Jesus the Lamb of God -St. John Henry Newman

Jesus the Lamb of God

BEHOLD the Lamb of God, behold Him who taketh away the sins of the world. So spoke St. John Baptist, when he saw our Lord coming to him. And in so speaking, he did but appeal to that title under which our Lord was known from the beginning. Just Abel showed forth his faith in Him by offering of the firstlings of his flock. Abraham, in place of his son Isaac whom God spared, offered the like for a sacrifice. The Israelites were enjoined to sacrifice once a year, at Easter time, a lamb—one lamb for each family, a lamb without blemish—to be eaten whole, all but the blood, which was sprinkled, as their protection, about their house doors. The Prophet Isaias speaks of our Lord under the same {174} image: “He shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearers” (liii. 7); and all this because “He was wounded for our iniquities, He was bruised for our sins; … by His bruises we are healed” (liii. 5). And in like manner the Holy Evangelist St. John, in the visions of the Apocalypse, thus speaks of Him: “I saw, … (Apoc. v. 6), and behold a lamb standing as it were slain;” and then he saw all the blessed “fall down before the Lamb,” … (verses 8, 9), and they sung a new canticle saying, “Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God in Thy blood, out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (verse 9) … Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and divinity, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and benediction” (verse 12).

This is Jesus Christ, who when darkness, sin, guilt and misery had overspread the earth, came down from Heaven, took our nature upon Him, and shed His precious blood upon the Cross for all men.

Let us pray for all pagan nations, that they may be converted.

O Lord Jesus Christ, O King of the whole world, O Hope and Expectation of all nations, O Thou who hast bought all men for Thy own at the price of Thy most precious blood, look down in pity upon all races who are spread over the wide earth, and impart to them the knowledge of Thy truth. Remember, O Lord, Thy own most bitter sufferings of soul and body in Thy betrayal, Thy passion and Thy crucifixion, and have mercy upon their souls. Behold, {175} O Lord, but a portion of mankind has heard of Thy Name—but a portion even professes to adore Thee—and yet thousands upon thousands in the East and the West, in the North and the South, hour after hour, as each hour comes, are dropping away from this life into eternity. Remember, O my dear Lord, and lay it to heart, that to the dishonour of Thy name, and to the triumph of Thine enemies, fresh victims are choking up the infernal pit, and are taking up their dwelling there for ever. Listen to the intercessions of Thy Saints, let Thy Mother plead with Thee, let not the prayers of Holy Church Thy Spouse be offered up in vain. Impute not to the poor heathen their many sins, but visit the earth quickly and give all men to know, to believe, and to serve Thee, in whom is our salvation, life and resurrection, who with the Father, etc

.via Newman Reader

Good Friday – Passion and Death

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GOOD FRIDAY is the most solemn day of the year, when faithful Christians morn the suffering and death of our dear Lord, and thank God for the salvation we have received through His Passion,

All through the night Jesus has been locked in the dungeon of the high priest’s house. Early this morning he was bought before a Pilate who transferred his case to Herod. Herod sent him back to Pilate who, sometime in the mid-morning, bowed to the pressure of the Temple leadership and the crowds, and condemned Jesus to a horrible death by crucifixion. In the late morning Jesus was taken by the soldiers through the city and up the hillside of Golgotha. By noon he is nailed to the cross where he hangs in agony for some three hours. He dies around three in the afternoon. He is taken down from the cross and placed in the tomb hastily before sundown.

Today is a day of prayer, fasting and abstinence. Whenever possible, Christians are urged to keep today free of work, of social engagements, of entertainment, and to devote themselves to communal prayer and worship.

At noon, the hour He was crucified, we gather quietly in our parish Church to celebrate the Liturgy of the Passion, the most important service on this day. In this Liturgy we first reflect on Jesus’ death on the cross by listening to the singing of the Passion according to St. John. We then pray for the needs of the world. To personally show our love for Jesus Crucified, we one by one come forward to venerate the crucifix with a kiss. Our hunger from this day of fasting is satisfied with Holy Communion distributed at the end of this liturgy.

Consider too how the apostles gathered that night together in fear and prayer reflecting on all that happened. In the same spirit we gather at 7:00 pm for Stations of the Cross and other prayers and meditations on the Passion.Our teens will dramatize the Stations as we pray. They do a wonderful job, and it is very moving. This service is not only for those who could not be at the Liturgy of the Passion at noon, but also for those who wish to wish to add another time of devotion as we in spirit weep at the tomb of our Savior.

