Thursday, April 13, 2017
MEDITATIONS ON THE PASSION: THE THIRD MEDITATION Of The Last Supper Which CHRIST Made With His Disciples
VEEN, Otto van
The Last Supper
THE THIRD MEDITATION
Of the last supper which CHRIST made with his Disciples
Now the feast of unleavened bread, which is called the pasch, was at hand. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might put Jesus to death: but they feared the people. And Satan entered into Judas, who was surnamed Iscariot, one of the twelve. And he went, and discoursed with the chief priests and the magistrates, how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. And he promised. And he sought opportunity to betray him in the absence of the multitude. And the day of the unleavened bread came, on which it was necessary that the pasch should be killed.And he sent Peter and John, saying: Go, and prepare for us the pasch, that we may eat. But they said: Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said to them: Behold, as you go into the city, there shall meet you a man carrying a pitcher of water: follow him into the house where he entereth in. And you shall say to the goodman of the house: The master saith to thee, Where is the guest chamber, where I may eat the pasch with my disciples? And he will shew you a large dining room, furnished; and there prepare. And they going, found as he had said to them, and made ready the pasch. And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said to them: With desire I have desired to eat this pasch with you, before I suffer.
Wisdom hath built herself a house, she hath hewn her out seven pillars. She hath slain her victims, mingled her wine, and set forth her table. Prov 9
1. When the hour was come, JESUS sat down together with the twelve. See how the Lord sitteth together with his servants, the Master with his Disciples, the Father with his sons, and the Pastor together with his beloved flock. Yea he was in manner of a most meek lamb, amongst meek sheep, amongst the which was also that ravening wolf that fierce dog Judas the traitor. O blessed Jesus was it not enough to have tolerated so long time in your company this cruel and bloody beast, but farther in this very last hour which you have chosen to comfort yourself a little with your most dear Disciples, you permit him to be present, and with the gall of his inquity to make bitter your most sweet conversation? It is evidently since my Lord, that to give us pure & perfect consolation, you would have all your own comfort to be mingled with so great bitterness.
2. O holy Apostles, O Princes of the earth, which are at this prefect with so great comfort, eating and drinking with your dear master: go to prepare yourself & take up your shield, arm yourselves with a strong and constant faith, for within few hours you shall find yourselves in the midst of weapons, environs round about with enemies: but you,vanquished with fear, shall fly away, leaving your good Pastor amongst the claws and jaws of ravening wolves.
3. O my soul,let us go to this supper, for itis the most noble, and the most precious that ever was in the world, for albeit in appearence it seemeth poor, yet therein is found, all the riches all the goodness, & all the beautifulness, which can either be seen or tasted in Paradise. O how happy should I account myself,if I had been worthy to be present at that most happy banquet, and in some thing or other to serve my Redeemer,and gather up the crumbs which fell from these divine hands,to contemplate that reverent face which the Angels do desire to behold, & to hear from the mouth of the eternal Word, those works most sweet then the honey comb. I think certainly that I should not have been able to have contained myself from prostrating me at those most holy feet, and washing them with tears, as long before Mary Magdalene did: And you most begin Lord, as you despised not her, would not likewise have despised me, howbeit a most unworthy sinner, but seeing me so poor would have opened the bowels f your mercy,and given me also as you did you disciples some spiritual refection.
4. I have greatly desired, said Christ to his Disciples, to eat with you this Pasche: Our Lord had at other times eaten the lamb, and made the Pasche with his Disciples, yet he never said the like words before. Now than were there two causes of this his great desire. One, in respect of the meat which he intended to give them, an other in consideration of himself which gave it unto them. For in all the other Pasche,he had eaten with them the lamb roasted and bread of Azimes as the law commanded, but in this his last supper he intended not to give the many more shadows & figures,but to give unto them himself the true lamb which was prefigured thereby,wherefore our Saviors desire was to make an end of all ceremonies of the old law,and to give a beginning to anew Pasche, wherein not the typical lamb, but the true lamb which which was to take away the sins of the world,was to be sacrificed and eaten. The second cause was because that in this Pasche was to be accomplished that most lonely desire of his hart which he always had of communicating himself wholly and by all means possible unto man, whereby afterwards that he was in so divers manners communicated unto him,even unto the clothing of himself with human flesh,to be better able to converse with man and to draw him unto himself, there remained nothing else to transform man perfectly and to make him oneself same thing with him, but for to give himself unto him for meat. Blessed JESUS therefore having for the space of thirty years run after us with a most burning thirst, to deliver us out of the hands of the Devil, to bring us back again unto his fold,and to restore unto us the salvation which we had lost, seeing now the day come wherein these his desires were accomplished, he giveth sign by these words: of his inward joy & consolation.
