Introduction to Sirach The Wisdom of Ben Sira derives its title from the author, “Yeshua [Jesus], son of Eleazar, son of Sira” ( 5...
Monday, April 15, 2019
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Tuesday of Holy Week
Judges, Chapter 9, Verse 21
Then Jotham fled and escaped to Beer, where he remained for fear of his brother Abimelech.
A lot of people seem to escape to Beer! That’s a joke but unfortunately it is a common response to fear. Liquid courage we use to call it in the military. However, today I would like to change the subject to that of the family.
Jotham was raised in a large family 70 brothers and we do not know how many sisters. Families are the breeding ground of either love or hate; of either evil or good and finally of either excellence or apathy. A great family whether large or small is the seedbed of either greatness or smallness. This is the reason there is such a focus on the family in the church now. Families are the factories of a person’s character and character determines a person’s destiny.
The Power that Regenerates the World
Earthly history and the workings of the cosmos undoubtedly continue their course and are not identified with the rate at which the Kingdom of Christ develops. In fact, pain, evil, sin, death, yet claim their victims, in spite of the resurrection of Christ. The cycle of one thing succeeding another, the cycle of becoming, is not at a standstill. If it were, history would be at an end! And so, facts and events are continually being repeated and give rise to thoughts of an irremediable conflict here on earth between the two kingdoms, or, as St. Augustine said, between the two cities. Think, for example, of the contrast which is to be found in this Holy Year between celebrations of the Redemption on the one hand and on the other hand the offenses against God, the misdeeds committed against man and, at bottom, the challenges to Christ which are continually being launched. This is the most impressive aspect, the most mysterious dimension of the historic dialectic between the forces of good and the forces of evil: the fact that obstacles are raised, or indifference is shown to the forces of Redemption let into the world by Christ through his Resurrection as the principle which resolves the conflict between death and life. The world is in need, today as yesterday, for the "new people" to remain in its midst, among the vicissitudes, the conflicts, the variations which not seldom lead to situations which are so difficult, sometimes even dramatic. The world has need of this people which will dedicate itself with humility, courage and perseverance to service of the Redemption and give concrete form, in good Christian conduct, to the regenerating power of Christ's resurrection. This is the function which Christians have as evangelizers and witnesses to the Resurrection in history.
Tuesday of Holy Week
Traditionally the account of Christ's Passion according to St. Mark is read today and most people continue with spring cleaning. Also today marks the bargaining of Judas with the Sanhedrin as the Jewish way of tracking time makes Tuesday evening Wednesday as days changed after sunset and not at midnight following the Roman time keeping method.
We learned yesterday from St. John that Judas was a thief. He robbed from Christ, from the other apostles, from the incipient Church. Jesus, for him, had become merely an excuse to seek after his own interests. Jesus was not the one thing necessary, as he was for Mary of Bethany. Jesus wasn't even an end, but merely a means for Judas to satisfy his own greed. Judas supposedly had serious qualms of conscience about the failure to sell the years’ worth of aromatic nard with which Mary had anointed Jesus' feet, but he thought nothing about selling Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Judas had been a disciple merely in his body, not in his heart. Judas had been called personally by the Lord, had lived with him for about 1,000 days, had followed him for three years, had heard him preach and teach, had seen him walk on water, still stormy seas, feed thousands with a five rolls and two sardines, raise three people from the dead, heal on countless occasions the sick, blind and lame and have mercy on countless sinners, had even received from the Lord the power to do many of these same things himself, and had been entrusted by him with the money bag for the Twelve. But he tragically had never gotten to know Jesus, and even more tragically had never gotten to love him. He remained just a follower of Jesus on the outside, not on the inside. In betraying Jesus, Judas valued him less than a handful of coins, forgetting that it would profit him nothing to gain the whole world and forfeit his life.
Goffine’s Devout Instructions (1896) for Tuesday in Holy Week
Prayer. O ALMIGHTY and everlasting God grant us so to celebrate the mysteries of Our Lord s passion that we may deserve to obtain pardon.
EPISTLE. Jeremias xi. 18-20.
In those days Jeremias said: Thou, O Lord, hast showed me, and I have known then Thou showedst 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, O Lord my God.
Instead of the gospel the Church reads to-day:
THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST,
According to St. Mark xiv. and xv.
At that time: The feast of the Pasch, and of the Azymes was after two days: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might by some wile lay hold on Him, and kill Him. But they said: Not on the 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 him they would 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, where 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 with Me his hand in the dish?
And the Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of Him: but wo to that man by whom the Son of man 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 said 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 come 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 was 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, sleepest thou? couldst thou not watch one hour?
