“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
SUNDAY, March 28th Mk. 15: 1-39 “Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, made their plans. So they bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate.”
Part 1: Introductory Points for Holy Week.
Part 2: THE PASSION AND DEATH OF JESUS FOR LOVE OF YOU AND ME. By Father Ed Broom, OMV
- We are entering Holy Week – the week between Palm Sunday and Easter, observed with special solemnity as a time of devotion to the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This time is marked by special observances.
From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, known as USCCB:
“The summit of the Liturgical Year is the Easter Triduum—from the evening of Holy Thursday to the evening of Easter Sunday. Though chronologically three days, they are liturgically one day unfolding for us the unity of Christ’s Paschal Mystery.
The single celebration of the Triduum marks the end of the Lenten season, and leads to the Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord at the Easter Vigil.
The liturgical services that take place during the Triduum are:
- Mass of the Lord’s Supper
2) Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion
3) Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord
- There is one Mass celebrated on Holy Thursday, the Mass of the Last Supper with the institution of the most Holy Eucharist and the priesthood. After Mass, the Holy Eucharist is removed from the tabernacle and the doors are left open for us to see and experience that He is gone!
- Good Friday we again experience the loss of the Lord in the empty tabernacle as we commemorate the Lord’s Passion with the Stations of the Cross, adoration of the Holy Cross, and a Communion Service.
- Holy Saturday is a day of prayer and silence in the absence of the Beloved, a loss truly felt until the Easter Vigil Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord!
- This is the greatest act of love over known to man. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (Jn. 3: 16)
- For this reason, during Holy Week we will provide for your holy hours daily Scripture passages with meditations written by Fr. Ed Broom on the sufferings Jesus bore for love of you and me and our eternal salvation in His Passion and death on the cross! (Taken from the second scheme of meditations for the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola composed by Fr. Ed Broom, OMV)
PART 2: THE PASSION AND DEATH OF JESUS FOR LOVE OF YOU AND ME. By Father Ed Broom, OMV
GRACE TO BEG FOR: Beg for the grace to meditate upon how much Jesus suffered for love of you and me, but in return beg for the grace to suffer with Christ.
SEE MEDITATION & BIBLE VERSE AFTER INTRODUCTION…
AGONY OF JESUS IN THE GARDEN: FOR YOU & ME
ESSENCE AND HEART OF LOVE. The very essence and heart of love is the readiness and willingness to suffer for the loved one. Jesus Himself said: “No greater love has a man than this, to lay down his life for his friends.” (Jn. 15: 13) Absolutely all that Jesus suffered and underwent in His Passion was accepted and endured for love of all of humanity. However, Saint Ignatius highlights another aspect of this mystery of love: Jesus suffered the most bitter torments and agony for you in a personal and individual way. In fact, if you were the only person that God ever created, Jesus would have suffered His most bitter and painful Passion for love of you and the salvation of your immortal soul. Indeed, how great is the love of Jesus for you and for me! In the Diary of Saint Faustina we read and meditate upon the concept of suffering, in which Jesus communicates to Saint Faustina and to us that love is truly measured by the willingness to suffer for the loved ones.
LOVE DEMANDS A RESPONSE OF LOVE. This being said, it must be emphasized that while it is true that Jesus loves us so much, as will be evident in the following meditations, it is also true that the lover, who is Jesus the Lord, ardently desires for us to love Him in return. We want to beg for this special grace.
GRACE TO BEG FOR. The grace to beg for in the week of the Passion of Jesus is not an easy grace. We beg for the grace to meditate upon how much Jesus suffered for love of you and me, but in return to Him, we beg for the grace to suffer with Jesus. Some sentiments we may beg for would be the following: to suffer with the loved One, have compassion for the Lord, console the Heart of Jesus, and at least to some degree enter into Jesus’ agony, then strive to penetrate the reason for such excruciating suffering.
BIBLICAL PASSAGE: READ Mark 14: 32-41/Luke 22: 39-46/Matthew 26: 36-46)
ENTERING INTO THE SCENE: THE GARDEN OF OLIVES (GETHSEMANE). With calmness, trust, generosity, magnanimity, and great love, let us enter with Jesus into the Garden of Gethsemane, a place where He went habitually to pray. With His Best Friends—Peter, James, and John, let us accompany Jesus and derive abundant fruit from our meditation.
1. CREATE THE SCENE WITH YOUR IMAGINATION. Imagine it being night, somewhat chilly with a slight breeze, a full moon enlightening the contour, landscape, and vegetation of the Garden which of course abounds in olive trees. Be truly present in the scene.
2. PICTURE JESUS IN THIS MOVING SCENE. He is a young man about 33 years of age. For the last three years, in the company of the 12 Apostles, He has been actively engaged in His public ministry which consisted basically of three activities: abundant preaching, miracles over nature and physical healings, and several exorcisms—the casting out of devils. All of this was done for love of you and me and for the salvation of many souls.