5. But O blessed JESUS, they which to eat this Pasche have great reason to be joyful for the remembrance of this singular benefit which you have bestowed on them: but you which are the lamb which with such barbarous cruelty is to be sacrificed & killed for the salvation of the world, have rather cause of sorrow and sadness. But I see, sweet Lord that this your desire proceedeth from overmuch love which you bear me, which causeth that you more account & esteem my good then your harm and rejoice in my salvation which is to result from your death, then grieve for the death which you have to suffer. O most desired of all nations, how far different are your desires from ours, & how much do you exceed all other with your charity! The Angels in Heaven desire to see your face, but, to the end they may enjoy you and be blessed: The Prophets and ancient Fathers desired your coming, but it was to have of you life and salvation: but you desire ti be with us, not for any profit of yours,but only to suffer and die for our salvation.
6. Afterward our Lord said to his Disciples that he was no more to celebrate this ceremonial Pasche,wherein was eaten the lamb,and drunken the wine in figure, till it should be fulfilled in the kingdom of God, that is to say, until that by his death he having destroyed sin, & by his resurrection justified our souls, should begin to reign in his Church, for then would he celebrate with them that new and perfect Pasche, wherein he would feed them with the true lamb, that is, with his most precious body and blood. Then the old shadows should be converted into light, the figures into truth,and the law into the Gospel. Then the sending of the Holy Ghost from Heaven, the world should begin plainly to know that Christ was the true Son of God and King of Heaven and Earth, and his spiritual and divine kingdom should begin to increase and dilate itself over the whole world, in the which time also, the faithful people (as it is written in the acts of the Apostles) began with joy and simplicity of hart to frequent this lively Bread, and to celebrate this mysterious Sacrament. O happy Kingdom,O blessed are those to whom our Lord ,is their God, and their King,and which are worthy to sit at this Table, and to make this new Pasche with our sweet Jesus, in the which he himself is the invite, he with his own hands serverth us, he is the meat wherewith we are fed,and he likewise incorporating us in himself, by means of this most amorous meat, together with us is also fed. O man acknowledge thy dignity,acknowledge thy faithful lover and Redeemer,and be not ungrateful for so infinite benefits,and if thou hast not else wherewith all to recompense him, at least yield him thanks,and love him which so dearly loved thee.
Thou shalt pray CHRIST our Lord,that as he made in this refectory,the last supper with his Disciples, even so he will with the gifts of his holy spirit, prepare in thy soul, a refectory, great and adorned, whither he may vouchsafe to come,for to inhabit and supp with thee, taht thou being united with him by the links of charity, mayest by his grace always think and do all suh things as are pleasing to his Majesty,and detest and avoid those which are contrary,and by persevering herein until the end be made worthy to be called unto that blessed supper of the marriage of the lamb, to the which are called all his elect.
1. Christ supping and doing works of charity to his Disciples, excluded not Judas the traitor, of whom he knew himself to have been sold. Even so we in the works which we do for the benefit of our neighbor, must not exclude anyone, but do well unto all, and pray as well for them which hate us, as for those which love us.
2. If our Lord sometime defer the accomplishing of our desires,although they are good and holy, we must not be sorrowful nor discouraged:seeing that Christ our Lord expected so many years before that he could accomplish the desire which he had of our salvation.
3. Christ which knew full well how miserable this life is, and how precious death, had always life in contempt,and death in desire. But we most blind and carnal,which taste nothing else,and prize no other thing, but than which here we see:do greatly abhor death,and over greedily desire life.
4. Christ giving the Chalice unto his Disciples, said unto them, that they should divide it amongst them: by this Chalice was signified the tribulations and bitterness of this life, the which our Lord will have us divide amongst us that us to have compassion one of another, to bear the burden one of another, and to succor the necessities one of another,and in so doing we shall fulfill the law of Christ, conformable to the saying of the apostle. Alter alterius onera portate, et sic adimplebitis lege Christi.