Watch ye, and pray that you 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, 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. And 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 high priest: and all the priests and the scribes and the ancients assembled together. And Peter followed Him afar off, even into the court of the high priest: and he sat with the servants 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 found none. For many bore false witness against Him, and their evidences 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 with the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rending his garments saith: What need we any farther 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 unto Him: Prophesy: and the servants struck Him with the palms of their hands. Now when Peter was in the court below, there cometh 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 awhile they that stood by said again to Peter: Surely, thou art one of them: for thou art also a Galilean. But he began to curse and to 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 unto him: Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt thrice deny Me. And he began to weep. 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, saith to them: What will you then that I do to 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 them Barabbas, and delivered up Jesus, when he had scourged Him, to be crucified. And the soldiers led Him into the court of the palace, and they call together the whole band: and they clothe 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 aloud voice, saying: Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabacthani? Which is, being interpreted, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?
And some of the standers-by hearing, said: Be hold 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 come to take Him down. And Jesus having cried out with a loud voice gave up the ghost. [Here all kneel.] 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. And when 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 hewed out of a rock. And he rolled a stone to the door of the sepulchre.
Timeline of Holy Week
· Jesus denounces the scribes and Pharisees (Mt 23:1-36; Mk 12:37-40; Lk 20:4547)
· Jesus teaches in the Temple (Lk 21:37-38)
· Jesus predicts the destruction of the Temple. (Mt 24:1-3; Mk 13:1-4; Lk 21:5-7
· Returns to Bethany at night.
On Tuesday morning, Jesus and his disciples returned to Jerusalem. They passed the withered fig tree on their way, and Jesus spoke to his companions about the importance of faith. Back at the Temple, religious leaders, upset at Jesus establishing himself as a spiritual authority, organized an ambush with the intent to place Him under arrest. But Jesus evaded their traps and pronounced harsh judgment on them, saying:
"Blind guides! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people's bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness...Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?" (Matthew 23:24-33)
Later that afternoon, Jesus left the city and went with his disciples to the Mount of Olives, which sits due east of the Temple and overlooks Jerusalem. Here Jesus gave the Olivet Discourse, an elaborate prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the age. He speaks, as usual, in parables, using symbolic language about the end times events, including His Second Coming and the final judgment. Scripture indicates that this Tuesday was also the day Judas Iscariot negotiated with the Sanhedrin, the rabbinical court of ancient Israel, to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16). After a tiring day of confrontation and warnings about the future, once again, Jesus and the disciples return to Bethany to stay the night.
Reflect: Watch a video reflection on the day’s readings.
Pray: As we journey with Jesus through Holy Week, remember all those in our world today who carry heavy crosses of poverty, homelessness, and hunger. Pray for the poor and vulnerable today.
Act: Commit with your family to do at least one of the five suggestions in the article above.
Marie Bernarde ('Bernadette') Soubirous was the eldest child of an impoverished miller. At the age of fourteen she was ailing and undersized, sensitive and of pleasant disposition but accounted backward and slow. Between 11 February and 16 July 1858, in a shallow cave on the bank of the river Gave, she had a series of remarkable experiences. On eighteen occasions she saw a very young and beautiful lady, who made various requests and communications to her, pointing out a forgotten spring of water and enjoining prayer and penitence. The lady eventually identified herself as the Virgin Mary, under the title of 'the Immaculate Conception'. Some of these happenings took place in the presence of many people, but no one besides Bernadette claimed to see or hear 'the Lady', and there was no disorder or emotional extravagance. After the appearances ceased, however, there was an epidemic of false visionaries and morbid religiosity in the district, which increased the reserved attitude of the church authorities towards Bernadette's experiences. For some years she suffered greatly from the suspicious disbelief of some and the tactless enthusiasm and insensitive attentions of others; these trials she bore with impressive patience and dignity. In 1866 she was admitted to the convent of the Sisters of Charity at Nevers. Here she was more sheltered from trying publicity, but not from the 'stuffiness' of the convent superiors nor from the tightening grip of asthma. 'I am getting on with my job,' she would say. 'What is that?' someone asked. 'Being ill,' was the reply. Thus, she lived out her self-effacing life, dying at the age of thirty-five. The events of 1858 resulted in Lourdes becoming one of the greatest pilgrim shrines in the history of Christendom. But St Bernadette took no part in these developments; nor was it for her visions that she was canonized, but for the humble simplicity and religious trustingness that characterized her whole life.
Patron: Bodily ills; illness; Lourdes, France; people ridiculed for their piety; poverty; shepherdesses; shepherds; sick people; sickness.
· Manhood of Christ Day 7, Sixth Week.
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