Saturday, April 28, 2012
Friday, April 06, 2012
Instructions On Easter
What is the festival of Easter?
Easter, in Latin Pascha, signifies passing over, and has the following historical origin: Under Pharao, King of Egypt, the Jews in that country groaned under intolerable bondage. God had mercy on His people, and the hour of deliverance came. By His command the first-born of all the Egyptians was killed by an angel. The Jews had been ordered by God to be ready for emigration, but first to kill a lamb, eat it in their houses in common, and sprinkle the doorposts with its blood. And the angel of death, by order of God, passed the doors sprinkled with the blood of the lamb, and did no harm to any child of the Israelites, whilst he slew all the first-born sons of the Egyptians. In grateful memory of this passing their doors, the Jews observed the festival of Easter, the Pasch, or Passover. After the death of Jesus, the apostles introduced the same festival into the Church in grateful remembrance of the day on which Jesus, the true Easter Lamb, took away our sins by His blood, freed us from the angel of eternal death, and passed us over to the freedom of the children of God.
Where, during this time, was Christ's holy soul?
In Limbo, that is, the place where the souls of the just who died before Christ, and were yet in original sin, were awaiting their redemption.
What have we to expect from the resurrection of Christ?
That our bodies will rise again from death. (Rom. VIII. II) For if Christ our head is alive, then we His members must also become reanimated, because a living head cannot exist without living members.
What is meant by the Alleluia sung at Easter time?
In English Alleluia means Praise the Lord, and expresses the joy of the Church at the Resurrection of Christ, and the hope of eternal happiness which He has obtained for us.
Why does the Church on this day bless eggs, bread, and meat?
To remind the faithful that although the time of fasting is now ended, they should not indulge in gluttony, but thank God, and use their food simply for the necessary preservation of physical strength.
At the Introit the Church introduces Christ, her Head, as addressing His Heavenly Father in these words:
INTROIT I arose, and am still with thee, alleluia; thou hast laid thy hand upon me, alleluia: thy knowledge is become wonderful, allel., allel. Lord, thou hast proved me and known me: Thou bast known my sitting down arid my rising up. (Ps. CXXXVIII.) Glory be to the Father, etc.
COLLECT O God, who on this day, through Thine only-begotten Son, didst overcome death and open unto us the gate of everlasting life; as by Thy prompting grace Thou dost breathe on the desires of our hearts, so do Thou ever accompany them with Thy help. Through &c.
EPISTLE (I Cor. V. 7-8.) Brethren, purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new paste, as you are unleavened: for Christ our pasch is sacrificed. Therefore let us feast, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
EXPLANATION St. Paul here exhorts us that we should at this time remove by a good confession and true penance the leaven, that is, the sins we have committed, and partake of the Paschal lamb in holy Communion with a pure, sincere heart; as the Jews were on this day commanded to eat the Paschal lamb with unleavened bread, abstaining on this day from the old leaven.
During the octave of this festival repeat often with the Church: "Alleluia! Praise to the Lord, for He is good, and His mercy endureth forever. Alleluia! This is the day the Lord has made, Alleluia! Let us rejoice therein, Alleluia! Our Paschal Lamb is Christ who sacrificed Himself for us, Alleluia!"
GOSPEL (Mark XVI. 1-7.) At that time, Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James and Salome, bought sweetspices, that, coming, they, might anoint Jesus. And very early in the morning, the first, day, of the week, they come to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen. And they said one to another: Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And looking, they saw the stone rolled back, for it was very great. And, entering into the sepulchre they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed with a white robe, and they were astonished. Who saith to them: Be not affrighted; you seek Jesus of Nazareth; who was crucified: he is risen, he is not here; behold the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples, and Peter, that he goeth before you into Galilee: there you shall see him, as he told you.
Why did the holy women desire to embalm the body of Jesus with slices?
Because it was the custom of the Jews to embalm the dead, and as the Sabbath was so near and the time so short that they could not do it before the burial, these pious women procured the spices, and immediately after the Sabbath, hurried in the early morning to the sepulchre, to perform this act of love. We are taught by their conduct, that true love is never indifferent or slow, and what is agreeable to God it does without hesitation.
Why did the angel send the women to the disciples, and especially to Peter?
Because the disciples were to announce the Resurrection of Christ to the whole world, and they were now much saddened, and disturbed because of His death. Peter was the head of the apostles, and on account of having three times denied our Lord, he was greatly dejected and faint of heart, and was, therefore, above all to be comforted.
What encouragement does the Resurrection of Christ give us?
It encourages us to rise spiritually with Him, and live henceforth a new life, (Rom. VI. 4.) which we do if we not only renounce sin, but also flee from. all its occasions, lay aside our bad habits, subdue our corrupt inclinations, and aim after virtue and heavenly things.
ASPIRATION I rejoice, O my Jesus, that Thou hast victoriously risen from death. By Thy triumph over death, hell and the devil, grant us the grace to subdue our evil inclinations, walk in a new life, and die to all earthly things. Amen.
INSTRUCTION It is certainly true that Christ, by His death on the cross and by His resurrection, has rendered perfect satisfaction; and effected man's redemption; (Heb. IX. 12.) but we must not imagine that there is no further need of doing penance, or of working out our salvation. For, as the children of Israel, though freed from Pharao's bondage, had to fight long and against many enemies in order to gain the Promised Land, so also must we, though freed by Christ from the servitude .of the devil, battle against our enemies to the end of our lives to obtain the promised, heavenly land, for no one is crowned unless he has properly fought. (II Tim. II. 5.) We must apply the merits of the redemption and satisfaction of Christ to our soul by the frequent reception of the holy sacraments; by imitating His virtues; by patiently bearing our trials and sufferings, and by a penitential life. The pious Angelus Silesius very appropriately writes:
"God is a Lamb that avails yon not, my Christian,
If you become not also a lamb of God.
The cross on Golgotha redeems not from evil,
If it is not also erected in thee;
The dear Christ's death aids you not, my Christian,
Until in Him and for Him you also have died:"
-- Goffine's Devout Instructions
-- Goffine's Devout Instructions
Labels: Bible, Bible Verse, Catholic Devotions, Easter Sunday, Favorite Scripture, Goffine's Devout Instructions, Holy Scripture, Immaculate Conception Novena, Memorial, Scripture, Scripture Passages
Thursday, April 05, 2012
|"Good Friday Morning: Jesus in Prison " -- byJames Tissot|
This day was formerly for the Jewish people a day of preparation for Easter, and was called by them the Parasceve; for us Christians it is the anniversary of the death and burial of our Lord who on this day, being Himself both High-Priest and Victim, offered Himself upon the cross for the salvation of the world.
Why do Catholics hold this day in such veneration?
Because it is one of the greatest days from the beginning of the world to its end. On this day the designs which God had from all eternity were perfected, as Jesus Himself expressed when He said, All il consummated; for on this day He was given up toy the Gentiles by the Jews, was scourged, crowned with thorns, loaded with the cross, dragged to Calvary amid taunts and sneers, there nailed to the cross between two thieves, and by His painful death finished the great work of redemption.
Why did Christ suffer so much to, redeem, us?
To show us what an immense evil sin is, on account of which He underwent such cruel sufferings that He might satisfy divine justice. His love for us was so great that He gave the last drop of His blood to save us. He rendered satisfaction for all men without exception, that none might be lost, that every one might possess eternal life. Look up today, and every day of thy life, to Christ on the cross, and see how God punishes sin, since He did not even spare His only-begotten Son, who took upon Himself our sins, and for them died this cruel death. What death is due to thee, if thou dost not despise and flee from sin?
Why does the Church celebrate the commemoration of the passion of Christ in such solemn quietness?
That we may be induced to thank the Saviour for our redemption, and to move us to sincere love for Him by serious meditation on His passion. For this reason St. Paul ordered the observance of this day, and the Christians even in his time sanctified it by deep mourning, and rigorous fasting.
Why do we not observe Good Friday with such festivities as do the Protestants? [in Europe.]
Because our grief for our Saviour's death is too great to permit us to celebrate it joyously, even nature mourned His death; the sun was darkened, the earth trembled and the rocks were rent. Although the Christian rejoices on this day in the grace of redemption through Christ, he is aware that his joy cannot be pleasing to God unless he endeavors to participate in the merits of the passion and death of Christ by sorrow for his sins, by amendment and penance; and this is the very reason why the Church solemnizes this day in a sad and touching manner.
Why are there no candles lighted at the beginning of the service?
To signify that on this day Christ, the Light of the world, became, as it were, extinguished.
Why does the priest prostrate himself before the altar at the beginning of the service?
That with him we should consider in deepest sorrow and humility how the Saviour died on the cross for our sins, and how unworthy we are on account of them to lift up our faces.
Why does the service commence with the reading of two lessons?
Because Christ died for Jews and Gentiles. The first lesson is from the Prophet Osee, (Osee VI, 1-6.) and the other from Exodus, (Exod. XII. 1-11.) from them we infer that by the bloody death of the immaculate Lamb Jesus we are healed of our sins, and redeemed from death.
After the first lesson the Priest says the following:
COLLECT O God! from whom Judas received the punishment of his sin, and the thief the reward of his confession: grant us the effects of Thy mercy; that as our Lord Jesus Christ at the time of His passion bestowed on each a different recompense of his merits, so having destroyed the old man in us, He may give us the grace of His Resurrection. Who liveth, & c.
REMARK After the Passion the priest prays in behalf of the one, only true Church, that she may increase, and that peace and unity may always remain with her; for the pope, that his government may be blessed; for the bishops, priests, the clergy, and the people, that they may serve God in justice; for those converted to the faith, that they may continue to grow an knowledge and an zeal for the holy religion; for rulers as defenders of the Church, that they may govern with wisdom and justice, and that those under them may be loyal to them with fidelity and obedience; for the unfortunate, that God may have mercy on them; for heretics and apostates, that they may be brought back from error to the truth of the Catholic faith; for the Jews, that they may be enlightened; for the heathens, that they may be converted. Before each gayer the priest says Oremus, (Let us pray Flectamus genua, (Let us kneel; when kneeling, we say Amen, and at the call Levate (Rise up) we rise: except at the prayer for the Jews, when the genuflection is omitted, because the Jews bent the knee in mockery before our Lord. As Christ on this day prayed for all men, the Church desires, that we do the same; say, therefore, the following:
PRAYER O Lord Jesus! who on the cross, while enduring the most excruciating pain, didst pray with a loud voice for all men, we humbly pray Thee for Thy vicar, Pope N., for our bishop N., for all the priests and clergy, for our civil government, for the neophytes, for the unfortunate and oppressed, for all Catholics, that Thou mayst preserve them in the true faith, and strengthen them, that they may serve Thee according to their different vocations. We pray Thee also for all unbelievers, and those separated from the true fold, for the Jews, and for the heathens, that Thou mayst unite all in Thy holy Church, and bring them to eternal salvation. Amen.
What is done by the priest after these prayers?
The priest then goes down from the epistle side of the altar, takes the veiled crucifix, and extending it towards the people, uncovers it so much that the head is seen, and sings in a low voice: Ecce lignum. crucis, &c.: Behold the wood of the cross on which the Salvation of the world was hanged! The choir answers: Venite, adoremus: Come, let us adore! at which all kneel, adoring Christ who died on the cross for us. The priest then advances to the corner of the altar, uncovers the right arm of the Crucifix, and sings in a higher tone: Ecce lignum crucis, &c.; to which the choir responds as before. Then at the middle of the altar he uncovers the entire Crucifix, and elevating it, sings in a still higher tone than before: Ecce lignum, &c. The choir responds again: Venite adoremus. The image of the crucified Redeemer, which has been hidden from our view since Passion Sunday should make a deep impression upon us; it teaches us at the same time how the Saviour became gradually known to the world. Jesus is adored three times, because He was mocked three times: in the court-yard of the high-priest, in Pilate's house, and on mount Calvary. When the crucifix is unveiled the priest carries it to the place prepared for it, and kneeling he places it on the cushion covered with a white veil to represent the laying of Christ in the sepulchre; he then retires to the gospel side of the Altar where he puts off his shoes, like Moses, when he was about to approach Almighty God; he then kneels and meditates on the passion of Christ; goes a few steps forward, again kneels, and still a third time, this time directly in front of the crucifix. He adores Jesus with humility, considers His infinite love, which brought Him to the cross and laid Him in the sepulchre for our Redemption; and then kisses with reverence the image of the crucified Saviour. During this veneration of the cross the choir chants alternately the versicles called the Reproaches, and between each part of the canticle the following words in Greek and Latin: "Holy God! Holy and strong God! Holy and immortal God! have mercy on us!" In these versicles Christ tenderly and lovingly reproaches the people who crucified Him, which we may also take to ourselves, who have so often crucified Jesus anew by sin. They are therefore called reproaches, words of complaint, and continue during the veneration of the cross by the priest. Afterwards a hymn of praise composed by St. Fortunatus is sung in honor of the victory gained on the cross by our Saviour, which calls upon us also to render praise and thanks to Jesus crucified.
Adore also in deepest humility the Saviour who died on the cross, and is now victoriously enthroned; ask with sincere contrition the forgiveness of your sins, and by a threefold advance, kiss with sincere love His sacred wounds, promising to love all men, even your enemies, and to have pity on all in distress, according to His example.
What follows the veneration of the cross?
The sacred Host consecrated on Holy Thursday, and kept in the chalice, is brought by the priest in procession, from the repository to the high altar, incensed in sign of adoration, and after a few short prayers the priest elevates It with the right hand, breaks It, puts one part in the chalice and communicates, and soon after leaves the altar.
Is there, then, no Mass said on this day?
No; for on this day there is no bread and wine consecrated, which is the essential part of the Sacrifice of the Mass.
Why is no Mass said on this day?
Because Jesus Christ having this day sacrificed Himself on the altar of the cross in a bloody offering, it is not meet that His death sacrifice should be today repeated even in an unbloody manner. Besides this, Mass is a joyous and comforting sacrifice, and is therefore omitted because of our mourning.
What devotions may be practised to-day?
Besides adoring Jesus in the holy sepulchre, the stations may be said, meditations made on the sufferings of our Lord. Let the words of St. Augustine touch your heart, when he places the crucified Redeemer before our mind in the following words: "Behold the wounds of Jesus who is hanging on the cross, the blood of the dying, the price of our redemption! His head is bowed to give the kiss of peace; His side is open to love; His arms are extended to embrace us; His whole body sacrificed for our redemption. Let these words be the subject of your meditation that He may be wholly in your heart who is nailed to the cross for you."
MANNER OF CONTEMPLATING CHRIST'S BITTER PASSION
Christ also suffered for us: leaving you an example that you should follow his steps. (I Peter II. 21.)