I often reflect on how people morn the death of their loved ones, and take care to attend the funerals of every acquaintance. But on the Day that their Savior died for them, how many Christians act as if it were “just another day”, and make no effort to come to Church to attend His funeral – He who is their Friend, their Savior, and their God! How pathetically sad. Let it not be so with us. Comfort your Savior in His suffering by keeping this day with prayer, reflection, and penance, and make every effort, if at all possible, to gather with God’s family in church to worship God the Son who died for you!

Msgr. Douglas A. Raun
Pastor
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish
1502 Sara, Rio Rancho, NM Enhanced by Zemanta

Why does God let us suffer?

Good Friday of the Passion of Our Lord / DivineOffice.org

For an experience of the Liturgy of the Hours, the prayer of the Church, join in the praying of the hours for Good Friday at DivingOffice.org

Office of Readings for Friday of Holy Week

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Good Friday of the Passion of Our Lord
“It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!’” (Lk 23:44-46).

As Jesus died on the cross, all laws failed. Roman laws had accused an innocent man, natural laws had ceased to exist, and the moral law inherent in man’s own heart had crucified our Savior. As the centurion stated in Luke 23:47, “Certainly this man was innocent!”

As we continue in our reflection through Holy Week, today we must come to accept that justice may not exist in our cause. Things may not seem fair. It’s as if we must hold our breath… progress suspended.

Today’s paradox is we know a Godly commitment leads to good. We recognize that God is present with us as we strive to do His will. We have hope that new life will come; but today, unfortunately, can feel like a place without justice. Today, only the law of love remains.

The Power of Christ’s Blood

From the Catecheses by Saint John Chrysostom, bishop

The power of Christ’s blood

If we wish to understand the power of Christ’s blood, we should go back to the ancient account of its prefiguration in Egypt. “Sacrifice a lamb without blemish,” commanded Moses, “and sprinkle its blood on your doors.” If we were to ask him what he meant, and how the blood of an irrational beast could possibly save men endowed with reason, his answer would be that the saving power lies not in the blood itself, but in the fact that it is a sign of the Lord’s blood. In those days, when the destroying angel saw the blood on the doors he did not dare to enter, so how much less will the devil approach now when he sees, not that figurative blood on the doors, but the true blood on the lips of believers, the doors of the temple of Christ.
If you desire further proof of the power of this blood, remember where it came from, how it ran down from the cross, flowing from the Master’s side. The gospel records that when Christ was dead, but still hung on the cross, a soldier came and pierced his side with a lance and immediately there poured out water and blood. Now the water was a symbol of baptism and the blood, of the holy Eucharist. The soldier pierced the Lord’s side, he breached the wall of the sacred temple, and I have found the treasure and made it my own. So also with the lamb: the Jews sacrificed the victim and I have been saved by it.
“There flowed from his side water and blood.” Beloved, do not pass over this mystery without thought; it has yet another hidden meaning, which I will explain to you. I said that water and blood symbolised baptism and the holy Eucharist. From these two sacraments the Church is born: from baptism, “the cleansing water that gives rebirth and renewal through the Holy Spirit,” and from the holy Eucharist. Since the symbols of baptism and the Eucharist flowed from his side, it was from his side that Christ fashioned the Church, as he had fashioned Eve from the side of Adam Moses gives a hint of this when he tells the story of the first man and makes him exclaim: “Bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh!” As God then took a rib from Adam’s side to fashion a woman, so Christ has given us blood and water from his side to fashion the Church. God took the rib when Adam was in a deep sleep, and in the same way Christ gave us the blood and the water after his own death.
Do you understand, then, how Christ has united his bride to himself and what food he gives us all to eat? By one and the same food we are both brought into being and nourished. As a woman nourishes her child with her own blood and milk, so does Christ unceasingly nourish with his own blood those to whom he himself has given life.

“Howling With the Mob”

H/T Webster Bull

During these terrible days, when so many are saying so much so loudly against and in favor of our Church, and especially its leader, our dear Pope Benedict XVI, it is hard to stand apart from the mob—the one howling in protest, or the one trying desperately to shout them down. We are all standing along the Way of the Cross, jeering the scourged Christ or bewailing his persecution. How can we possibly be different? How can we change? Continue reading