Passion Monday - III Class Feria
Missa Miserere Mihi
Epistle: Jon. 3:1-10 [Jonas goes to Nineve.]
Gospel: Jn. 7:32-39 [Prediction of the Passion.]
Full Latin-English propers here.
We are in the thick of Passiontide now. Our Jesus has been taken away. He has gone to where we cannot follow, as he tells us in today's Gospel. Our reaction to this is to pray and do penance like the Ninevites. Passiontide is the season dedicated to the Nymphios (Bridegroom, i.e. Ecce Homo). However, our Nymphios had gone away. Like the bride of the Canticle of Canticles, we are searching for He who our heart loves and we cannot find Him: "My soul melted when he spoke: I sought him, and found him not: I called, and he did not answer me." (Sg. 5:6) We go about the streets looking for Him, but we are beaten and mocked because of our desire for Him: "The keepers that go about the city found me: they struck me: and wounded me: the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me." (Sg. 5:7).
It is truly massive pain to love someone so much but not be able to be with them. I don't mean when two people who are in love with each other are separated for a few hours or days, I mean when you two are separated and you don't know when you'll ever get to see them again. You don't know if it will be a short time or a long time. This is the pain that Our Blessed Lord feels when we sin. We have abandoned Him and no one knows when we'll return. Some never return. They cast themselves into eternal hellfire since they prefer sin to God. Our Blessed Lord loves them so much, but He will never see them again. Ever. Not even in the next life. Not ever. This Holy Passiontide, we share in the pain of Our Beloved Nymphios. We are separated from Him. The cross is veiled. All the statues are veiled. We share His longing for union. He loves us and just wants to be with us. He wants our companionship. He just wants to be our Companion through all the ups and downs of life, through the good times and the bad. That is how we must love Him in return. We must love Him the same way. We cannot let that love He has for us be empty, with no return.
We love Him and we just want to be with Him. He has been taken away and we do not know when He is coming back. Like the Magdalene, we have no idea where He even is or what He is doing. During Passiontide, we experience the pain of separation. Christ feels this pain, this longing for us, when we sin. During Passiontide, we suffer with Him; we join ourselves to His Passion. It is an immense, indescribable pain to love someone so much and not be able to be with them, all the while other people get to be with them as much as they want committing whatever sins they want as much as they want. This is what Our Beloved Nymphios goes through whenever we sin. He just wants to be with us, but He isn't allowed to. We have rejected Him in favor of sin. We spend all the time we have with sinners instead of Him. Now is the time to convert and return to Him. This is the time of year when He is taken away from us and like the bride of the Canticle, we do not know where He is or when we will see Him again. We long for Him the way He has longed for us for so long. We share His pain and in that pain we are joined to Him.