Whence does it come," writes St. Alphonsus Ligouri, "that so many of the faithful look with so much indifference at Christ on the cross? They generally assist during Holy Week at the commemoration of His death without any feeling of gratitude or compassion, as if it were a fable or an event in which they had no interest. Know they not, or believe they not what the gospel relates of Christ's passion? Indeed they know it, and believe it, but do not think of it. It is impossible that he who believes and meditates, should fail, to become burning with love for God who suffers and dies for love of him." But why, we may ask here, are there so many who draw so little benefit even from the contemplation of the passion and death of Jesus? Because they fail to consider and imitate the example which Christ gives in His sufferings.
"The cross of Christ," says St. Augustine, "is not only a bed of death, but a pulpit of instruction." It is not only a bed upon which Christ dies, but the pulpit from which He teaches us what we must do. It should now be our special aim to meditate upon the passion of Christ, and to imitate those virtues which shone forth so preeminently in His passion and death. But many neglect to do this: They usually content themselves with compassion when they see Christ enduring such great pains, but they see not with what love, humility, and meekness He bears them; and so do not endeavor to imitate His example. That you, O Christian soul, may avoid this mistake, and that you may draw the greatest possible benefit for your soul, from the contemplation of the passion, and death of Christ, attend to that which is said of it by that pious servant of Gods Alphonse Rodriguez:
We must endeavor to derive from the meditation on the mysteries of the passion and death of Christ this effect, that we may imitate His virtues, and this by slowly and attentively considering each virtue by itself, exercising ourselves in forming a very great desire for it in our hearts, making a firm resolution to practice it in words and works, and also to conceive a holy aversion and horror of the opposite vice; for instance, when contemplating Christ's condemnation to the death of the cross by Pilate, consider the humility of Jesus Christ, who being God, as humble as He was innocent, voluntarily submitted and silently accepted the unjust sentence and the ignominious death. Here you see from the example given by Jesus, how you should despise yourself, patiently bear all evil, unjust judgment; and detraction, and even seek them with joy as giving you occasion to resemble Him. To produce these necessary effects and resolutions, you should at each mystery contemplate the following particulars:
First, Who is it that suffers? The most innocent, the holiest, the most loving; the only-begotten Son of the Almighty Father, the Lord of heaven and earth. Secondly; What pains and torments, exterior and interior, does He suffer? Thirdly, In what manner does He suffer, with what patience, humility, meekness and love, does He bear all ignominy and outrage? Fourthly, For whom does He suffer? For all men, for His enemies and His executioners. Fifthly, By whom does He suffer? By Jews and heathens, by soldiers and tyrants, by the devil and all impious children of the world to the end of time, and all who were then united in spirit with His enemies. Sixthly, Why does He suffer? To make reparation for all the sins of the whole world, to satisfy the justice of God, to reconcile the Heavenly Father, to open heaven, to give us His infinite 'merits that we may from them have strength to follow the way to heaven. At the consideration of each of these points, and indeed at each mystery of the passion of Christ, the imitation of the example of His virtues is the main object, because the true life of the Christian consists in the imitation of Jesus. In considering each stage of the passion of Christ place vividly before your mind the virtue which He practiced therein; contemplate it and ask yourself whether you possess this virtue, or whether you still cherish the opposite vice. If you find the latter to be the case make an act of contrition, with the firm resolution to extirpate this vice, and excite in yourself a sincere desire for the opposite virtue. In this way you will draw the greatest advantage from the contemplation of Christ's passion, and will resemble Christ, and, as the pious Louis of Granada says, there can be no greater honor and adornment for a Christian than to resemble his divine Master, not in the way that Lucifer desired, but in that which He pointed out, when He said: "I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, so do you also."
THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
ACCORDING TO ST. JOHN. (CHAPS. XVIII., XIX.)
At that time, Jesus went forth with his disciples, over the brook of Cedron, where there was a garden into which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas also, who betrayed him, knew the place: because Jesus had often resorted thither together with his disciples. Judas therefore having received a band of men and servants from the chief priests and the Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. Jesus, therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth and said to them: Whom seek ye? They answered him: Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith to them: I am he. And Judas also, who betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said to them: I am he; they, went backward, and fell to the ground.
Again therefore he asked them: Whom seek ye? And they said: Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered: I have told you, that I am he. If therefore you seek me, let these go away. That the word might be fulfilled which he had said: Of them whom thou bast given me, I have not lost any one. Then Simon Peter having a sword, drew it, and struck the servant of the high-priest, and cut off his right ear. And the name of the servant was Malchus. Then Jesus said to Peter: Put up thy sword into the scabbard. The cup which my Father hath given me, shall not I drink it?
Then the band, and the tribune, and the servants of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him: and they led him away to Annas first: for he was father-in-law to Caiphas, who was the high-priest of that year. Now Caiphas was he who had given the council to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. And that disciple was known to the high-priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high-priest. But Peter stood at the door without. Then the other disciple who was known to the high-priest, went out, and spoke to her that kept the door: and brought in Peter. And the maid that waited at the door, saith to Peter: Art not thou also one of this man's disciples? He saith : I am not.
Now the servants and officers stood at a fire of coals, because it was cold, and warmed themselves: and with them was Peter also standing, and warming himself.
The high-priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. Jesus answered him: I have spoken openly to the world: I have always taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither all the Jews resort: and in secret I have spoken nothing. Why askest thou me? ask them who have heard what I have spoken to them: behold they know what things I have said. And when he had said these things, one of the officers standing by, gave Jesus a blow, saying: Answerest thou the high-priest so? Jesus answered him: If I have spoken, evil, give testimony of the evil: but if well, why strikest thou me?
And Annas sent him bound to Caiphas the high-priest.
And Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said therefore to him: Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it and said: I am not. One of the servants of the high-priest, a kinsman to him whose ear Peter, cut off, saith to him: Did not I see thee in the garden with him? Then Peter: again denied, and immediately the cock crowed. Then they led Jesus from Caiphas to the governor hall. And it was morning: and they went not into the hall, that they might not be defiled, but that they might eat the passover.
Pilate therefore went out to there, and said: What accusation bring you against this man? They answered and said to him: If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up to thee. Pilate then said to them: Take him you, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said to him: It is not lawful for us to put any man to death. That the word of Jesus might be fulfilled which he said, signifying what death he should die. Pilate therefore went into the hall again, and called Jesus, and said to him: Art thou the king of the Jews? Jesus answered: Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or have others told it thee of me. Pilate answered: Am I a Jew? Thy own nation, and the chief priests, have delivered thee up to me. What hast thou done? Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would certainly strive that I should not be, delivered to the Jews: but now my kingdom is not from hence. Pilate therefore said to him: Art thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world, that I should give testimony to the truth: every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.
Pilate saith to him: What is truth?
And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and saith to them: I find no cause in him. But you have a custom that I should release one unto you at the passover: will you therefore that I release unto you the king of the Jews? Then cried they all again, saying: Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.
Then, therefore, Pilate took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platting a crown of thorns, put it upon his head: and they put on him a purple garment, and they came to him, and said: Hail, King of the Jews! And they gave him blows. Pilate, therefore, went forth again, and saith to them: Behold I bring him forth to you that you may know that I find no cause in him. So Jesus came forth bearing the down of thorns, and the purple garment. And he saith to them: Behold the man. When the chief priests, therefore, and the officers had seen him, they cried out, saying: Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith to them: Take him you, and crucify him; for I find no cause in him. The Jews answered him: We have a law; and according to the law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. When Pilate therefore had heard this saying, he feared the more. And he entered into the hall again, and he said to Jesus: Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate therefore said to him: Speakest thou not to me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and I have power to release thee? Jesus answered: Thou shouldst not have any power against me, unless it were given thee from above. Therefore he that hath delivered me to thee, hath the greater sin. And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him. But the Jews cried out, saying: If thou release this man, thou art not Caesar's friend. For whosoever maketh himself a king, speaketh against Caesar.
