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Saints' Discussion Forums  |  Forums  |  Book Study  |  Topic: Extracts from the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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« on: April 03, 2015, 05:10:05 AM »

St. Bernard writes that upon Mount Calvary both of these two great martyrs, Jesus and Mary, were silent, because the great pain that they endured took from them the power of speaking.  The mother looked upon her Son in agony upon the cross, and the Son looked upon the mother in agony at the foot of the cross, and torn with compassion for the pains he suffered.

Mary and John then stood nearer to the cross than the other women, so that they could more easily hear the words and mark the looks of Jesus Christ in so great a tumult. St. John writes: When Jesus then saw His mother and the disciple standing, whom He loved, he saith to His mother: Woman, behold thy son. But if Mary and John were accompanied by other women, why is it said that Jesus beheld his mother and the disciple, as if the other women had not been perceived by him? St. John Chrysostom writes that love always makes us look more closely at the object of our love. And St. Ambrose in a similar way writes, It is natural that we should see those we love before any others. The Blessed Virgin revealed to St. Bridget that in order that Jesus might look upon Mary, who stood by the side of the cross, he was obliged first to compress his eyebrows in order to remove the blood from his eyes, which prevented him from seeing.

Jesus said to her, Woman, behold thy son! with his eyes pointing out St. John, who stood by his side. But why did he call her woman, and not mother? He called her “woman,” we may say, because, drawing now near to death, he spoke as if departing from her, as if he had said, Woman, in a little while I shall be dead, and thou wilt have no Son upon earth; I leave thee, therefore, John, who will serve and love thee as a son. And from this we may understand that St. Joseph was already dead, since if he had been still alive he would not have been separated from his wife.

. . .

“It is consummated.”

St. John writes, Jesus, therefore, when He had taken the vinegar said, It is consummated. At this moment Jesus, before breathing out his soul, placed before his eyes all the sacrifices of the old law (which were all figures of the sacrifice upon the cross), all the prayers of the patriarchs, and all the prophecies which had been uttered respecting his life and his death, all the injuries and insults which it was predicted that he would suffer; and, seeing that all was accomplished, he said, It is consummated.

. . .

St. John writes that our Redeemer, before he breathed his last, bowed his head. He bowed his head as a sign that he accepted death with full submission from the hands of his Father, and thus accomplished his humble obedience: He humbled himself, and was made obedient to death, even the death of the cross.

Jesus upon the cross, with his hands and feet nailed upon it, could move no part of his body except his head. St. Athanasius says that death did not dare to approach to take away life from the author of life; wherefore it was needed that he himself, by bowing his head (which alone he then could move), should call death to approach and slay him. On St. Matthew’s words, Jesus again crying with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost, St. Ambrose remarks that the Evangelist used the expression yielded up to show that Jesus did not die of necessity, or through the violence of the executioners, but because he voluntarily chose to die. He chose willingly to die, to save man from the eternal death to which he was condemned.


'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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