09 March 2009

"He must triumph; if it be not by mercy, it will be by justice."

John 8: 21-29

Again therefore Jesus said to them: I go: and you shall seek me. And you shall die in your sin. Whither I go, you cannot come. The Jews therefore said: Will he kill himself, because he said: Whither I go you cannot come? And he said to them: You are from beneath: I am from above. You are of this world: I am not of this world. Therefore I said to you that you shall die in your sins. For if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sin. They said therefore to him: Who art thou? Jesus said to them: The beginning, who also speak unto you. Many things I have to speak and to judge of you. But he that sent me, is true: and the things I have heard of him, these same I speak in the world. And they understood not that he called God his Father. Jesus therefore said to them: When you shall have lifted up, the Son of man, then shall you know that I am he and that I do nothing of myself. But as the Father hath taught me, these things I speak. And he that sent me is with me: and he hath not left me alone. For I do always the things that please him.

Reflection for Monday, Second Week of Lent, from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Gueranger:

I go; could Jesus say anything more awful? He has come to save this people; He has given them every possible proof of His love. A few days ago, we heard Him saying to the Canaanite woman, that He was sent not but for the sheep that are lost of the house of Israel. Alas; these lost sheep disown their Shepherd. He tells the Jews that He is soon going to leave them, and that they will not be able to follow Him; but it makes no impression on them. His works testify that He is from above; they, the Jews, are of this world, and they can think of no other. The Messias they hope for, is to be one of great earthly power; he is to be a great conqueror. In vain, then, does Jesus go about doing good; in vain is nature obedient to His commands; in vain do His wisdom and teaching exceed all that mankind has ever heard: Israel is deaf and blind. The fiercest passions are raging in his heart; nor will he rest, till the Synagogue shall have imbrued its hands in the blood of Jesus. But then the measure of iniquity will be filled up, and God's anger will burst upon Israel in one of the most terrible chastisements that the world has ever witnessed. It makes one tremble to read the horrors of the siege of Jerusalem, and the massacre of that people that had clamoured for the death of Jesus. Our Lord assures us that nothing more terrible had ever been from the beginning of the world, or ever would be.

God is patient; He waits a long time: but when His anger bursts upon a guilty people like the Jews, the chastisement is without mercy, and serves as an example to future generations. O sinners! you who, so far, have turned a deaf ear to the admonitions of the Church, and have refused to be converted to the Lord your God, tremble at at these words of Jesus: I go. If this Lent is to be spent like so many others, and to leave you in your present state, are you not afraid of that terrible threat: You shall die in your sin? By remaining in your sins, you number yourselves with those who cried out against Jesus: 'Crucify Him, crucify Him!' Oh! if He chastised a whole people-- a people that He had loaded with favours, and protected and saved innumerable times-- think you, He will spare you? He must triumph; if it be not by mercy, it will be by justice.
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"God is patient; He waits a long time: but when His anger bursts, the chastisement is without mercy, and serves as an example to future generations."

Can there be a better warning for our times, in our own land?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tim: These exact words leapt out at me last night as I was reading my own edition of the Liturgical Year! Years ago after VII when the charismatics started up they used to call incidents like this "confirmations". In other words, the fact that you posted the exact same words that struck me quite forcefully last night means "Pay attention!".