Page images




THE Station, at Rome, is in the Church of Saint Stephen, on Monte Celio. By a sort of prophetic presentiment, this Church of the great Proto-Martyr was chosen as the place where the Faithful were to assemble on the Friday of Passion Week, which was to be, at a future time, the Feast consecrated to the Queen of Martyrs.

[blocks in formation]

remias: Domine, omnes qui te derelinquunt, confundentur: recedentes a te, in terra scribentur: quoniam derelinquerunt venam aquatum viventium, Dominum. Sana me, Domine, et sanabor salvum me fac, et salvus ero: quoniam laus mea tu es. Ecce ipsi dicunt ad me: Ubi est verbum Domini? veniat. Et ego non sum turbatus, te Pastorem sequens et diem hominis non desideravit, tu scis. Quod egressum est de labiis meis, rectum in conspectu tuo fuit. Non sis tu mihi formidini; spes mea tu in die afflictionis. Confundantur, qui me persequuntur, et non confundar ego paveant illi, et non paveam ego induc super eos diem afflictionis, et duplici contritione contere eos, Domine Deus noster,

O Lord, all that forsake thee
shall be confounded: they
that depart from thee, shall
be written
in the earth,

(as on sand, from which their names shall soon be effaced,) because they have forsaken the Lord, the vein of living waters. Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed, save me and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise. Behold they say to me: Where is the word of the Lord? let it come. And I am not troubled, following thee for my pastor, and I have not desired the day of man, thou knowest it. That which went out of my lips, hath been right in thy sight. Be not thou a terror unto me; thou art my hope in the day of afflic tion. Let them be confounded that persecute me, and let me not be confounded: let them be afraid, and let not me be afraid bring upon them the day of affliction, and with a double destruction destroy them, O Lord our God,

Jeremias is one of the most striking figures of the Messias persecuted by the Jews. It is on this account, that the Church selects from this Prophet so many of her lessons, during these two weeks that are sacred to the Passion. In the passage chosen for today's Epistle, we have the complaint addressed to God, by this just man, against those that persecute him; and it is in the name of Christ that he speaks. He says: They have forsaken the Lord, the vein of living waters. How forcibly do these words describe the malice, both of the Jews that crucified, and of sinners that still crucify, Jesus our Lord! As to -the Jews, they had forgotten the Rock, whence came

to them the living water, which quenched their thirst in the desert: or, if they have not forgotten the history of this mysterious Rock, they refuse to take it as the type of the Messias.

And yet, they hear this Jesus crying out to them in the streets of Jerusalem, and saying: If any man thirst, let him come to Me, and drink. His virtues, his teachings, his miracles, the prophecies that are fulfilled in his person, all claim their confidence in him; they should believe every word he says. But, they are deaf to his invitation; and how many Christians imitate them in their obduracy? How many there are, who once drank at the vein of living waters, and afterwards turned away, to seek to quench their thirst in the muddy waters of the world, which can only make them thirst the more! Let them tremble at the punishment that came upon the Jews; for, unless they return to the Lord their God, they must fall into those devouring and eternal flames, where even a drop of water is refused. Jesus, by the mouth of his Prophet, tells the Jews, that the day of affliction shall overtake them; and when, later on, he comes to them himself, he forewarns them, that the tribulation which is to fall on Jerusalem, in punishment for her deicide, shall be so great, that such hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be.2 But, if God so rigorously avenged the Blood of his Son against a City, that was, so long a time, the place of the habitation of his glory, and against a people that he had preferred to all others,-will he spare the sinner, who, in spite of the Church's entreaties, continues obstinate in his evil ways? Jerusalem had filled up the measure of her iniquities; we, also, have a measure of sin, beyond which the Justice of God will not permit us to go. Let us

1 St. John, vii. 37.

2 St. Matth. xxiv, 21.

sin no more; let us fill up that other measure, the measure of good works. Let us pray for those sinners who are to pass these days of grace without being converted; let us pray, that this Divine Blood, which is to be so generously given to them, but which they are about again to trample upon, let us pray that it may again spare them.


Sequentia sancti Evangelii Sequel of the holy Gospel secundum Joannem.

Cap. XI.

In illo tempore: Collegerunt Pontifices et Pharisæi concilium adversus Jesum, et dicebant: Quid facimus, quia hic homo multa signa facit? Si dimittimus eum sic, omnes credent in eum; et venient Romani, et tollent nostrum locum et gentem. Unus autem ex ipsis, Caïphas nomine, cum esset pontifex anni illius, dixit eis: Vos nescitis quidquam, nec cogitatis quia expedit vobis ut unus moriatur homo pro populo, et non tota gens pereat. Hoc autem a semetipso non dixit; sed cum esset pontifex anni illius prophetavit, quod Jesus moriturus erat pro gente, et non tantum pro gente, sed ut filios Dei, qui erant dispersi, congregaret in unum. Ab illo ergo die cogitaverunt ut interficerent eum. Jesus ergo jam non in palam ambulabat apud Judæos, sed abiit in regionem juxta desertum, in civitatem quæ dicitur Ephrem,

according to John.

Ch. XI.

At that time: the chief priests and Pharisees assembled in council against Jesus, and said: What do we, for this man doth many miracles? If we let him alone so, all men will believe in him; and the Romans will come, and take away our place and nation. But one of them, named Caiphas, being the highpriest that year, said to them: You know nothing, neither do you consider that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this he spoke not of himself; but being the high-priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but to gather in one the children of God, that were dispersed. From that day therefore they devised to put him to death. Wherefore Jesus walked no more openly among the Jews, but he went unto a country near the desert, unto a city

[ocr errors]

that is called Ephrem, and et ibi morabatur cum discithere he abode with his dis- pulis suis.


Jesus is more than ever in danger of losing his life The Council of the nation assembles to devise a plan for his destruction. Listen to these men, slaves of that vilest of passions,-jealousy. They do not deny the miracles of Jesus; therefore, they are in a condition to pass judgment upon him, and the judgment ought to be favourable. But they have not assembled to examine if he be or be not the Messias; it is to discuss the best plan for putting him to death. And what argument will they bring forward to palliate the evident murder they contemplate? Political interests,—their country's good. They argue thus: "If Jesus be longer allowed to appear in public and work miracles, Judea will rise up in rebellion against the Romans, who now govern us, and will proclaim Jesus to be their King; Rome will never allow us, the weakest of her tributaries, to insult her with impunity, and, in order to avenge the outrage offered to the Capitol, her armies will come and exterminate us."-Senseless Councillors! If Jesus had come that he might be King after this world's fashion, all the powers of the earth could not have prevented it. Again,-how is it that these Chief Priests and Pharisees, who know the Scriptures by heart, never once think of that prophecy of Daniel, which fortells, that in seventy weeks of years, after the going forth of the decree for the rebuilding of the Temple, the Christ shall be slain, and the people that shall deny him, shall cease to be His :1 moreover, that, after this crime, a people, led on by a commander, shall come and destroy Jerusalem; the abomination of desolation shall enter the Holy Place, the temple shall be destroyed, and the deso

[merged small][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »