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shoulders? My dear Jesus, the people now hail thee, saying: Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. St. Matt. xxi. 9. Soon, however, will they loudly demand of Pilate to condemn thee to the death of the cross, saying: "Away with him, away with him! crucify him, crucify him!" Go thou, Christian, and cry unto him with affection: "Blessed is he that cometh "in the name of the Lord!" Be thou ever blessed for having become the Saviour of the world; without this, we had all been lost. O my Saviour, be thou a Saviour to me.
III. When evening is come, after all these acclamations, there are none who will invite him to abide in their houses for the night; and he is obliged to return to Bethania. My beloved Redeemer, if others will not receive thee, I will receive thee into my poor soul. There was a time when I expelled thee from my soul; but now I esteem thy being with me more than all the treasures of the earth. I love thee, O my Saviour; what can ever separate me from thy love? only sin; but from this, O Jesus, do thou preserve me; and do you also, O most sacred Mother of God, preserve me from it by your holy intercession.
On Jesus praying in the garden.
I. JESUS Christ, knowing that the hour of his passion is now come, after having washed his disciples' feet, and instituted the most holy sacrament of the altar, in which he left us his whole self, re
tires into the garden of Gethsemane, where he is aware that his enemies will come to take him. Here he begins to pray; and behold he is oppressed with great fear, sadness and sorrow: He began to fear, to grow sorrowful and to be sad: St. Mark xiv. and St. Matt. xxvi. The fear of the bitter death he is about to suffer on Calvary, and of all the agony and desolation which are to accompany it, overwhelms him. In the course of his passion, the scourges, the thorns, the cords and other torments will afflict him one by one; but in the garden they come altogether upon him by anticipation and grievously torment him. He embraces them all for the love of us, but in embracing them he trembles and is agonized: Being in agony he prayed the longer. St. Luke xxii. 44.
II. Again, he is oppressed with so great a sadness at the sight of what he is to suffer, that he implores his Father to deliver him from it: My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. St. Matt. xxvi. 39. He prays thus to teach us that, in tribulations, we may indeed call upon God to deliver us from them; but that, at the same time, we must resign ourselves to his blessed will, and say as Jesus said: " Nevertheless, not as I will, but as "thou wilt." Yes, my Jesus, not my will, but thine, be done. I embrace all the crosses thou art pleased to send me. Thou hast suffered, though innocent, so much for the love of me; and it is just that I, a sinner, deserving of hell, should suffer whatever thou pleasest for the love of thee.
III. Again, he is oppressed with such great sorrow that he would die, did he not reserve himself to suffer death upon the cross when he has undergone much more for us: My soul is sorrowful even unto death. St. Matt. xxvi. This great sorrow is occasioned by the sight of the future ingratitude of mankind, who instead of corresponding
with his excessive love, will offend him by their multiplied sins; and the sight of this afflicts him so much as to cause him to sweat blood: And his sweat became as drops of blood trickling down upon the ground. St. Luke xxii. 44. O Jesus, thy cruel executioners, their scourges, thorns, and the cross, did not so grievously afflict thee, in the garden, as my cruel and ungrateful sins. Give me, therefore, a share in thy sorrow and abhorrence of them, that I may bitterly bewail them until the end of my life. I love thee, O my Jesus; receive a wretched sinner who desires to love thee. O Mary, recommend me to your Son, sorrowful and afflicted for the love of me.
MONDAY IN PASSION WEEK.
On Jesus taken and conducted to Caiphas.
I. JESUS knowing that the Jews are near at hand, coming to seize him, arises from prayer and goes to meet them; and without making any resistance, allows himself to be taken and bound by them: They took Jesus, and bound him. St. John xviii. 12. Stand astonished, Christian, thy God is bound like a criminal by his own creatures! See how some hold his hands together, while others bind them, and others strike and insult him; and this innocent Lamb of God allows himself to be bound and struck by them at their pleasure and is silent: He was offered because it was his own will, and he opened not his mouth: he shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer. Isa. liii. 7. He speaks not a word, he
makes no complaint, for he has already given himself up to die for us; and therefore he allows himself to be bound as a sheep and opens not his mouth.
II. Jesus is conducted, bound with cords, into Jerusalem. Those who were asleep, are awaked by the tumult of the people passing by, and ask what prisoner it is that they are leading along; and they are answered: It is Jesus of Nazareth, who " has been discovered to be an impostor and a se"ducer of the people." They present him before Caiphas, who is rejoiced to see him, and interrogates him concerning his disciples and his doctrine. Jesus answers him, that he has always spoken openly; and calls upon the Jews who surround him to witness what he had said: "Behold these "know what things I have said." Upon which, one of the servants of the high-priest strikes Jesus a blow on the face, saying: "Answerest thou the high"priest so?" But, O God, how could so mild and meek an answer give occasion to such an affront? Ah, my Jesus, thou sufferest this to make amends for the affronts I have offered to thy eternal Father.
III. The high-priest conjures him, in the name of God, to tell him if he really is the Son of God; Jesus replies that he is: upon hearing which Caiphas, instead of prostrating himself upon the ground to adore him as his God, rends his garments, and turns to the other priests, saying: He hath blasphemed, what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now, you have heard the blasphemy. What think you? And they all unanimously answer: He is guilty of death. St. Matt. xxvi. 65. Now, as the Evangelists relate, they begin to spit in his face and abuse him with blows and buffets; and blindfolding him they strike him, and then scornfully say to him: "Prophesy unto us, O Christ, who "it is that struck thee?" O Christian soul, behold
thy Jesus; see what he is become for thy sake in the hands of the rabble! O, how can I not love him when I behold him thus humbled for the love of me? And how could I ever have been so wicked as to offend him by my many sins, after he has suffered so much for my love? O love of my soul, forgive me, I will never more offend thee. I love thee, my sovereign good, and am sorry above every evil for having despised thee. O Mary, implore your Son, ill-treated and abused for my sake, to pardon me.
TUESDAY IN PASSION WEEK.
On Jesus led to Pilate and Herod, and Barabbas being preferred before him.
I. THE next morning, Jesus is led to Pilate to be condemned to death. But Pilate perceives that Jesus is innocent, and tells the Jews that he can find no reason for passing sentence of death upon him. Seeing however that they are obstinately bent upon his death, he sends him to be judged by Herod. Herod, seeing Jesus before him, is desirous to witness a miracle wrought by Jesus, of whose wonders he had heard so much. Our Lord, however, will not answer the impertinent questions of this rash man. O how miserable is that poor soul to whom God no longer speaks! My Redeemer, I have deserved this, for not having obeyed thy many calls; I have deserved that thou shouldst no more speak to me, but abandon me: yet no, my Jesus, thou hast not yet abandoned me; speak therefore to me: "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth;" tell me what thou wouldst have me to do, for I will do all to please thee.