5. Christ promised his Disciples, that then he would perfectly eat with them the Pasche, when he should reign in his Church, which thing he now performeth with all faithful Christians, when as they worthily communicating Christ likewise eateth with them, as his members. Now if such dignity of a Christian, as this is,to eat together with Christ, doth not move us to frequent this divine Sacrament: at least let this move us to the intent that hereafter at the day of judgment he may say unto us Come ye blessed of my Father,because when I was hungry ye gave me to eat.
6. The true Paschal lamb, that is Christ in the blessed Sacrament, ought to be eaten in such manner as he did eat the legal lamb. First with bread of Azimes without leaven, that is with a pure conscience,without malice or will to sin. Secondly with lettuces, that is with bitterness of contrition of our sins. Thirdly with our reins girded by continence of the flesh. Fourthly with shoe on our feet: that is, with our affections cleansed from earthly things, Fifthly with staves in our hand that is with a vigilant care and custody of ourselves.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
MEDITATIONS ON THE PASSION: THE SECOND MEDITATION How Christ Sent His Disciples To Prepare The Supper: And How He Took His Leave Of His Mother
Man of Sorrows (left wing)
THE SECOND MEDITATION
How Christ Sent His Disciples To Prepare The Supper: And How He Took His Leave Of His Mother
How Christ Sent His Disciples To Prepare The Supper: And How He Took His Leave Of His Mother
And on the first day of the Azymes, the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the pasch? But Jesus said: Go ye into the city to a certain man, and say to him: the master saith, My time is near at hand, with thee I make the pasch with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus appointed to them, and they prepared the pasch. Mt
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 shew 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 Mk
And the day of the unleavened bread came, on which it was necessary that the pasch should be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying: Go, and prepare for us the pasch, that we may eat. But they said: Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said to them: Behold, as you go into the city, there shall meet you a man carrying a pitcher of water: follow him into the house where he entereth in. And you shall say to the goodman of the house: The master saith to thee, Where is the guest chamber, where I may eat the pasch with my disciples? And he will shew you a large dining room, furnished; and there prepare. And they going, found as he had said to them, and made ready the pasch. Lk
And when they went up the ascent to the city, they found maids coming out to draw water, and they said to them: Is the seer here? They answered and said to them: He is: behold he is before you, make haste now: for he came today into the city, for there is a sacrifice of the people today in the high place. 1 Kings 9
Rebecca appeared coming with a pitcher, which she carried on her shoulder: and she went down to the well and drew water. And I said to her: Give me a little to drink...And she said moreover to him: We have good store of both straw and hay, and a large place to lodge in. Gn.24
1. Consider how Christ our Lord even as he was in his whole life, so would he until his very death be most obedient, not omitting to observe whatsoever the law commanded to be done, until all were in him most perfectly accomplished: wherefore the day of Pasche being near at hand, the Disciples knowing that their master had never a proper dwelling, nor so much as any place where he might repose his head, came unto saying: Master, where pleaseth it you that we prepare to eat the Pasche? O poverty of the Son of God: O example of humility not heard of before: the Lord of the Whole world, whose feet is the Heavens and whose footstool is the Earth: He which feedeth the fowls of the air, and giveth food in due season unto all creatures, coming into this world: hath not so much as any one place, wherein to retire himself: and he needeth that others should lend him room & give him alms to buy a Lamb, that he might eat the Pasche, and remain one hour in comfort with his Disciples.
2. Consider on the other side, how in this his humility, there shineth out his divinity, seeing that from point to point he foretold his Disciples such things as were afterward to happen unto them: and in his extreme poverty he declared himself the Lord of all, changing the mind of the Jews, that the same refectory or dining chamber which he had prepared for himself& his household, he should grant,not only for that present, but dedicate it forever to the service of Christ: even as from the self same hour afterward,it was always a refuge and place of abode for the Apostles. Most happy Chamber consecrated by so high mysteries: but more happy householder which showed such obedience & charity to Christ, and lodging him in thy house,whereby thou deserved that he bestowed on thee another dwelling, without comparison far better,seeing that thou gave him one upon earth,and he gave thee one in Heaven: thou bestowed on him a temporal harbor: and he rendered to thee an eternal. O Redeemer of the world, seeing that thou so well pays and so largely rewards those which receive thee. I beseech thee vouchsafe to come and repose thyself in my soul, giving her grace worthily to receive thee, that she may be in manner of a chamber clean, and adorned,and may say with the Prophet. Paratum cor meum Dues, paratum cor meun. My hart is ready O God, my hart is ready: Into which your Master entering, may vouchsafe to supp with her, nourishing yourself of her,and feeding her with yourself the true Lamb and lively bread which came from Heaven, togive life unto men.
