Thursday, March 28, 2013

Holy Thursday: Three of Christ’s Many Virtues

“In the head of the book it is written of Me
that I should do Thy Will, O God.”

   ~Epistle of St. Paul to the Hebrews, 10:7
  On the night we know as Holy Thursday, Our Lord instituted the Holy Eucharist. Earlier in the day, He had called the disciples and told them to prepare the Paschal Lamb. He mysteriously told Peter and John of a man who would meet them near the city gate; He instructed them to follow this man into his house and there prepare the meal.
This command reveals three of Jesus’ many virtues: His loving and willing Obedience; His wise Prudence; and His utter Poverty.
Our Lord’s obedience to all that was required of the Jewish Pasch is the perfect example of the obedience we now owe to His Church and Her laws.
Our Lord’s prudence made itself manifest because He did not want to give Judas, who probably would have performed such duties as a rule, any immediate opportunity to betray Him. Jesus willed that enough time was allowed to institute the Sacred Mystery of the Holy Eucharist, as well as all else that transpired in the Cenacle.
Our Lord’s poverty is once more revealed, because He had no place of His own with which to celebrate the Pasch. He gave all that He had to save souls, by preaching the “Good News,” telling the people that “the kingdom of God is at hand,” and working miracles, not for sensational reasons, but for the Glory of God.
And so - the Lamb of God ordered the preparations that marked the beginning of His own Sacrifice. On this final night of His earthly life, Our Lord was still attempting to save a soul. He did not show anger with Judas or expose him, but instead He attempted every means to save him. Imagine being in the daily Presence of Jesus and yet look for a way to betray Him!
To be a loyal disciple and Apostle of Christ was the only means that would have saved Judas from his evil inclinations – if only he had not trifled with the grace of his vocation.
What a terrible tragedy to lose a vocation – to let the spirit of the world have entrance to a heart that has given itself to Our Lord. It is Our Lord’s will and desire in calling persons to any special vocation that they live the supernatural interior life – not the natural, material, carnal life of worldly people.
St. Ignatius tells us to imitate the Angels so that we can be like God's angels on earth. By daily uniting ourselves to the suffering and Sacred Heart of Jesus, we will better keep our wills in conformity with God's, seeking His Glory, and not ours.

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