Now when Pilate had heard these words, he brought Jesus forth: and sat down in the judgment-seat, in the place that is called the Pavement, and in Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the parasceve of the passover, about the sixth hour, and he saith to the Jews: Behold your king. But they cried out: Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith to them: Shall I crucify your king? The chief priests answered: We have no king but Ceasar. Then therefore, he delivered him to them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him forth. And bearing his own cross he went forth to that place which is called Calvary, but in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title also, and he put it upon the cross. And the writing was: Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews.
The title, therefore, many of the Jews did read, because the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, in Greek, and in Latin. Then the chief-priest of the Jews said to Pilate: Write not, the king of the Jews: but that he said: I am the king of the Jews. Pilate answered: What I have written, I have written. Then the soldiers, when they had crucified him, took his garments (and they made four parts, to, every soldier a part) and also his coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
They said then one to another: Let us not cut it, but let us cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the Scripture might be fulfilled which saith: They have parted my garments among, them, and upon my vesture they have cast lots. And the soldiers did indeed these things. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing, whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman! behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour the disciple took her to his own. Afterwards, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said: I thirst. Now there was a vessel set there full of vinegar. And they put a sponge full of vinegar, about hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus, therefore, had taken the vinegar, he said: It is consummated. And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost.
Then the Jews (because it was the parasceve) that the bodies might not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath-day(for that was a great Sabbath-day), besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. The soldiers, therefore, came: and they broke the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with him.
But after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers opened his side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water. And he that saw it gave testimony, and his testimony is true. And he knoweth that he saith true, that you also may believe.
For these things were done that the Scripture might be fulfilled: You shall not break a bone of him. And again another Scripture saith: They shall look on him whom they pierced.
And after these things, Joseph of Arimathea (because he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews), besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus. And Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore and took away the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus also came, he who at the first came to Jesus by night, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes; about a hundred pound weight.
They took therefore the body of Jesus, and wrapped it in linen cloths with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is, to bury. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein no man yet had been laid. Therefore, because of the parasceve of the Jews, they laid Jesus there; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.
THE PEOPLE AT THE CROSS, AND THE PEOPLE OF TODAY
At Golgotha, in sight of the temple and city of Jerusalem, in the presence of two or three millions of Jews, who had come to the city from all lands, Jesus, the Son of God, hung upon the cross, an , expiatory sacrifice for mankind burdened with all manner of sin. Near cross of her dying Son stood Mary, His mother, filled with grief; by her side John, the beloved disciple, and kneeling at the foot of the cross almost insensible from sorrow and anguish, convulsively winding her arms around the wood of the cross, was Mary Magdalen, the penitent. On a cross at the right hand hung a penitent thief turned towards the Saviour; at the left hand on another cross groaned another criminal of impenitent heart, blaspheming the Holy One of Israel. Around the agonizing Saviour stood the Scribes and Pharisees, that hypocritical class of practiced miscreants, who hated and persecuted the innocent Lamb Jesus, even in death, who blink to all the predictions of the prophets whose books they had read, blind to the actual miracles which Jesus had wrought before their eyes to prove His divinity and His mission, filled with envy and hatred, reviled the dying Redeemer. At a distance stood a crowd of curious, indifferent people, who had come to Jerusalem to attend the feast of the Passover, and having heard of Jesus were present at His crucifixion. Not far from them the rough soldiers and executioners lay around, dividing among themselves the Saviour's clothes and casting lots for His seamless garment.
This was the society that surrounded the Son of God and Redeemer of the world bleeding on the cross, and in their different phases they are types of the men of today.
Only few were there who clung to the Saviour in unwavering faith and true love, ready to die with Him, and for Him. There were few who suffered all taunts and sneers all revilings and blasphemies, .and departed not from the cross. Of these three were especially faithful, viz. Mary, John, and Magdalen. Those who like Mary and John are pure and innocent, or like Magdalen are weeping for their sins, who confess Jesus with their heart and lips, cling faithfully to Him, and permit neither persecution nor death to separate them from Him, are like the faithful three at the cross. As then by the cross, so today, the number of the faithful is small, and great is the number of those who, like the careless spectators of the crucifixion, are not decided enemies of Jesus crucified, nor yet His firm friends. They have indeed been baptized in the name of Jesus, they remain externally with the Catholic Church, which Christ founded, but they are sunk in lukewarmness, have no living faith, and are wavering to and fro like a reed between the world and Jesus. They fear the sneers of the so-called learned and enlightened, many of whom are well represented by the Scribes and Pharisees, who, having no faith in Christ themselves, bear in - their hearts only hatred and contempt for His Church; they shun the cross, because it is too heavy for their sensuality; they do not, it is true, commit public crimes, they prize highly a good name, occasionally observe the law of the Church, but are accessible to every error; their ears incline to every blasphemy against the religion of Jesus and His ministers, the priests. Instead of standing fearlessly and boldly for Christ, for the holy faith He has taught, and which the Church teaches, they turn away, are silent, even go with the Church's enemies that they may not be sneered at. The are neither hot, nor cold, so that the words of the Scriptures are verifled in them: Because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth. (Apoc. III. 16.) The Lord casts away from Him these lukewarm, indifferent Christians, as nauseous saliva, and leaves them to their destruction. The true Pharisees of our day are those who purposely close their eyes to the light of truth, who have put aside faith in Jesus, and are no longer disposed to receive instruction. Their pride, their egotism has blinded them, with their poor reason they wish to understand the mysteries of ,the Almighty, with their weak intellect to fathom His ways, even seek to be equal to God; they deny every revealed truth, they deny the existence of heaven and hell, they propose to live like the animals, without God, — but their end is, ruin! Few of them, having seen their error, as the thief on the cross at the right hand of Jesus, turn repentingly to the Redeemer; obdurate as the robber and murderer at His left, the Pharisees of our day cease not to blaspheme the Crucified, and to revile His holy Church. These are assisted by the apostates and unbelievers, who, like the soldiers and executioners, divide among themselves His clothes, and cast lots for His seamless garment. Those clothes which the soldiers divided among themselves, are the truths which the apostates and heretics yet retain after their apostacy from the Church. They have divided these truths, for they have separated themselves into thousands of sects, and possess only portions of the one truth, which Jesus has laid down in. His Church, whole and complete. "Upon my vesture they have cast lots."
This seamless vesture of Christ is His holy Church that cannot be separated or divided, she is one, and must remain one to the end of time. Concerning this one true Church, the sects all quarrel, all want to be the true Church without considering that, as but one soldier, by the lots, received Christ's seamless garment, so only one association of men can be the true Church, and that is the association which Christ has chosen.
Thus we find at the cross on Golgotha the different classes of people of our day represented, namely, the pure and innocent; the repenting sinners, firm adherents of Jesus and His teachings; as also the lukewarm, wavering, nominal Christians; obdurate heretics, professed infidels and apostates. So today mankind is divided into like parties.
To which party do you belong, O Christian soul? To which do you wish to belong? Choose! The time of the division is near. The Lord already holds in His hand the winnowing shovel to clear His floor. If you are not a firm adherent of Jesus and His Church, in the storm that is gathering you will be blown like chaff. If you remain with the small group at the cross, in persevering courage, you will stand firm, and on the day when the cross shall appear in the clouds of heaven, you, with Mary, the mother of the (faithful, with John and with Magdalen, will triumph forever, as a victorious knight of the cross. Decide!
