Him.
The fight, we may say, is commencing, because now, apparently, our Saviour, who has been pouring out His Heart so abundantly in farewell words of comfort and of love, walks in deep silence, and His disciples follow Him.