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ever, and to betray Him to cruel enemies for thirty pieces of silver. Hold Him fast, and lead Him away carefully.

“O man! O sinner!” our God says in sorrow, “ My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways (Isaias lv.). For My own sake, I love, and must love, the child I created; yet the child I created has not loved Me. I have brought up children and exalted them, but they have despised Me" (Isaias i.).

K. Judas, dost thou betray the Son of Man with a kiss ?

I am the truth, Jesus had said; with Him every word that He utters is truth. If He speaks a kind word, it is spoken with truth and sincerity, and charity ineffable; and therefore when we profess love, it contents Him above measure if our profession is true. If we vow love, a loving obedience or blessed poverty, with desire He desires to find truth and reality in our vow. An unfaithful and foolish promise, the Holy Spirit tells us, displeases Him. It is much better not to vow, than after a vow not to perform the things promised (Eccles. v.).

The kiss of peace, then, is to Him most sacred, and the kiss of treason anguish beyond measure.

He is quite willing and glad to shed His Blood, if we will only give Him true love and friendship. Give, My son, thy heart to Me (Prov. xxiii.). In Holy Communion He gives all He has most precious; Himself, His Body, and His Blood; but with yearnings unspeakable He desires that when we approach to receive, we may give Him love for love.

When, therefore, His own disciple betrays with a kiss, and when the Most Holy Sacrament of His Love becomes only a profane mockery, a wound is driven into His Heart more cruel than the nails, or thorns, or the lash inflicted. “If I must be hated, let My overt enemies hate Me, and I can endure it; but let not My own betray Me with a kiss."

L. He kissed Him.
And this is the preconcerted signal. Jesus said that

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evening in the Supper-Room : By this shall all men know that you are My disciples if you have love one for another. In that same hour Judas is giving a very different sign by which men shall know his Master, Jesus of Nazareth. " The Man Whom I shall kiss treacherously is Jesus of Nazareth.” That is to say, He is the Christ; He is God. Were He not the gracious and merciful God, patient and of much compassion, and easy to forgive evil, man would not be so daring as to kiss Him treacherously. It is on account of “the almighty weakness of His goodness” which so strongly attracts the good, that sinners become so bold. Tibi soli peccavi. I dare not, O my God, treat an earthly king, an earthly master, an earthly friend, or an earthly equal, as I treat Thee.”

M. He kissed Him.

And this is to be a sure and certain sign. As soon as they see this sign they must lay hands on Him at once and lead Him away carefully. But, all in vain! As in every other instance, the plots and counsels of men against the Lord are all foolish and vain and void. Judas has given the sign, but no one stirs. No one is taught by it. No one sees Jesus, or knows where He is. Their eyes are held. There is no wisdom, there is no prudence, there is no counsel against the Lord (Prov. xxi.). Judas can will evil, but he has no power to deliver up Jesus. Neither shall any device or contrivance of the Rulers enable them to seize Him.

They shall have the power they wish for, but not through Judas, nor through the Roman cohort; He shall be delivered up solely because He Himself wills it, and when He wills it, and in the way He wills it.

N. Friend, wherefore art thou come ?
We may stay a little while reflecting on ourselves.

Christians sometimes forget the precept of our Lord, If thou offer thy gift at the altar and there thou remember that thy brother hath anything against thee, leave there thy offering before the altar and go first to be reconciled with thy brother : and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift (St. Matt. v.). They come to the altar to receive His Sacred Body without first being properly reconciled with their offended neighbour. In such a case our Lord may well say: Friend, wherefore art thou come ?

Again, before He gave His Sacred Body to His disciples, He said to them, You are clean. If then we approach the Holy Table without cleansing our souls well, He will say to us : Friend, wherefore art thou come ? Or if we go to the altar on a certain day, merely because others are going, and because we fear to be notorious, and without discerning the Body of the Lord, touched with sorrow of Heart He will say: Friend, wherefore art thou come ??

0. He saith, Hail, Rabbi, and he kissed Him.

Let us contemplate our Blessed Lady, who is watching and listening, and with all the intensity of her motherly heart pouring forth a prayer that this one treacherous kiss of Judas may to the end of time be repaired by the tender devotion of innumerable souls to the Sacred Face and to the wounds of her Son.