3. JESUS’ DEMEANOR AND ASPECT. Unlike any other time, on this night Jesus manifests sadness, fear, tension, vulnerability, real suffering, and even agony. Bewildered at seeing the Lord Jesus in such a state, the Apostles are confused, disoriented, and themselves sad. During the course of the Spiritual Exercises we have learned the word that expresses the spiritual state of Jesus, His state of soul—that of DESOLATION.
4. BE WITH JESUS. Like the Apostles, be with Jesus, accompany Him and enter into His heart, mind, and soul. Jesus begins to experience a sadness even unto death. We know, though it be a very sad truth, that when Jesus most needs His best friends—Peter, James, and John, they fall asleep. For your part, strive to stay awake and enter into the heart of Jesus, into the very soul of Jesus. Be the Angel of Consolation for Jesus. Be His best friend!
5. LISTEN TO THE HEART-RENDING WORDS OF JESUS. He opens up the depths of His soul in filial confidence to Abba—Father. This is a model prayer for us and for the whole world. Jesus’ words express humility, trust, confidence, obedience, docility, filial trust, total conformity and acceptance of the will of the Heavenly Father. The words of Jesus: “Father (Abba), if it be possible, remove this cup (chalice) from me. However, not my will but your will be done.” (Mt. 26: 39) Listen attentively to the words of Jesus and strive to penetrate the deep meaning of this message for you. The Apostles, however, fall into a slumber. Instead of fighting against the desolation, they give in to it. How important it is for us to recognize when we are in the state of desolation and to fight manfully and forcefully against it—the Ignatian agere contra!
6. JESUS WORDS TO THE APOSTLES AND TO US. Seeing His friends asleep, Jesus exhorts them: “Stay awake and pray so that you do not be put to the test. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” (Mt. 26: 41) Despite these words of fervent exhortation, the Apostles return to their sleep. Perhaps like the Apostles our will has weakened and we too have fallen asleep when we should have been fervently dedicated to prayer. Rewinding the film of our own life: how often has it happened that our falling into sin was preceded by a state of desolation, a drifting away from prayer, a spiritual slumber, and then crash—the fall into sin. In truth, our fall into sin is almost in direct proportion to our weakness in prayer, our sleep in prayer, or our abandonment of prayer.
7. IN THE DEPTHS OF DESOLATION, JESUS MODELS PRAYER FOR US. In desolation the Apostles fail to pray, whereas Jesus prays more and with more intense fervor!!! So fervent is His prayer in Gethsemane that Jesus actually begins to sweat big drops of Blood which then trickle to the ground. Be with Jesus in spirit and contemplate the huge drops of Blood, His Blood sweat, and contemplate these drops falling to the ground. What a splendid example of perseverance for us. How easy it is for us to give up prayer for any pretext whatsoever. But not with Jesus! In the midst of the most intense desolation, He prays with admirable and astounding fervor and passion, with all His being—heart, emotions, mind, body, and soul. Let us humbly beg the Lord Jesus for fervor in our prayer life and that we would learn from Jesus to pray with every fiber of our being.
8. WHY THE SUFFERING AND THE SWEATING OF BLOOD??? Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen explains the WHY of Jesus suffering so much, the reason behind the excruciating AGONY OF JESUS IN THE GARDEN. This is the reason: all the sins of humanity descend upon Jesus in the Garden of Olives. Jesus, the God-man takes upon Himself the guilt of the sins of the whole of mankind—past, present, and future—which now descend upon Jesus like a torrential downpour of rain; from the original sin of Adam and Eve traversing the sins of mankind throughout the course of time including the last sin of the last person in human history. Jesus takes upon Himself all these sins and as a consequence, huge drops of Blood pour out of the pores of His Sacred Body and fall to the ground.
9. OUR SINS TOO. We cannot deny the fact that our sins are also descending upon the suffering and bleeding Body of Jesus, the innocent Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world! Let us humbly beg the Lord Jesus to have sorrow, contrition, and firm purpose of amendment for our many sins and thereby receive Jesus’ mercy. Indeed, Jesus is really and truly suffering for all of the sins of the world, but for yours and mine and in a very personal way!
20. THE ANGEL OF CONSOLATION. Contemplate and enter into this most touching scene. In the midst of the excruciating pain of Jesus, His agony and sweating of huge drops of Blood, God the Father sends to Jesus an angel. This angel might be called THE ANGEL OF CONSOLATION.
Contemplate the angel who draws close to Jesus and even embraces the Lord in His suffering. In truth, this ANGEL OF CONSOLATION is you! Yes!
You must be this Angel of Consolation. Draw close to the Lord. Embrace Him with great love. Talk to Him from the very depths of your heart. Beg of Jesus pardon and mercy for your sins. Beg of Jesus pardon and mercy for the sins of your family members. Beg of Jesus pardon and mercy for the sins of the Church. Beg of Jesus pardon and mercy for the sins of the whole world! Beg the Lord Jesus for the grace of conversion of poor sinners, especially of deathbed sinners, those sinners who will die within the next day. Console the Lord and thank the Lord Jesus for all that He underwent for you, starting in the Garden of Gethsemane. And love the Lord with your whole heart and being!