– Goffine's Devout Instructions
Labels: Catholic Devotions, Catholic Prayers, Favorite Prayers, Favorite Scripture, Goffine's Devout Instructions, Good Friday, Holy Scripture, Holy Week, Scripture Passages
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
What festival does the Church celebrate today?
The Catholic Church commemorates today the institution, by our Saviour, of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. This commemoration she has celebrated from the first ages of Christianity.
What remarkable things did Christ perform on this day?
He ate with His apostles the Paschal lamb which was a type of Himself; it was eaten with bitter herbs and unleavened bread; they ate it standing with clothes girded, and staff in hand, in remembrance of the hurried escape of the Jews from Egypt. (Exod. XII.) After having eaten the Paschal lamb our Lord with profound humility washed the feet of His apostles, exhorting them to practise the same humility and charity; afterwards, He gave them His Flesh and Blood under the appearance of bread and wine, for spiritual food and drink, thus instituting the Must Holy Sacrament of the Altar, the Sacrifice of the Mass, and the priesthood; for when He said to the apostles: Do this in commemoration of me, he ordained them priests. After this He held His last discourse in which He particularly recommended brotherly love; said that beautiful, high-priestly prayer, in which He implored His Heavenly Father particularly for the unity of His Church. He then went as usual to Mount Olivet, where He commenced His passion with prayer and resignation to the will of His Father, suffering intense, deathlike agony, which was so great that He sweat blood. Here Judas betrayed Him into the hands of the Jews, by a treacherous kiss. They bound Him and led Him to the high-priests, Annas and Caiphas, where He was sentenced to death by the council, and denied by Peter.
The Introit of the Mass reads thus: We ought to glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ: in whom is our salvation, life, and resurrection: by whom we have been saved and delivered. (Gal. VI. I4.) May God have mercy on us, and bless us: may He cause the light of His countenance to shine upon us, and may He have mercy on us. (PS. LXVI. 2.)
COLLECT O God! from whom Judas received the punishment of his sin, and the thief the reward of his confession: grant us the effects of Thy mercy; that as our Lord Jesus Christ at the time of His passion bestowed on each a different recompense of his merits, so having destroyed the old man in us, He may give us the grace of His Resurrection. Who liveth, & c.
What ceremonies are observed in this day's Mass?
The crucifix is covered with a white veil in memory of the sacred institution of the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. The priest comes to the altar robed in white vestments; the Gloria in excelsis is solemnly sung, accompanied by the ringing of bells, and all Christians are exhorted to render praise and gratitude to the Lord for having instituted the Blessed Feast of Love; after the Gloria the bells are silent until Holy Saturday to indicate the Church's mourning for the passion and death of Jesus; to urge us also to spend these days in silent sorrow, meditating on the sufferings of Christ, and in memory of the shameful flight of the apostles at the capture of their master, and their silence during these days. At the Mass the priest consecrates two hosts one of which He consumes at the Communion, and the other he preserves in the chalice for the following day, because no consecration takes place on Good Friday. The officiating priest does not give the usual kiss of peace before Communion, because on this day Judas betrayed his master with a kiss. After Mass, the consecrated host in the chalice, and the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle, are taken in procession to the sacristy or repository, in memory of the earliest times of Christianity, when the consecrated hosts for the communicants and the sick, were kept in a place especially prepared, because there was no tabernacle on the altar. Moreover it also signifies Christ's going to Mount Olivet, where His Godhead was concealed. After the procession the priests with the choir say vespers in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
EPISTLE (I Cor. XI. 20-32.) Brethren, When you come together into one place, it is not now to eat the Lord's supper. For every one taketh before his supper to eat. And one indeed is hungry, and another is drunk. What! have you not houses to eat and drink in? Or despise ye the Church of God? and put them to shame that have not? What shall I say to you? Do I praise you? In this I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also. I delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and giving thanks, broke it, and said: Take ye, and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me. In like manner also, the Chalice, after, he had supped, saying: This Chalice is the New Testament in my blood. This do ye, as often as you shall drink it, for the commemoration of me. For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink this chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord, until he come. Wherefore, whoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you, and many sleep. But if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But whilst we are judged, we are chastised by the Lord, that we be not condemned with this world.
EXPLANATION The early Christians were accustomed after the celebration of the Lord's Supper, to unite in a common repast; those who were able furnished the food, and rich and poor partook of it in common, in token of brotherly love. This repast they called "Agape,” “meal of love.” At Corinth this custom was abused, some ate before Communion that which had been brought, became intoxicated, and deprived the poor of their share. The Apostle condemns this abuse, declaring it an unworthy preparation for Communion, and reminds the Corinthians of the institution of the Blessed Sacrament telling them what a terrible sin it is to partake of the body and blood of the Lord unworthily, for whoever does this makes himself guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, and eats and drinks his own judgment, that is, eternal damnation. Therefore prove yourself, O Christian soul, as often as you communicate, see whether you have committed any grievous sin which you have not confessed, or for which you were not heartily sorry.
GOSPEL (John XIII. 1-15.) Before the festival day of the Pasch, Jesus knowing that his hour was come, that he should pass out of this world to the Father: having loved, his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. And when supper was done, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray him: knowing that the Father had given him all things into his hands, and that he came from God, and goeth to God: he riseth from supper, and layeth aside his garments: and having taken a towel, he girded himself. After that, he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the feet of the disciples, and to wipe them with the towel, wherewith he was girt. He cometh therefore to Simon Peter, and Peter saith to him: Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered, and said to him: What I do, thou knowest not now, but thou shaft know hereafter. Peter saith to him: Thou, shaft never wash my feet. Jesus answered him: If I wash thee, not, thou shaft have no part with me. Simon Peter with to him: Lord! not only my feet, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him: He that is washed, needeth not but to wash his feet, but is clean wholly. And you are clean, but not all. For he knew who he was that would betray him: therefore he said: You are not all clean. Then after he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, being set down again, he said to them: Know you what I have done to you? You call me Master, and Lord: and you say well, for so I am. If then I, being your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example that as I have done to you so do you also.
Why did Jesus wash the feet of His disciples?
To give them a proof of His sincere love and great humility which they should imitate; to teach them that although free from sin, and not unworthy to receive His most holy body and blood, their feet needed cleansing, that is, that they should be purified from all evil inclinations which defile the heart, and prevent holy Communion from producing fruitful effects in the soul.
Why is it that on this day in each church only one priest says Mass at which the others receive Communion?
Because on this day Christ alone offered the unbloody Sacrifice, and having instituted the Blessed Sacrament, fed with His own hands His disciples with His flesh and blood, it is therefore proper that in commemoration of this, the priests in one church should receive the Blessed Sacrament from the hands of one, according to the example of the apostles, but as a sign of the priestly dignity which on this day Christ gave to the apostles and their successors, each priest wears a stole.
Why art the altars stripped on this day?
To show that Jesus took off, as it were, at the time of His passion, His divine glory, and yielded Himself up in utter humiliation into the hands of His enemies to be crucified, (Phil. II. 6. 7.) and that at the crucifixion He was forcibly stripped of His garments, which the soldiers divided among them, as foretold in the twenty-first psalm, which is therefore said during this ceremony. The faithful are urged to put off the old sinful man with his actions, and by humbling themselves become conformable to Christ.
Why is it that spiritual superiors wash the feet of their subjects, as do also the Catholic princes the feet of twelve poor men?