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STATION I. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon

Him, went forth and said to them: Whom seek ye? They answered, Fesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith to them, I am He. And Judas also who betrayed Him stood with them. As soon therefore as He had said to them, I am He, they went backward and fell to the ground (St. John xviii. 4–6).

To St. John, who wrote much later than the other Evangelists, to supply details omitted by them, we are indebted for this incident, of which they make no mention.

A. And Judas who betrayed Him stood with them.

The design ascribed to him, of passing himself off as innocent and taking his place among the other Apostles, is entirely baffled by this word of our Lord: Fudas, dost thou betray the Son of Man with a kiss ? His treason, he sees, is found out. It is not safe for him to face the anger of the Eleven : Wickedness is fearful-a troubled conscience always forecasteth grievous things (Wisdom xvii.). Therefore he falls back among his new friends. He has entirely failed in his undertaking to make known Jesus, but he can still perhaps earn his money by zealously urging them to lead Him cautiously and take care that He does not escape. The blindness by which the eyes of the multitude are held, so that they do not recognise Jesus, is one wonder more added to those of the Supper-Room, to shake the unhallowed courage of the traitor.

B. Jesus, therefore, knowing all things that should come

upon Him.

Yes, knowing all things, and every thought, every word, every act that shall add to His anguish between this moment and the ninth hour to-morrow; knowing all, and accepting from the hand of the Father every detail of His Sacred Passion, He goes forward-this Beautiful One, in His robe, walking in the greatness of His strength-the strength of His love, stronger, far stronger than death and than suffering.

St. Jerome and other holy Fathers, as has been said, think that as He walks forward to face the multitude, His beauty and majesty are made more manifest than usual. Let us contemplate Him as He stands alone on the slope, the moonlight and the torches casting their light upon Him, and in full view of all His enemies as they come up from the torrent.

The Psalmist has in our Lord's person described the scene : Many dogs have encompassed Me: the council of the malignant hath besieged Me (Psalm xxi.).

If Judas has strongly urged a noiseless advance in order to surprise Jesus, the admonition, like all other plans and devices, is vain.

For they come on tumultuously with noise and clamour. As the Psalmist writes, They have opened their mouths against Me as a lion ravening and roaring. But now as they draw near, and all suddenly see Him standing beautiful in His robe, and in the greatness of His strength and majesty, every voice is hushed, and there is not an ear in all the multitude that does not hear with astonishment and breathless attention His clear and tranquil voice as He utters the question: Whom seek ye?

In the front ranks, as we shall see later, stand many of the Chief Priests and Magistrates and Ancients. From them comes the answer : Jesus of Nazareth.

c. Whom seek ye? Jesus of Nazareth.

Alas! deceptive words! To that question, Whom seek you? the very holiest answer: Jesus of Nazareth. The Wise Men from the East are seeking Jesus of Nazareth. Disconsolate Magdalen has this very question put to her : Whom seekest thou ? She too is seeking Jesus of Nazareth.

Most lovingly of all the Ever-Blessed Mother with St. Joseph sought Him sorrowing, the same Jesus of Nazareth.

Bene quæritur, a holy writer observes, et male quæritur. We may adapt St. Thomas' words: Quærunt boni, quærunt mali, The good, the bad, both seek, both find, Sorte tamen inæquali,

But not with outcome of one kind, Vitæ vel interitus.

In Heaven above, in Hell below

The good find life, the wicked wo. His faithful servants seek and find Him, and with Him every good.

His wicked foes, too, seek and find, but in Him their ruin.

This Child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many.

“ Merciful Lord Jesus, wearily Thou hast sought for

Grant us grace to seek for Thee perseveringly, and to find Thee and Thy salvation.”

D. Jesus saith to them, I am He.

How earnestly would Holy Mary say, if her voice might be heard : “My children, you have found Him. Come, let us adore and fall down : and weep before the Lord that made us(Psalm xciv.).

E. I am He.
Non in commotione Dominus —There is no anger in


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