Passion Saturday - III Class Feria
Missa Miserere Mihi
Epistle: Jer. 18:18-23 [Jeremias anathematizes those who invent devices against the just.]
Gospel: Jn. 12:10-36 [Jesus foretells His passion after being acclaimed by the crowd.]
Full Latin-English propers here.
Christ loves us like a bride. That is because we are His bride. He is our Nymphios (Bridegroom). He just wants to be with us. When two people fall in love, such that it is no longer infatuation but rather love, what they want most is each other's companionship, even in the mundane things in life. They want to spend the rest of their lives together, living their lives together, with each other's companionship, even in the mundane everyday things of life. Well, Christ wants to spend the rest of eternity with us. He also wants to be with us in this life. He wants to have a place in our everyday lives. He wants to be our companions in life, helping with everything, and wants us to keep Him company in the Eucharist. He just wants to be with us in this life and the next.
That makes it all the more painful when we reject Him or neglect Him, when we go on living our daily lives and ignore Him, when He wants to talk to us and we don't say anything, when He comes down and wants to spend some time to us and we don't go out to meet Him. It is even worse when we go out of our way to be with someone else; when we go out purposefully and spend time in sin, doing things that contradict and hurt our relationship with Him. We give His place to another. Christ, who as God sees all things, is then forced to see us live our lives with someone else, some sinner, some sin, some vice, some desire, whatever it might be, sit in His place and live the life He should be living with you.
Naturally, He wants to destroy this life and replace it with His life with you. He can only look at you and say the Sext antiphon for Passion Week (i.e. this week, and we'll say it for the last time shortly [at least in my time zone]): Popule meus quid feci tibi? aut quid molestus fui? Responde mihi. "My people what have I done to you? or in what have I grieved you? Answer me." He was just trying to be with you because He loves you and you rejected Him in favor of sin. As degrading as sin is, by your actions you showed Christ that sin is better than He is, that He is worse than sin. What did He ever do to you? Answer Him.
With the full force of Divine Rage, He wants to destroy this life you have erected for yourself and replace it with His life with you. He, who has all the power of God, is willing to go to any length to get you back. We see that length over the course of the next week, Holy Week. You ran away from Him into a life of sin and He is willing to give His very life to buy you back and sacrifice Himself to defend you from those people and demons that support and defend your sinful life. He says in today's Gospel, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, itself remaineth alone. But if it die it bringeth forth much fruit." Only through sacrifice can victory be gained. On the same point He continued, "'And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself.' (Now this he said, signifying what death He should die.)" This is how victory is achieved. No sacrifice, no victory. No Lent, no Easter. He sacrifices Himself and He conquers. He humbled Himself and God greatly exalted Him