3. But what meaneth this sweet Jesus, that thou knowing that in the city of Jerusalem those ungrateful Jews have prepared snares for thee, and in manner of hungry wolves laid wait for to take and devour thee: why wilt thou O most innocent lamb go thither to cast thy self into their bloody mouths? and whereas thou now art in Bethania in the house of Martha and Magdalen thy well beloved disciples,where is also present thy most dear Mother: Why dost thou not keep this festival day with them,and give unto thy mother this small comfort, when as thou art within a few hours to be occasion of her so much bitterness? Wherefore doest cause so great trouble unto thy Disciples, by making them to prepare thee a place and provision for this supper finding here so great commodity and preparation of all things? and that which importeth most, they bearing thee here so great love and charity? for these thy faithful lovers if they had no other place for thee, they would give thee place in their own harts, that there thou mightest comfort thyself with thy Disciples,and they themselves also be comforted with thee.
4. Here thou mayest consider how that most fervent Disciple Mary Magdalen left nothing undone, whereby she might move her dear Master to remain with them,and when she could do no more, she all full of sorrow turned herself to entreat his mother, whom she knew full well to desire it much more then her self,and to be of great authority with her Son, that by her means she might obtain this most desired favor at his hands. Wherefore she also partly by this sudden resolution of her Son, and partly by seeing the great sadness which the very Disciples themselves could not dissemble: doubting least this should be his last departure: full of suspicion, approached unto her Son and with material liberty began to say, unto him: It should be great comfort unto us all,my Son,and especially unto me, that you would vouchsafe to remain here with us this EASTER and to rejoice us with your desired presence, seeing that so seldom we are worthy of it: and go not to Jerusalem amongst your enemies, who as you well know do now persecute you more then ever,and seek to put you to death: and if other women s children which dwell far off from their parents are commonly wont to go and visit them, that they may keep such Feasts with them: will you being in the self same house with me,now at this Feast forsake & abandon me? Consider I pray you those my travails past, which for your love at diverse times I have sustained, so great wearisome of my body,so grievous suspicions of my heart,so many perils,poverty and care which I have passed over with you now flying to one country, then to another: and let all this be of such value with you, that for recompense of these my sorrows,I may deserve to obtain now at your hands this small consolation.
5. The mournful mother having uttered these words,which in the end (being able to no longer to contain her self) she accompanied with tears:it could be no less,but that the tender heart of her most loving Son was much moved herewith, wherefore he spake unto her with words full of love and piety, saying: Although I know beloved Mother, that this which I have to say unto you, will cause you sorrow and anguish: yet not-withstanding, because I have elected you, not only for my Mother, but also for a companion of my travails and passions, that afterwards you may also be partaker of my consolations.I give you to understand how my Father will is, I go to suffer,and unto death, & now is the hour come wherein I must accomplish this office, for the which he sent me , and for the which I took of you this flesh: Now is the hour some wherein for the salvation of the world it is needful that all justice be fulfilled in me, neither can I make any longer delay:nor keep this Pasch with you:my Father having ordained it so,that in the same city where the true Lamb is to be offered up, in the self same also I should offer & eat the mystical & legal Lamb. Remain you therefore with my peace,& as I for obedience most willingly do embrace this Cross,even so I desire you to offer me with a prompt mind to my Fathers will.
