Tuesday in Holy Week
(by Fr. Prosper Gueranger 1870)
Today, again, our Saviour sets out in the morning for Jerusalem. His intention is to repair to the temple, and continue His yesterday's teachings. It is evident that His mission on earth is fast drawing to its close. He says to His Disciples: You know that after two days shall be the Pasch, and the Son of Man shall be delivered up to be crucified (St. Matth., xxvi. 2).
On the road from Bethania to Jerusalem, the Disciples are surprised at seeing the fig tree, which their Divine Master had yesterday cursed, now dead. Addressing himself to Jesus, Peter says: Rabbi, behold, the fig tree, which thou didst curse, is withered away (St. Mark, xi. 21). In order to teach us that the whole of material nature is subservient to the spiritual element, when this last is united to God by faith,--Jesus replies: Have the faith of God. Amen I say to you, that whosoever shall say to this mountain: Be thou removed and cast into the sea! and shall not stagger in his heart, but believe, that whatsoever he saith shall be done, it shall be done unto him (Idem, ibid., 22, 23).
Having entered the City, Jesus directs his steps towards the Temple. No sooner has he entered, than the Chief Priests, the Scribes, and the Ancients of the people, accost him with these words: By what authority dost thou these things? and who has given thee this authority, that thou shouldst do these things (St. Mark, xi. 28)? We shall find our Lord's answer given in the Gospel. Our object is to mention the leading events of the last days of our Redeemer on earth; the holy Volume will supply the details.
As on the two preceding days, Jesus leaves the City towards evening: He passes over Mount Olivet, and returns to Bethania, where He finds His Blessed Mother and his devoted friends.
In today's Mass, the Church reads the history of the Passion according to St. Mark, who wrote his Gospel the next after St. Matthew: hence it is, that the second place is assigned to him. His account of the Passion is shorter than St. Matthew's, of which it would often seem to be a summary; and yet certain details are peculiar to this Evangelist, and prove him to have been an eye-witness. Our readers are aware that St. Mark was the disciple of St. Peter, and that his Gospel was written under the very eye of the Prince of the Apostles.
In Rome, the Station for today is in the Church of St. Prisca, which is said to have been the house of Aquila and his wife Prisca, to whom St. Paul sends his salutations, in his Epistle to the Romans. In the 3rd century, Pope St. Eutychian had translated thither, on account of the sameness of the name, the body of St. Prisca, a Virgin and Martyr of Rome.
To Jesus Agonizing in Honour of His Sweat of Blood
in the Garden of Olives.
Remember, O my Divine Saviour, Thine anguish and fear, when being in an agony, Thou didst prolong Thy prayer; and Martyr to suffering, desire, and love, didst water the ground with a sweat of blood. O tender Lamb, let me, with the deepest reverence and love, gather up each drop of Thy Precious Blood, and offer them all to Thee for my salvation and that of the dying. Deign to apply Its merits to us, and having purified us by Its virtue from all our stains, bring us to the dwelling of eternal joy. Amen.
Prayer to Jesus in Agony on the Cross.
O my beloved Jesus, on the Cross for love of me, enduring with infinite patience sufferings upon sufferings, not only bodily pains, but the most grievous affliction of soul, in being forsaken by Thy Heavenly Father; have compassion on all who are in their agony, and upon me, when I shall be in this extremity. And grant us, by the merits of Thy Precious Blood, grace to bear all the pains and anguish of our agony with true patience, so that, uniting our sufferings to Thine, we may be made partakers of Thy glory in Heaven. Amen.