Jesus predicts His Bitter Passion to His Apostles for the Second Time.
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 predicts His Bitter Passion to His Apostles for the Second Time.
“And it came to pass: when Jesus had ended all these words, He said to His disciples: You know that after two days shall be the Pasch, and the Son of man shall be delivered up to be crucified.”—St. Matt. xxvi. 1, 2.
THREE days after His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Jesus said to His disciples: “ You know that after two days shall be the Pasch,” and I repeat to you what I have already told you, that on this solemnity I shall be delivered into the hands of My enemies, to be scoffed at, despised, scourged, and finally crucified. But before predicting the day of His death, He spoke to them on the general judgment, saying that He would come again on earth, not as a man subject to infirmities, but in all His divine majesty, accompanied by a multitude of angels, and that He would gather together before Him in the Valley of Josaphat all the nations of the earth. He foretold that the good would be separated from the bad, the former to be admitted to the eternal joys of heaven, and the latter to be condemned to the everlasting pains of hell. He also predicted the destruction of Jerusalem, and the reprobation of the Jewish nation, and its dispersion all over the world. Then the Divine Master resumed His subject, asking His disciples if they remembered that in two days the Pasch would be celebrated and that He would be the victim.
Father Louis Novarino remarks that after Jesus Christ had foretold that He would come again in all the majesty of His glory, He immediately added that the day of His death was fast approaching. This was for the purpose of making us understand the relation which exists between the mystery of the cross and that of glory; hence those wishing to enter the glory of heaven should not refuse to accept and bear the cross with patience and resignation. Moreover, the same author says that those who desire to avoid the punishments due to their sins and escape the wrath of God will find means for so doing in the meditation of Christ’s passion. In fact, how can we more efficaciously satisfy the justice of the Eternal Father than by offering to Him all the sufferings of His Divine Son? And how can we more surely obtain the mercy of Jesus than by contemplating His sacred wounds and endeavoring to crucify our rebellious passions for His love?
A profound theologian, commenting on this evangelical passage, says that as soon as Jesus had finished speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem, the general judgment, and the consummation of the world, He immediately announced His bitter passion and painful death, fixing exactly the day and the manner of its occurrence. It seemed almost incredible that in so short a time and on so solemn a festival such a crime would be perpetrated. But in only two days the Jews had found the traitor, agreed upon the manner of the betrayal, arrested Jesus, put Him in prison, gathered the council, examined His cause, condemned Him to death, presented Him to Pontius Pilate for the ratification of the sentence, and crucified Him between two thieves. Who could have imagined that the Jews would commit so heinous a crime at the time of the great and joyful festival of Easter, which commemorated their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt? Yet our Lord frankly asserted that they would, saying: “You know that after two days shall be the Pasch, and the Son of man shall be delivered up to be crucified” (St. Matt. xxvi. 2).
Let us now consider the goodness of our Holy Redeemer in so admirably disposing His apostles for His future death: let us consider also their grief and consternation on hearing from the lips of their beloved Master that in two days He would be delivered up to be crucified. If we had been present at this touching discourse, what emotions would we not have felt? Let us excite in ourselves those same feelings by meditating on those words: “You know that after two days shall be the Pasch, and the Son of man shall be delivered up to be crucified.”
Dionysius Carthusianus asks why our Lord predicted His passion to His disciples, and answers himself by saying that Jesus did so for three reasons: first, that it should not appear that He was arrested unawares, or condemned to death against His will; secondly, that He might fortify His disciples, and prepare them to suffer with patience and resignation; thirdly, that they might know that He went voluntarily to Jerusalem, though aware that He would be arrested and put to death.
Jesus did not ignore His enemies, and instead of avoiding them as He did on other occasions, He went among them that they might do to Him as they desired. St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, says that Christ not only predicted but also specified the day on which His passion would occur, in order that all should know that nothing is hidden from Him, and that He went of His own free will to suffer death. He journeyed from Galilee to Judea to celebrate Easter, and on the eve of the same went from Bethania to Jerusalem to be crucified. Origen, commenting on the above-quoted passage of the holy Gospel, says that many were the motives which concurred to deliver Jesus to death, but not all proposed the same end: the ends differed according to the different emotions and passions. The Eternal Father delivered His only-begotten Son to death through His love and mercy for mankind; Judas betrayed His Divine Master through avarice; the priests condemned Him to death through envy, the scribes and Pharisees through malice. Satan instigated the enemies of Jesus to put Him to death, because he feared that the exemplary life and preaching of Jesus would save many souls from hell: the infernal enemy did not reflect that the death of the Messias could more easily free us than His preaching.
But for what reasons do we sometimes deliver Him again to death by committing sin? Alas! our motives for doing so are often less weighty than those of Lucifer, perhaps to satisfy a sinful passion or to revenge ourselves. Yet faith teaches us that Christ Jesus died on account of our sins, and Holy Scripture says that those who grievously sin deliver Him up again to death as far as in them lies.
We believe these truths, yet we will not be guided by them. We offend God, as it were, by habit. We do not reflect on the evils we do to our souls which cost the Eternal Son of God all of His most precious blood. We ought, therefore, from time to time, to meditate on these truths of our holy faith, and consider what a great evil we do every time we sin. We ought to call to mind frequently that Jesus is our God, our Redeemer, our Judge, our Benefactor. In order to do this let us accompany Him as He goes to offer Himself as a victim of expiation for our sins, and He will grant us the grace of true repentance.
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.
Ask of God much suffering; in giving it to you, He will do you a great favor, for in this single gift are countless blessings. – St. Ignatius of Loyola, Bartoli, Book iv.
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.
Copyright © Holy Cross Publications, 2012 – 2016. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holy Cross Publications with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.