To commemorate the washing of the apostles' feet by Christ, and to teach all, even the highest to exercise the necessary virtues of humility and charity towards all, even the lowest, according to the example given by Jesus. Princes and spiritual superiors therefore kiss the feet after washing them, and the pope presses them to his breast, giving to each person a silver and a gold medal, on which is pictured the washing of the feet by Christ.
What is Tenebrae, and what its meaning?
It is the office which the clergy say on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week, accompanied by the lamentations of the Prophet Jeremias, and other ceremonies. The word Tenebrae
Tenebrae means darkness, and represents the prayers formerly said in the dark hours of the morning. In the Tenebrae the Church mourns the passion and death of, Jesus, and urges her children to return to God; she therefore makes use of those mournful words of Jeremias: “Jerusalem! Jerusalem, be converted to the Lord, thy God!"
Why is the Tenebrae said in the evening?
In memory of that time when the early Christians spent the whole night preceding great festivals in prayer, but later, when zeal diminished, it was observed only by the clergy on the eves of such festivals; also in order that we may consider the darkness, lasting for three hours, at the crucifixion of Christ, whence the name Tenebrae; and lastly, to represent by it that mourning, of which darkness is the type.
Why, during the Prayers of the clergy, are the lights in the triangular candlestick extinguished one after another?
Because the Tenebrae, as has been already remarked, in the earliest times of the Church, were held in the night, the candles were extinguished one after another, as the daylight gradually approached they were no longer, necessary; again, at the time of the passion and death of Jesus, His apostles whom He calls the light of the world, one, after another gradually left Him; at the death of Christ the earth was covered with darkness. The Jews, blinded by pride, would not recognize Christ as the Saviour of the world, and therefore fell by His death into the deepest darkness of hardened infidelity.
What is meant by the last candle which is carried lighted behind the altar, and after prayers are finished, is brought back again?
This candle signifies Christ; who on the third day came forth from the grave, by His own power, as the true light of the world, though according to His human nature He died and lay in the grave until the third day.
Why is a noise made with clappers at the end of the Tenebrae?
This was formerly a sign that service was over; it, also signifies the earthquake which took place at Christ's death.
How should we attend the Church service on this day?
The Church commemorates on this day the institution of the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar; we should therefore consider with a lively faith that Jesus, our divine Teacher and Saviour, is really and truly here present; we should adore Him as the Son of God, who became man to redeem us; should admire the love which determined Him to institute the Blessed Sacrament, that He might always be with us; and should thank Him for all the inestimable graces which we derive from this Sacrament.
REMARK In the Cathedrals the holy oils which are used in Baptism, Conformation, Holy Orders, and Extreme Unction, as also in consecrating baptismal fonts and altar stones, are blessed on this day. Let us thank our Lard for the institution of these Sacraments at which blessed oily are used.
-- Goffine's Devout Instructions
Labels: Apostles, Bible, Catholic Devotions, Favorite Scripture, Goffine's Devout Instructions, Holy Scripture, Holy Thursday, Holy Week, Scripture, Scripture Passages
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
|Judas Goes to the Chief Priests|
LESSON (Isai. LXII, II., to LXIII. 1-7.) Thus said the Lord God: Tell the daughter of Sion: Behold thy Saviour cometh: behold his reward is with him. Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bosra, this beautiful one in his robe, walking in the greatness of his strength. I, that speak justice, and am a defender to save. Why then is thy apparel red, and thy garments like theirs that tread in the wine-press? I have trodden the wine-press alone, and of the Gentiles there is not a man with me: I have trampled on them in my indignation, and have trodden them down in my wrath, and their blood is sprinkled upon my garments, and I have stained all my apparel. For the day of vengeance is in my heart, the year of my redemption is come. I looked about and there was none to help: I sought, and there was none to give aid: and my own arm hath saved from me, and my indignation itself hath helped me. And I have trodden down the people in my wrath, and have made them drunk in my indignation, and have brought down their strength to the earth. I will remember the tender mercies of the Lord, the praise of the Lord for all the things that the Lord hath bestowed on us.
EXPLANATION Once more the prophet's words point to the Saviour, and describe His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, where He went to accomplish the work of redemption, which He had always in His heart and before His eyes; he refers to His victories over all His enemies, the world, and the devil, whom He had trampled on and destroyed as the wine-presser does the grapes. The day of Christ's death was also the day of vengeance on His enemies, whom He overcame on the cross. The prophet who foresaw all this, thanks God in the last words of this lesson, and we also are called upon to thank Christ for our Redemption.
THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
ACCORDING TO ST. LUKE, CHAP. XXII. AND XXIII.
At that time, The feast of unleavened bread, which is called the Pasch, was at hand. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might put Jesus to death; but they feared the people. And Satan entered into Judas, who was surnamed Iscariot, one of the twelve; and he went, and discoursed with the chief priests and the magistrates, how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. And he promised; and he sought opportunity to betray him in the absence of the multitude. And the day of the unleavened bread came, on which it was necessary that the Pasch should be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying: Go and prepare for us the Pasch, that we may eat. But they said: Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said to them: Behold, as you go into the city, there shall meet you a man carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in, and you shall say to the good man of the house: The master saith to thee: Where is the guest-chamber, where I may eat the Pasch with my disciples? And he will show you a large dining-room furnished; and there prepare. And they going, found as he had said to them, and made ready the Pasch. And when the hour was come, he pat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said to them: With desire I have desired to eat this Pasch with you before I suffer. For I say to you, that from this time I will not eat it, till it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And having taken the chalice he gave thanks, and said: Take and divide it among you. For I say to you that I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, till the kingdom of God come. And taking bread, he gave thanks, and brake, and gave to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you: do this for a commemoration of me. In like manner the chalice also, after he had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the new testament of my blood, which shall be shed for you. But yet behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. And the Son of man, indeed goeth, according to that which is determined; but yet woe to that man by whom he shall be betrayed. And they began to inquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing. And there was also a strife amongst them, which of them should seem to be greater. And he said to them: The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and they that have power over them, are called beneficent. But you not so; but he that is the greater among you, lethim become as the younger; and he that is the leader, as he that serveth. For which is greater, he that sitteth at table, or he that serveth? Is not he that sitteth at table? but I am in the midst of you, as he that serveth; and you are they who have continued with me in my temptations. And I dispose to you, as my Father hath disposed to me, a kingdom: that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom; and may sit upon thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not: and thou being once converted, confirm thy brethren. Who said to him: Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison and to death. And he said: I say to thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, till thou thrice deniest that thou knowest me. And he said to them: When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, did you want anything? But they said: Nothing. Then said he unto them: But now he that hath a purse, let him take .it, and likewise a scrip; and he that hath not, let him sell his coat and buy a sword. For I say to you, that this that is written must yet be fulfilled in me: And he was reckoned among the wicked: for the things concerning me have an end. But they said: Lord, behold here are two swords And he said to them: It is enough. And going out he went according to his custom to the Mount of Olives. And his disciples also followed him. And when he was come to the place, he said to them: Pray, lest ye enter into temptation. And he was withdrawn away from them a stone's cast; and kneeling down he prayed, saying: Father, if thou wilt, remove this chalice from me; but yet not my will, but thine be done. And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony, he prayed the longer. And his sweat became as drops of blood trickling down upon the ground. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow. And he said to them: Why sleep you? Arise, pray, lest you enter into temptation. As he was yet speaking, behold a multitude; and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near to Jesus to kiss him. And Jesus said to him: Judas, dost thou betray the Son of Man with a kiss? And they that were about him, seeing what would follow, said to him: Lord, shall we strike with the sword? And one of them struck the servant of the high-priest, and cut off his right ear. But Jesus answering, said: Suffer ye thus far. And when he had touched his ear, he healed him. And Jesus said to the chief priests and the magistrates of the temple, and the ancients that were come unto him: Are you come out, as it were against a thief, with swords and clubs? When I was daily with you in the temple, you did not stretch forth your hands against me; but this is your hour, and the power of darkness. And apprehending him, they led him to the high-priest's house; but Peter followed afar off. And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were sitting about it, Peter was in the midst of them. Whom when a certain servant maid had seen him sitting at the light, and had earnestly beheld him, she said: This man also was with him. But he denied, saying: Woman, I know him not. And after a little while, another seeing him, said: Thou also art one of them. But Peter said: O man, I am not. And after the space as it were of one hour, another certain man affirmed, saying: Of a truth this man was also with him; for he is also a Galilean. And Peter said: Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, as he was yet speaking, the cock crew. And the Lord turning looked on Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, as he had said: Before the cock crow, thou shaft deny me thrice. And Peter going out wept bitterly. And the men that held him, mocked him, and struck him. And they blind-folded him, and smote him on the face. And they asked him, saying: Prophesy, who is it that struck thee? And many other things blaspheming, they said against him. And as soon as it was day, the ancients of the people, and the chief priests, and scribes, came together, and they brought him into their council, saying: If thou be the Christ, tell us. And he said to them: If I shall tell you, you will not believe met and if I shall also ask you, you will not answer, me, nor let me go. But hereafter the Son of man shall be sitting on the right hand of the power of God. Then said they all: Art thou then the Son of God? Who said: You say that I am. And they said: What need we any further testimony? For we ourselves have heard it from his own mouth. (Chap. XXIII.) And the whole multitude of them rising up, led him to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying: We have found this man perverting our nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he is Christ the king. And Pilate asked him, saying: Art thou the king of the Jews? But he answering, said: Thou sayest it. And Pilate said to the chief priests and to the multitudes: I find no cause in this man. But they were more earnest, saying: He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place. But Pilate hearing Galilee, asked if the man were of Galilee? And when he understood that he was of Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him away to Herod, who himself was also at Jerusalem in those days. And Herod seeing Jesus was very glad, for he was desirous of a long time to see him, because he had heard many things of him: and he hoped to see some sign wrought by him. And he questioned him with many words. But he answered him nothing. And the chief priests and the scribes stood by, earnestly accusing him. And Herod with his army set him at nought, and mocked him, putting on him a white garment, and sent him back to Pilate. And Herod and Pilate were made friends that same day: for before they were enemies one to another. Then Pilate calling together the chief priests, and the magistrates, and the people, said to them: You have brought this man to me as one that perverteth the people, and behold I, having examined him before you, find no cause in this man touching those things wherein you accuse him. No, nor Herod neither. For I sent you to him, and behold nothing worthy of death is done to him. I will chastise him, therefore, and release him. Now of necessity he was to release unto them one upon the feast day. But the whole multitude together cried out at once, saying: Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas, who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for a murder, was cast into prison. And Pilate again spoke to them, desiring to release Jesus. But they cried out again, saying: Crucify him, crucify him. And he said to them the third time: Why, what evil hath this man done? I find no cause of death in him. I will chastise him therefore, and let him go. But they were instant with loud voices requiring that he might be crucified; and their voices prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required. And he released unto them him who for murder and sedition had been cast into prison, whom they had desired: but Jesus he delivered up to their will. And as they led him away, they laid hold of one Simon of Cyrene, coming from the country; and they laid the cross on him to carry after Jesus. And there followed him a great multitude of people and of women, who bewailed, and lamented him. , But Jesus turning to them, said: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For behold the days shall came, wherein they will say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the paps that have not given suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains: Fall upon us; and to the hills, Cover us. For if in the green wood, they do these things, what shall be done in the dry? And there were also two other malefactors led with him, to be put to death. And when they were come to the place which is called Calvary, they crucified him there; and the robbers, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. And Jesus said: Father, forgive them, far they know not what they do. But they dividing his garments cast lots. And the people stood beholding, and the rulers with them derided him, saying: He saved others, let him save himself, if he be Christ, the elect of God. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, and saying: If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. And there was also a superscription written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin and Hebrew: This is the King of the Jews. And one of those robbers who were hanged, blasphemed him, saying: If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering, rebuked him, saying: neither dost thou fear God, seeing thou art under the same condemnation. And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done no evil. And he said to Jesus: Lord, remember me when thou shalt come into thy kingdom. And Jesus said to him: Amen, I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise. And it was almost the sixth hour; and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened; and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And Jesus crying out with a loud voice, said: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. And saying this, he gave up the ghost. (Here all kneel and pause.) Now the centurion seeing what was done, glorified God, saying: Indeed this was a just man. And all the multitude of them that were come together to that sight, and saw the things that were done, returned striking their breast. And all his acquaintance,and the women that had followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things. And behold there was a man named Joseph, who was a counsellor, a good and a just man, (the same had not consented to their counsel and doings,) of Arimathea, a city of Judea, who also himself looked for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus. And taking him down he wrapped him in fine linen, and laid him in a sepulchre that was hewed in stone, wherein never yet any man had been laid.
– Goffine's Devout Instructions
Labels: Bible, Bible Verse, Catholic Devotions, Goffine's Devout Instructions, Holy Scripture, Holy Week, Scripture, Scripture Passages
Monday, April 02, 2012
LESSON (Jer. XI. 18-2O.) In those days, Jeremias said: Thou, O Lord, hast shewed me, and I have known: then thou shewedst me their doings. And I was as a meek lamb, that is carried to be a victim: and I knew not that they had devised counsels against me, saying: Let us put wood on his bread, and cut him off from the land of the living, and let his name be remembered no more. But thou, O Lord of Sabaoth, who judgest justly, and triest the reins and the hearts, let me see thy revenge on them: for to thee have I revealed my cause.
EXPLANATION Jeremias was unjustly persecuted, but showed only meekness to his persecutors: so Christ silently permitted Himself like a meek lamb to be nailed by His enemies to the hard wood of the cross. Learn from this, Christian soul, to follow the example of the meek Lamb of God, and silently bear all evils. In reference to the prophet's prayer for vengeance on his enemies, St. Augustine remarks: "It is well wishing, not vengeance, when the just rejoices that punishment comes to the impious, for he has no pleasure in the sinner's destruction, whose conversion he wishes, but he desires justice by which many are converted."
ACCORDING TO ST. MARK, CHAP. XIV. AND XV.
