Jesus triumphantly enters Jerusalem.
PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.
My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.
Jesus triumphantly enters Jerusalem.
“Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh sitting on a [beast of burden’s] colt.”—St. John xii. 15.
“REJOICE greatly, O daughter of Sion, shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King will come to thee, the Just and Saviour: He is poor, and riding upon a [beast of burden] and upon a colt the foal of a [beast of burden] ” (Zach. ix. 9). This was the prophecy of Zacharias concerning the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into the holy city of Jerusalem: but the disciples did not comprehend the meaning of these things until after His resurrection, when they found that all that had been written of Him had been literally verified.
Let us now consider the sentiments of the disciples and the people on the day of Christ’s triumph.
The fame of His miracle of raising Lazarus to life had reached the city, and the people were eager to see Him. Hearing of His approach, they went out to meet Him just as He was meekly descending Mount Olivet. Some carried branches of olive as a sign of peace, others bore palm as a symbol of triumph, others gathered flowers and strewed them on the way as a demonstration of honor, and some, finally, divested themselves of their robes and spread them on the ground to be trampled upon by the beast on which Jesus was sitting. All unanimously hailed Him, and gave expression to their great joy by singing a hymn of glory, saying: “Happiness and joy to the son of David, praise and glory to the expected of nations, to the desire of the eternal hills, to the foretold by the prophets, to the Saviour of the world! Behold our King! behold our Messias, who comes to us meek and humble, sitting on a beast of burden! Blessed be the King who cometh in the name of the Lord, peace in heaven, and glory on high.” Here followed the choir of Hebrew children who gave glory to God, and loosing their innocent tongues to sing, proclaimed Jesus the expected Messias, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David, glory and triumph to our King!” In the midst of these hosannas and acclamations, all recollected the great miracles which He had performed, the wonderful cures which He had wrought, the sublime and divine doctrine which He preached, and the admirable and most holy life which He led, and they were obliged to recognize Him as the true Son of God: hence they paid Him the tribute of honor and adoration.
The apostles were overjoyed at this triumph of their Master, and thinking that the time had come for His promised kingdom which they supposed would be of this world, they united more closely around Him, and walked joyfully over that flower-strewn road in the midst of the hosannas of the people and the canticles of the children.
What a glorious day was not that for the apostles and disciples of Jesus Christ! What a joy for the holy city of Jerusalem! If only the memory of that triumphant entrance of our Lord into the Jewish capital so fills us with joy, what must have been the happiness of those who witnessed it? If language fails to describe the celebrations which commemorate the victories of kings and princes of this world, it is certainly inadequate to describe this memorable triumph of the King of glory, the Lord of heaven and earth, and the long-desired Messias.
Let us, therefore, imagine that we see Jesus descending Mount Olivet, hailed by the joyful acclamations of the multitude, and uniting with them let us repeat in sentiments of adoration and homage: “Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini, hosanna in excelsis!”
We have learned from the first point of the sentiments of the disciples and the people; let us now consider those of Jesus. While the apostles and disciples, filled with enthusiasm by the joyful manifestations of the crowd, believed that their Blessed Master was going to be crowned king of Jerusalem, and that He would at once commence to exercise His royal power, Jesus, whose divine mind penetrated the future, was thinking of the spectacle that would be witnessed a few days hence on that very road now strewn with flowers, olive-branches, and palms: yet He did not ignore the inconstancy of the Jewish people.
His eyes were yet moist from the tears shed over Jerusalem; and, as He passed those places soon to be rendered memorable by His sufferings, He thought of those events of His passion which would transpire in each. At Gethsemani He foresaw the betrayal of Judas and the flight of His disciples; at the grotto He thought of His agony and bloody sweat; at the torrent of Cedron He foresaw His fall into its waters and the cruelties which would be inflicted on Him there by His barbarous executioners. Hearing the joyful hosannas which resounded in the air, He considered that five days from then they would be exchanged for “Let Him be crucified, let Him be crucified!” Perhaps Jesus said to Himself: “This honor which the Jews now render will soon be turned into the grossest ignominies. To-day they proclaim Me their king, but this shall not pass before they will solemnly declare that they recognize no other “king than Caesar. To-day they meet Me with olive-branches, palms, and flowers, and in a few days they will crown Me with a crown of thorns, they will scourge Me tied to a column. To-day they spread their garments on the road, and on Friday they will strip Me of Mine, which they will divide among themselves. To-day they introduce Me into their city chanting hymns of glory, and in a few days they will banish Me from it amidst howls and brawlings. To-day they call Me blessed, and when I shall be hanging on the cross they will curse and blaspheme Me. What a terrible contradiction is this!”
With these thoughts He ascended Mount Moria, which is opposite Mount Olivet, and passing through the Golden Gate, triumphantly entered Jerusalem. But instead of proceeding to some grand banquet-hall, He went directly to the temple, where He found a number of people buying and selling goods. Full of zeal for the honor of His Father’s house, He seized a scourge, and overthrowing stands and money-tables, drove the changers from the temple, saying in a severe tone, full of authority: “My house shall be called the house of prayer: but you have made it a den of thieves” (St. Matt. xxi. 13). He then began to instruct the multitude, teaching them reverence towards the house of God. In the evening, not finding any one to give Him hospitality, He returned with His disciples to Bethania, where He was always welcomed by Mary Magdalene and Martha, sisters of Lazarus.
In this consideration we should reflect, first, upon the inconstancy of the Jews in proclaiming Jesus king and so soon afterward crying out against Him. From this we should learn never to rely on ourselves, never to take notice of our temporary fervor, and never to trust to our constancy; but, on the contrary, we should regard ourselves unworthy of the favors and graces of God, and attend to our eternal salvation with fear and trembling, as St. Paul teaches. Secondly, we should reflect upon the great respect and reverence which we should have for the house of God, remembering the severe punishments inflicted upon the desecrators of the temple. If Jesus, who was the very essence of goodness, so severely punished those who profaned the Jewish temple, which was only a figure of ours, how much more will He not punish those who desecrate our churches where He is really present in the Blessed Sacrament?
PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.
My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.
I leave it to your own judgement if it is not best to thus make answer to all earthly things: What do they profit man ? or to exclaim later, having gained nothing: What do they profit me ? – St. Ignatius of Loyola, Life, Book ii. n. 2.
February Devotion: The Holy Trinity (also the Holy Family)
Virtue to practice: Humility
I vow and consecrate to God all that is in me: my memory and my actions to God the Father; my understanding and my words to God the Son; my will and my thoughts to God the Holy Ghost; my heart, my body, my tongue my senses and all my sorrows to the sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ, ‘who was contented to be betrayed into the hands of wicked men and to suffer the torment of the Cross.’ – St. Francis de Sales
An indulgence of 3 years.
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of oblation is devoutly repeated every day for a monh (S.P.Ap., Sept. 22, 1922 and May 12, 1934).
The faithful who devoutly offer any prayers in honor of the Most Holy Trinity with the intention of continuing them for nine successive days, may gain:
An indulgence of 7 years once each day:
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions at the end of the novena (S.C. Ind., Aug. 8 1847; S.P. Ap., Mar. 18, 1932).
Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Lourdes
O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Comforter of the Afflicted, thou knowest my wants, my troubles, my sufferings; deign to cast upon me a look of mercy. By appearing in the grotto of Lourdes thou wert pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary from where thou dost dispense thy favors, and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence, to implore thy maternal intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the granting of my requests. Through gratitude for thy favors, I will endeavor to imitate thy virtues, that I may one day share in thy glory. R. Amen.
V. O Mary, conceived without sin,
R. Pray for us who have recourse to thee.
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