6. Now think what a arrow that was and what manner of knife, which at this last word of the Son pierced the soul of the piteous mother:she desired and hartely wished to give some answer, but the vehemency of this grief did in such sort pinch her heart, that it left her no power to frame a word, but caused her to pour out from her eyes floods of tears: where thou mayest imagine what at this instant passed through the sorrowful heart of this virgin, what affections of resignation towards the divine Will: what affections of love and piety towards her Son, of the one part her will most desirous to obey, did provoke her to offer not only her son but likewise herself if need should so require, even unto death: on the other side calling to mind those reproaches, those mocking, those halings, and that contemptible death of her beloved son, with motherly piety all the bowels of her hart were moved:and so remaining in this sorrowful conflict,she knew not what else to do but weep:at length prevailed the desire of the fulfilling of the divine will, and son an instant making of herself & her son a courageous sacrifice unto the eternal Father, all human affection being set aside she answered in this manner. O what bitter grief do you give me, my Son: truly if it so please your Father I would give my life for you, or at least if it be necessary that you die, I would he were contented that I might likewise die with you, seeing that to live without you my life,it will be nothing else but a continual dying. But if this may not be, and if your Fathers will is, that I must live, and if he call you alone for mans salvation to death, go go my Son blessed of him and of me,go you for so many years ago desired of the whole world, and put in effect that which the obedience of you Father demands, and that which the Angels and all mankind wish and expect at you hands, & I in the mean while fraught with sorrow,will remain alone, weeping night and day, until the desired return of you my only weal.
7. Here now thou mightest have seen this Blessed virgin weeping with other manner of tears then Agar shed, when as she wept in the presence of her son, seeing him draw near to death, Moreover in this hard separation of such a mother fro such a son, who so entirely loved each other, thou mightest have seen other manner of lamentation, and other signs of love, then ever were seen betwixt those two most faithful friends David and Jonathan, when as thy were to depart one from another. Here likewise thou mightest have seen on the person of this Virgin, that great Patriarh Abraham standing with a kind of divine constancy, offering up with his own hands his only begotten son in sacrifice unto God. But in this oblation which this Blessed Virgin made of her Son, she far exceeded in fortitude and constancy that of Abraham,in so much as she was a woman, and a mother,and offered a son not only a man as Issac was, but a man that was alas God:and unto her not only a son but also a father and a spouse. Finally if great was the grief of this mother, great was also the sorrow of the their devout women and faith friends of JESUS where thou mayest consider what abundance of tears were shed,& how hard and sharp a thing it seemed unto them all,but particularly unto the afflicted mother,that her only Son , whom she loved more then herself,should go to yield himself into the hands of his most cruel enemies.Intolerable was this separation unto her, and to all the rest,and if it had been possible they would have hindered him from so hard an enterprise the zeal of his Fathers honor,& of our salvation which pricked him forwarded to give his life for us,wrought more in the hart of JESUS then could the tears of his mother,&the pitiful affections of his dear friends. Wherefore as soon as he had given them all his last farewell,& had taken of his mother the kiss of peace he went as a meek lamb,to be offered voluntarily to the sacrifice.
Thou shalt pray unto Christ our Lord, that as he sent his Disciples to prepare the Pasche in Jerusalem, and leaving in Bethania his Mother, with all the rest which loved him,went for obedience to his Father to celebrate the same amongst his enemies: even so by the grace of his holy spirit he prepare thy soul in such sort, that for his divine love, she being spoiled of all human affection and love of creatures, may neither in prosperity nor adversity seek or desire any other thing but that his good pleasure and holy will may always in her be most perfectly fulfilled.
1. They which for just cause might be excused from doing any work of obedience, yet notwithstanding for example of others do it: so much greater is this virtue in them, by how much more in this they are like unto Christ, who being not bound,yet nevertheless for our instruction submitted himself in all things to the obedience of the law.
2. In our temporal necessities we ought not be over careful, but confidently to trust in God, assuring ourselves that if we serve him faithfully, and seek before all other things his kingdom and glory, he will not fail to provide all necessary things for us: even as Christ not having either place or provision to celebrate the Pasche, yet had all things provided for him in due time.
3. Christ sent Peter and John to prepare the Pasche. By Peter is signified good action,by John devot contemplation: If we will prepare ourselves worthily to received the blessed Body of our Lord, we must prepare our soul, with virtuous works & devout prayers?
4. Into the house where into our Savior was to enter &make the Pasche, enter first a man with a pitcher of water, thereby to give us to understand, that when we are to receive our Lord in the blessed Sacrament, we must first with the water of tears and contrition, for our sins,wash and cleanse our soul from sin.
