My Brothers and Sisters:
As we prepare to enter the Easter Triduum, there is something we should consider something from John’s Gospel, and some episodes from our Lord’s ministry (All RSV-CE unless noted otherwise):
So they sought to arrest him; but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come. John 7:30
Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him. The officers then went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?” The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this man!” John 7:44-46
These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come. John 8:20
His Time had not yet come, so NO ONE could lay hands on Him! NO ONE was allowed to harm our Lord until He allowed it!
And they rose up and put him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong. But passing through the midst of them he went away. Luke 4:29-30
So they took up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple. John 8:59
The Jews took up stones again to stone him… Again they tried to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands. He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John at first baptized, and there he remained. **
John 10:30, 39-40
[FONT=Georgia]See what happened when our Lord decided to allow it - And, He knew what was going to befall Him, the absolute agony (See these articles about the Man in the Shroud, and Crucifixion - the 2nd includes links), the shame and embarrassment, our sins that He was going to bear and those who were going to reject His sacrifice:
[/FONT]Then Jesus, knowing all that was to befall him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When he said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he; so, if you seek me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word which he had spoken, “Of those whom thou gavest me I lost not one.” Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?” So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews seized Jesus and bound him.
And all that dwell upon the earth adored him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb, which was slain from the beginning of the world.
Apoc. 13:8 DR
[FONT=Georgia]St. John of the Cross had a vision of our Lord Jesus in which he saw our Lord bound to the cross, not by the Roman nails and the ropes they tied Him on with, but by His infinite love for us. Prayers for Good Friday say:
[/FONT]* Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.* Amen***.***
Father, look with love on your people, *
*the love which our Lord Jesus Christ showed us *
*when he delivered himself up *
*and suffered the agony of the cross, *
*for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, *
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
[FONT=Georgia]This will probably blow some of your minds, but I want you to meditate and contemplate on this during the next few days. NOTHING that was done to our Lord Jesus was done without His willing it - NOTHING! NOTHING that was doing to our Lord was done without His foreknowledge - NOTHING! and, EVERYTHING that He allowed to be done to Him He allowed to be done because of His infinite love for us.
As many of the Church Fathers and Archbishop Fulton Sheen have pointed out, Our Lord’s first throne is a Cross, and His first crown is a Crown of Thorns… all of which He submitted to knowingly and willingly.
As you think on our Lord’s pain and suffering, think that He suffered it for us.
Your Brother and Servant in Christ, Michael[/FONT]