Page 2, 5th March 1937

5th March 1937
Page 2
Page 2, 5th March 1937 — Mass For Passion Sunday

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People: Abraham, God, Thou


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Mass For Passion Sunday

Translation And Comment By Father C. C. Martindale, SI.

Folded carefully the text below should be slipped into a missal for use on the second Sunday following our date of publication. Cut along this line ' PassioN SuismAy.

IN-ram. (Ps. xlii.) Give verdict for me, 0 God! Separate my cause from the people of iniquity: from the impious and crafty man deliver Thou me-for Thou art my God, and my strengthl-Send forth Thy Light and Thy Truth-'tis they that do lead me-lead me home--unto Thy holy Hill and to Thy Dwelling!

PRAYER_ We pray, almighty God, look down favourably upon Thy family: that by Thy good gift, it may be governed in body, and, by Thy preservation, be kept safe in mind. Through.

Ems-nr. (Hebrews, ix, 1145). Brethren, Christ arrives as a High Priest of good things yet to be, and by means of the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made by human hands-that is, not belonging to this natural world at all-and not by means of the blood of goats or calves, but by means of His own Blood entered once and for all into the Holiest Place, having devised a Redemption that never ends. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the scattering of the ashes of a heifer sanctifies the " unclean ' so far as fleshly-ceremonial-cleansing goes, how much more shall the Blood of Christ-who by means of the Eternal Spirit offered His flawless Self to God, cleanse your consciences from works of Death unto the service of the Living God? And that is why He is a Mediator of a New Testament. so that, Death having intervened unto the redemption from those sins which existed under the earlier Testament, those who are called to the eternal Inheritance may profit by the Promise.

This passage is obscure not only because of its subject-matter, but because it begins in the middle of an argument-addressed (we remind readers) by a Jew of long ago to Jews (or anyway Jewish Christians) of long ago. all of whom knew the Old Testament almost by heart. loved it. and lived in its aunosphere. St. Paul's point is this. In Old Testament times, there was the Tabernacle into one part of which priests went daily and offered sacrifice: into the other. the High Priest went once a year, behind a veil, to expiate his own sins and those of the people. Therefore, not only people had not free access to God: not only had those sacrifices to be offered over and over again; but, that sort of sacrifice-goats, bulls. blood, ashes-never could reach the conscience and only paid off. as it were, ritual debts. Hmv different is Christ! Our High Priest offers His own Blood-Himself-and is eternally tuvepted. The redemption worked by Him is adequate. final, and reaches the very roots of conscience. He continues to insist that we need nothing more than Christ for our salvation; but adds solemnly that if we reject Him, there is no further sacrifice that we can ever hope for.

GRADUAL. (Ps. exlii.) Deliver me 0 Lord from my enemies; teach me to do Thy will! (Ps. xvii.) 0 Lord, who rescuest me from the peoples that rage against me! over those who attack me shalt Thou exalt me: from the impious man Thou shalt lib erate me.TRACT. (Ps. cxxviii.) Often would they have defeated me, ever since my youth-so let Israel say! -often would they have defeated me, ever since my youth, but they never succeeded against me-Sinners wrecked their will upon my back long-drawn were the iniquities but the righteous Lord cut the throats of sinners.

These last lines are clearer in the original Hebrew. The People of Israel (which had been invaded and carried off captive) sees the Holy Land as in the power of the foreign pagan enemy. 71re pagans drive their ploughs up and down its " back "-they carve deep furrows into it. But finally the Lord cuts the ropes that harness the oxen to the plough and delivers the land from its torture.

GOSPEL. viii, 46-59). At that time Jesus said to the thronging Jews: " Which of you can convict Mc of sin? If I tell you the Truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is from God (whose spiritual life has God for origin) hears (understands and accepts) My words. You do not hoar them, because you are not from God!" The Jews therefore replied : " Now weren't we right when we said you arc a Samaritan, and have a devil in you?" Jesus answered: "I have no devil. But I do honour to My Father, and to Me you do dishonour. As for Me. T seek no glory for Myself-there is One who seeks it-and who judges! Solemnly I tell you-if a man keeps My word. never never shall he see death for ever!" So the Jews said to Him: " Now we know for sure you have a devil. Abraham died, and so did the Prophets and you say that if a man keeps your word he. shall never taste death for ever! Presumably you are not greater than our father Abraham, who died-and the Prophets died? Whom do you make yourself?" Jesus answered: " If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing. There exists My Father who glorifies Me-He of whom you say that He is your God. But you do not know Himbut I do know Him! And if I said that I did not know Him. I should be, like you, a liar. But I do know Him; and His word do I keep. Abraham, your " father," rejoice if he might see My day: and he did see it, and was glad." The Jews therefore said to Him: " You are not yet 50 years oldand have you seen Abraham?" Jesus said : " Amen, amen, I say to you that before Abraham came into existence, I AM." So they took up stones to hurl them at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out from the Temple.

The Jews regarded their nation as" the son of God." 7'he pagans had never been that: the Smnaritan.s were almost worse-being (the Jews held) apostates. To call a Jew a "Samaritan" was the worst of insults. When our Lord said that. they would not accept His word because they were " not from God," not His sons, they were livid with rage: called Him a "Samaritan," mad, possezed by a devil. Our Lord insists that those who keep His Word shall never "die." But then-Abraham and the Prophets all have died!" " No-Abraham longed to see Me-and did-does-see Me!" "Certainly you are mad! You are not 50-Abraham died 2,000 years ago!" "Before A braham came into existence-I AM!" This " I an was the Most Holy and never-to-be-protumnced Name of God. That is why they tried to kill Him.

OFFERTORY. (Ps. cxviii.) I will thank Thee, 0 Lord, with all my heart : make return to Thy servant! Let me live, and keep Thy words! Give me life, according to Thy Word, 0 Lord!

SILENT PRAYER. May these Gifts, we pray Thee, Lord, snap the chains of our depravity, and win for us the free gifts of Thy mercy! Through.

COMMUNION. (I COr. xi.) This is My Body, which shall be given for you: this Cup is the Cup of a New Testament (ratified) in my Blood, saith the Lord: do this, whenever you receive it, unto a commemoration of Me.

Pos-r-CommumoN. Be present unto us, 0 Lord our God; and with unceasing guardianship defend those to whom Thou hast given, through Thy Mysteries, new life.

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