5. If we wul have our Lord vouchsafe to come and lounge with us, we must procure to make our heart a refectory or dining chamber, great and adorned great, by greatness of faith, by largeness of hope,and by breath of charity and adorned with variety of all sort of virtue.
6. Christ being called by the obedience of his Father to Jerusalem there unto be Crucified, departed from Bethania laving his mother and his friends with all other consolations which there he had: even so we for obedience of Gods divine precepts,and likewise to give obedience unto divine inspirations, when our Lord calleth us to Jerusalem, interpreted the vision of peace, that is unto a state of more perfection, wherein is found true peace: we must set aside and leave both parents, friends and all worldly comfort, and willingly run to embrace with Christ the Cross of obedience.
7. The kinfolks and friends of Christ were in Bethania which is interpreted the house of affliction, but his Persecutors and his Cross were in Jerusalem,which is called the vision of peace, wherein is signified unto us that amongest our kindred and allurements of the world,can be found nothing nut affliction of spirit: but by the cross of tribulation,and persecution,we shall come unto true and perfect peace.
MEDITATIONS ON THE PASSION: THE FIRST MEDITATION Of The Conspiracy Which The Jews Made Against Christ
THE FIRST MEDITATION
Of the Conspiracy which the Jews made against Christ
The festival day of the Azymes You know that after two days shall be the pasch, and the son of man shall be delivered up to be crucified. Then were gathered together the chief priests and ancients of the people into the court of the high priest, who was called Caiphas: And they consulted together, that by subtilty they might apprehend Jesus, and put him to death. But they said: Not on the festival day, lest perhaps there should be a tumult among the people.
The Brethren of Joseph seeing him afar off, before he came nigh them, they thought to kill him. And said one to another: Behold the dreamer cometh. Come, let us kill him Gen. 37
And sold him to the Ismaelites, for twenty pieces of silver Gen. 37
A conspiracy is found among the men of Juda, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem 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 Jer. 11
Because they have digged a pit to take me, and have hid snares for my feet.But thou, O Lord, knowest all their counsel against me unto death Jer. 18
While they assembled together against me, they consulted to take away my life. Ps.30
For my enemies have spoken against me; and they that watched my soul have consulted together, Saying: God hath forsaken him: pursue and take him, for there is none to deliver him. Ps.70
And they weighed for my wages thirty pieces of silver. Zac.11
Because he hath sold the just man for silver, and the poor man for a pair of shoes. Amos 2
1. The greater the gifts and benefits were, which our Lord bestowed on his people, the more increased their malice and ingratitude towards him, for which cause he justly complained by the Prophet saying, Filios enutriui, & exaltaui, ipsi vero spreuerunt me. I brought up children and exalted them, but they have despised me. How often times did our sweet Savior Jesus shed tears,and watch whole nights in prayer unto his Father for their salvation, and spend the day time in preaching unto them and instructing them in casting out Devils, and in healing of their diseased persons, whereas contra wise they persevere whole nights and days, devising & consulting together how they may apprehend him, and kill him most cruelly. Blind and miserable Jews, they counsel and search after Christ, not to have him, but to kill him: and little remember how that by killing of Christ, their true life: they incur eternal death. Blessed are they, who with better advise seek after Christ, but for to have Christ, hath life, hath salvation, and all goodness.
2. Consider how much greater is the ingratitude of Judas then that of the Jews: for as much as being chosen of Christ to sit as Judge of the world amongst the highest seats of Heaven, he suffereth himself to be blinded so much with avarice, that for a vile and base reward he doth not only renounce his high dignity, but moreover and besides selleth Christ himself. Woe be unto that soul which once obstinately giveth place unto one vice, because there is no wickedness so grievous which when occasion serveth he is not easily induced to commit: And let them chiefly beware who are in a more worthy estate and more near unto God: for if such once fall from their vocation:they become the very worst of all other men.
3. Behold how basely Judas esteemed of Christ, which permitted the Jews his most capital enemies to make their own price of him,saying what will you give me and I will deliver him into your hands? It was never heard of before, that the Seller suffered the Buyer to set price of his wares, unless it were of some vile and contemptible thing. O most wicked broker which valuest him for money, whose price exceeded all value: and him in comparison of whose worth all things else are to be esteemed as nothing, thou ratest at so low a price. Most miserable fellow seest thou not, that infinite worlds might be redeemed with the least drop of his blood,& thou sellest him whole & entire for thirty sicles? Wicked Judas, CHRIST thy Redeemer prized not thy soul, at so vile a price as thou soldest his, seeing that he brought and ransomed thee with the price of his own blood, and thou sellest him for the value of thirty pieces of silver.
4. O holy Mother find thyself present at this sale of thy Son, and cause them to buy him of thee, seeing that he is thine and not this thieves, who selleth that which is none of his own: and then shall we see how thou wilt increase the price, & at how higher a rate thou wilt value him, than these men do: but if happily thou consent, for the fulfilling of the will of his Father, that this traitor should sell him,yet nevertheless do thou make means to buy him, for being his mother of reason it belongeth chiefly unto thee for to buy him. O Judas most unhappy, if the insatiable desire of money overcome thee yet sell him not unto his enemies, but much rather unto his friends, who assuredly will give much more for him. See how much LAZARUS would give thee rather then thou shouldest sell his Savior: how much Magdalen: how much Martha: and how much his comfortless Mother, whose loss is the greatest of all others, which when she could do no more, at leastwise with the weight of infinite tears, she would purchase him. See finally and demand of the Angels what they would give for Jesus and with out doubt for their Lord they would freely give thee Paradise.
5. Consider the meekness of they Savior, who albeit he knew himself so traitorously sold of Judas,nevertheless he excluded him not, but tolerated him in his company,neither doth he shut up from him, but rather set wide open the gate of his mercy, inviting him to repentance: for which cause he talketh with him as before, he eateth with him, doth him many favors even to the washing of his very feet. O what heart is so hard, what mind is so obstinate, which so great signs of excessive love would not mollify and cleave in sunder. And if Jesus be so loving towards them who sold him so vilely what will he do to them, which love him and serve him faithfully? O most merciful Jesus, how much am I bound unto thee, seeing that thou sufferest him to be damned forever which sold thee but once, and me thy traitorous servant which every hour do sell thee, thou still yet expected and givest grace and time, for to save my soul.
Thou shalt pray unto Christ our Savior that for this meekness of his, whereby he suffered himself of this wicked council to be judged worthy of death, and of one of his own Disciples to be sold for so vile a price unto his enemies, he will give thee grace seeing that he most manifestly hath declared to esteem more of thy salvation then of his own life, that thou mayest likewise for his love patiently endure all the judgments and counsels which men shall give against thee, and to be sold and despised of the world as unprofitable and infamous, and never permit thee for the love of any creature, to forsake and leave him, thy true and only good, but that thou mayest as thou of duty oughtest, above all things to esteem, serve,and love him forever
1. They which exceed others in age, or in knowledge,or in dignity ought vigilantly to endeavor to excel them likewise in sanctity and obedience, that thereby they may not only with counsel,but also with good example help and profit those which are under their charge and custody: and let them have especial regard that by no evil example of theirs, they give others cause of ruin, as the Priests and Elders of the Jews did, who impiously adjudging Christ worthy of death,were cause that the whole people following their authority, were perverted and opposed themselves against our Savior.
2. If Judas an Apostle of Christ who conversed with Christ, heard his doctrine,and saw his miracles, by the only occasion of bearing the purse was so much blinded with avarice, that thereby he was induced to sell his Master what will become of us unless we carefully avoid the occasion of sin.
3. Whosoever enforceth not himself even from the beginning to resist his evil inclinations, standeth in manifest danger of ruin and destruction,seeing that the devil more grievously tempteth us, and we are more easily overcome in those things which he knoweth us most inclined unto.
4. When as with our words, or evil example we induce others to sin, then do we sell Christ unto them, to be injured and Crucified by the sin which they commit.
5. Look how many desires we have of earthly things, of honor, of knowledge, of commodity,and of sensual pleasure, so many purses do we wear, and so many snares do we carry about us to our own perdition. Let us leave these purses and we shall not perish, seeing that none of the Apostles perished, but he that carried the purse.
6. How often we offend our Savior or despise his divine inspirations,for to satisfy our own will, or disordinate desires, so many times for a vile and base price do well sell Christ , yea very often for less then Judas sold him for unto the Jews
Fr. Vincenzo Bruno S.J.