At that time, The feast of the Pasch and of the Azymes was after two days; and the chief priest and the scribes sought how they might, by some wile lay hold on him, and kill him. But they said: Not on a festival day, lest there should be a tumult among the people. And when he was in Bethania, in the house of Simon the leper, and was at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of precious spikenard; and breaking the alabaster box, she poured it out upon his head. Now there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said: Why was this waste of the ointment made? For this ointment might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and given to the poor. And they murmured against her. But Jesus said: Let her alone, why do you molest her? She hath wrought a good work upon me. For the poor you have always with you, and whensoever you will, you may do them good; but me you have not always. What she had, she hath done; she is come beforehand to anoint my body for the burial. Amen, I, say to you: wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, that also which she hath done shall be told for a memorial of her. And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests, to betray him to them. Who hearing it were glad; and they promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him. Now on the first day of the unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the Pasch, the disciples say to him: Whither wilt thou that we go and prepare for thee to eat the Pasch. And he sendeth two of his disciples, and saith to them: Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man carrying a pitcher of water; follow him, and whithersoever he shall go in, say to the master of the house: The Master saith: Where is my refectory, that I may eat the Pasch with my disciples? And he will show you a large dining-room furnished; and there prepare ye for us. And his disciples went their way, and came into the city; and they found as he had told them, and they prepared the Pasch. And when evening was come, he cometh with the twelve. And when they were at table and eating, Jesus saith: Amen, I say to you, one of you that eateth with me shall betray me. But they began to be sorrowful, and to say to him one by one: Is it I? Who saith to them: One of the twelve, who dippeth his hand in the dish with me. And the Son of Man indeed goeth, as it is written of him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of God shall be betrayed. It were better for him, if that man had not been born. And whilst they were eating, Jesus took bread; and blessing, broke, and gave to them, and said: Take ye, This is my body. And having taken the chalice, giving thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank of it; and he said to them: This is my blood of the New Testament, which shall be shed for many. Amen, I say to you, that I will drink no more of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it new in the kingdom of God. And when they had sung a hymn, they went forth to the mount of Olives. And Jesus saith to them: You will all be scandalized in my regard this night; for it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be dispersed. But after I shall be risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. But Peter saith to him: Although all shall be scandalized in thee, yet not I. And Jesus saith to him: Amen, I say to thee, to-day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. But he spoke the more vehemently: Although I should die together with thee, I will not deny thee. And in like manner also said they all. And they came to a farm called Gethsemani. And. he saith to his disciples: Sit you here, while I pray. And he taketh Peter, and James, and John with him; and he began to fear, and to be heavy. And he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death: stay you here, and watch. And when he had gone forward a little, he fell flat on the ground: and he prayed that, if it might be, the hour might pass from him: and he saith: Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee, remove this chalice from me, but not what I will, but what thou wilt. And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping. And he saith to Peter: Simon, deepest thou? Couldst thou not watch one hour? Watch ye, and pray, that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. And going away again, he prayed, saying the same words. And when he returned, he found them again asleep, (for their eyes were heavy) and they knew not what to answer him. And he cometh the third time, and saith to them: Sleep ye now, and take your rest. It is enough, the hour is come; behold the Son of Man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise up, let us go. Behold he that will betray me is at hand. And while he was yet speaking, cometh Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests, and the scribes, and the ancients. But he that betrayed him had given them a sign, saying: Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he, lay hold on him, and lead him away carefully. And when he was come, immediately going up to him, he saith: Hail, Rabbi; and he kissed him. But they laid hands on him, and held him. And one of them that stood by, drawing a sword, struck a servant of the chief priest, and cut off his ear. And Jesus answering, said to them: Are you come out as to a robber with swords and staves to apprehend me? I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not lay hands on me. But that the Scriptures may be fulfilled. Then his disciples leaving him, all fled away. And a certain young man followed him, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and they laid hold on him. But he, casting off the linen cloth, fled from them naked. And they brought Jesus to the highpriest; and all the priests and the scribes and the ancients were assembled together. And Peter followed him affar off even into the court of the high priest; and he sat with the servents at the fire, and warmed himself. And the chief priests and all the council sought for evidence against Jesus that they might put him to death, and they found none. For many bore false witness against him, and their evidence were not agreeing. And some rising up, bore false witness against him, saying: We heard him say: I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another not made with hands. And their witness did not agree. And, the high-priest rising up in the midst, asked Jesus, saying: Answerest thou nothing to the things that are laid to thy charge by these men? But, he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high-priest asked him, and said to him: Art thou the Christ the Son of the blessed God? And Jesus said to him: I am. And you shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high-priest rending his garments, saith: What need we any further witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy. What think you? Who all condemned him to be guilty of death. And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say to him: Prophesy; and the servants struck him with the palms of their hands. Now when Peter was in the court below, there cometh to him one of the maid-servants of the high-priest; and when she had seen Peter warming himself, looking on him, she saith: Thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. But he denied, saying: I neither know nor understand what thou sayest. And he went forth before the court, and the cock crew. And again a maid-servant seeing him, began to say to the standers-by: This is one of them. But he denied again. And after a while, they that stoodby said again to Peter: Surely thou art one of them, for thou also art a Galilean. But he began to curse and swear, saying: I know not this man of whom you speak. And immediately the cock crew again. And Peter remembered the word that Jesus had said to him: Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he began to weep. (Chap. XV.) And straightway in the morning the chief priests holding a consultation with the ancients and the scribes, and the whole council, binding Jesus, led him away, and delivered him to Pilate. And Pilate asked him: Art thou the king of the Jews? But he answering, saith to him: Thou sayest it. And the chief priests accused him in many things. And Pilate again asked him, saying, Answerest thou nothing? Behold in how many, things they accuse thee. But Jesus still answered nothing; so that Pilate wondered. Now on the festival day he was wont to release unto them one of the prisoners, whomsoever they demanded. And there was one called Barabbas, who was put in prison with some seditious men, who in the sedition had committed murder. And when the multitude was come up, they began to desire that he would do as he had ever done unto them. And Pilate answered them, and said: Will you that I release to you the king of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him up out of envy. But the chief priests moved the people that he should rather release Barabbas to them. And Pilate again answering, with to them: What will you then that I do with the king of the Jews? But they again cried out: Crucify him. And Pilate saith to them: Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more: Crucify him. And so Pilate being willing to satisfy the people, released to themBarabbas, and delivered up Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. And the soldiers led him away into the court of the palace, and they called together the whole band; and they clothed him with purple, and platting a crown of thorns, they put it upon him. And they began to salute him: Hail, king of the Jews. And they struck his head with a reed: and they did spit on him, and bowing their knees, they adored him. And after they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own garments on him; and they led him out to crucify him. And they forced one Simon, a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and of Rufus, to take up his cross. And they bring him into the place called Golgotha, which being interpreted is, the place of Calvary. And they, gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh; but he took it not. And crucifying him, they divided his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And the inscription of his cause was written over: The King of the Jews. And with him they crucify two thieves, the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. And the Scripture was fulfilled which saith: And with the wicked he was reputed. And they that passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads, and saying: Vah, thou that destroyest the temple of God, 'and in three days buildest it up again, save thyself, coming down from the cross. In like manner also the chief priests mocking said with the Scribes one to another: He saved others, himself he cannot save. Let Christ the King of Israel come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him, reviled him. And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole earth until the ninth hour; and at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying: Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabathani? Which is, being interpreted: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And some of the standers-by hearing, said: Behold, he calleth Elias. And one running and filling a sponge with vinegar, and putting it upon a reed, gave him to drink, saying: Stay, let us see if Elias will come to take him down. And Jesus having cried out with a loud voice, gave up the ghost. (Here all kneel and pause.) And the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom; and the centurion who stood over against him, seeing that crying out in this manner he had given up the ghost, said: Indeed this man was the Son of God. And there were also women looking on afar off, among whom was Mary Magdalen, and Mary the Mother of James the Less and of Joseph, and Salome; who also when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered to him, and many other women that came up with him to Jerusalem. Andwhen evening, was now come, (because it was the Parasceve, that is, the day before the Sabbath,) Joseph of Arimathea, a noble counsellor, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, came and went in boldly to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. But Pilate wondered that he should be already dead; and sending for the centurion, he asked him if he were already dead. And when he had understood it by the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. And Joseph buying fine linen, and taking him down, wrapped him up in the fine linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and he rolled a stone to the door of the sepulchre.
– Goffine's Devout Instruction
Labels: Bible, Bible Verse, Catholic Devotions, Favorite Scripture, Goffine's Devout Instructions, Holy Scripture, Scripture, Scripture Passages