Contemplation on the 1st hour of Holy Monday (1)

Created in His image and likeness

You have printed Your traits on us! You created us in Your image and according Your likeness! You made us Your currency; yet Your coins should not remain in darkness. Send the ray of Your wisdom to scatter our darkness, for Your image to shine in us…Do not think how to return the reward to Him …Reflect back on His image; He does not ask for more…He wants His coin back…Do offer Him something of yours, because when you do this, you would only offer Him sin.

Contemplation on the 11th hour of the Eve of Great Friday (2)

His sufferings

This is clearly a reflection of the holy prophet's words, "Be astonished, O heavens, at this, And be horribly afraid; Be very desolate," says the Lord." (Jer 2:12) The one true God, the King of kings and Lord or lords. He was dishonored by us: first He endured blows, and then he endured laughter from the sinful, demonstrating the highest patience yet presented to us. How can the One who "examines the heart and mind" the One who illuminated the prophets, not know "who strikes You?" 

Contemplation on the 6th hour of Great Thursday (1)

Why the upper room for the Passover? (Mark 14:12-16)

 It seems to me that this [Upper] room symbolizes the spiritual law which, emerges from the restrains of the written record, receives the Savior in a lofty place. Pauls says that what he formerly counted as gain, he now despised as loss and refuse, that he might prepare a worthy guest chamber for the Lord.

Contemplation on the 6th hour of the Eve of Thursday (1)

Why would we blame the Jews for their disbelief, when God has blinded their eyes?

They could not believe, because Isaiah so prophesised, as God told him what their situation would be. But, if you ask: what was the reason of their disbelief, I will instantly answer: They did not want to. As God foresaw their corrupted will, He so foretold His prophet, as the future is not hidden from Him….God blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, as He foresook them, and denied them His care.

Contemplation on the 9th hour of Holy Monday (2)

Wisdom and instruction
He who knows the wisdom of God, receives from Him also instruction, and learns by it the mysteries of the Word; and they who knew the true heavenly wisdom will easily understand the words of these mysteries. Wherefore he says: ?To understand the difficulties of words;? for things spoken in strange language by the Holy Spirit become intelligible to those who have their hearts right with God.

Contemplation on the 9th hour of Holy Tuesday (1)

"Who holds the earth in the palm of His hand."

To you, poor little feeble man, India is far from the land of the Goths and spain from Persia; but to God, who holds the whole earth in the hallow of His hand, all things are near at hand. Impute not then weakness to God, from a comparison of your feebleness, but rather dwell on His power.

Contemplation on the 11th hour of the Eve of Monday (1)

Why does Christ tell the apostles about His passion in advance?
Whenever the Lord speaks of future disaster, He always teaches its close relation with the joy of redemption, so that when disasters suddenly come they do not terrify the apostles, but may be borne by hearts that have meditated on them beforehand. If it saddens them because He is going to be killed, it should make them rejoice that it says, ?On the third day He shall rise again.? For their distress- in fact their great distress-does not come from lack of faith. They knew that Peter had been rebuked for not considering what belonged to God but what belonged to men. But their love of their Master did not let them hear anything threatening or humiliating.

Contemplation on the 6th hour of the Eve of Great Friday (2)

"His sweat became like great drops of blood…" (Luke 22:44) 

He sweated to heal Adam who was sick. "It is by sweat of your brow," God said, "that you will eat your bread." (Gen 3:19) He remained in prayer in this garden to bring Adam back to his own garden again.

Contemplation on the 3rd hour of Holy Wednesday (1)

Why did the Lord chose Judas if He knew that he was a traitor?

Judas chosen among the twelve apostles, and had charge of the money bag, to lay it out upon the poor, that it might not seem as though he had betrayed the Lord because he was not honored or in need. Therefore the Lord granted him this office, that He might also be justified in him; he would be guilty of a greater fault, not as one driven to it by wrong done to him, but as one misusing grace.

Contemplation on the 11th hour of the Eve of Tuesday (1)

The Last day..

Everyone should think of concerning his own last day; lest happly when you judge or think the last day of the world to be far distant, you slumber with respect to your own last day…Let noone then search out for the last Day, when it is to be; but let us watch all by our good lives, lest the last day of any one of us find us unprepared, and such as any one shall depart hence on his last day, such he be found in the last day of the world. Nothing will then assist you which you shall not have done here. His own works will help, or his own works will overwhelm everyone.

Contemplation on the 1st hour of Great Friday (2)

Why was our Lord wearing white?

It is significant that Jesus is clothed in a white garment by Herod. It denotes His sinless passion; because the Lamb of God without stain and with glory accepted the sins of the world. (John 1:29) Herod and Pilate, who became friends instead of enemies through Jesus Christ, symbolize the peoples of Israel and the Gentiles, since the future harmony of both follows from the Lord's passion (Eph 2:13) First, the people of the nations capture the Word of God and bring it to the people of the Jew, through the devotion of their faith. They clothe with glory the body of Christ, who they had previously despised.

Note: Now our Lord is wearing the white garments, but in the next hour, they shall be crimson, reddened by our sins and stained by our iniquities. 

Contemplation on the 9th hour of Holy Tuesday (2)

Wars and Rumors of Wars (Matt 24:6)

He is speaking of wars in Jerusalem…for there are many wars and calamities in the world at large, which have always been and will always be. For before this, were wars, and tumults, and fights. But, He speaks of the Jewish wars coming upon them at no great distance, for henceforth the Roman arms were a matter of anxiety. Since then these things also were sufficient to confound them, He fortells them all.

Contemplation on the 11th hour of the Eve of Great Friday (3)

Why did Peter weep?

To wash away the sin of denial, Peter needed the baptism of tears. From where would he get this, unless the Lord gave him this too? That is why the apostle Paul gave this advice to his people concerning deviant opinions and about how they should deal with them. He said they must be "correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth." (2 Tim 2:25) So even repentance is a gift from God. The heart of the proud is hard ground. It is softened for repentance only if it is rained on by God's grace. 

Contemplation on the 6th hour of Holy Wednesday (2)

What does the aroma symbolize? (John 12:1-8)

The sweet odor symbolizes the good report which is earned by a life of good works; and the man who wins this, while following in the footsteps of Christ, anoints His feet (so to speak) with the most precious ointment. *Please note that this icon is of the sinful woman at the house of simon, not Mary in Bethany, which the fathers think annointed Christ in this gospel. But is inserted here to remind us of her love, repentance and humility.

Contemplation on the 9th hour of the Eve of Thursday (1)

What is the difference between being "snatched out of the Father's hand" and out of Christ's hand? (John 10:29-38)christ enthroned

Do the Father and the Son have one hand, or is the Son Himself, shall we say, the hand of His Father?…the Father's hand is the Son Himself, which is not to be so understood as if God had the himan form, and as it were, bodily members: but that all things were made by Him.

For men also are in the habit of calling other men their hands, by whom they get done what they wish. And sometimes also the very work done by a man's handis called his hand; as one is said to recognize his hand when he recognizes what he has written. Since, then, there are many ways of speaking of the hand of a man, who literally has a hand among the members of his body; how much rather must there be more than one way of understanding it, when we read of the hand of God, who has no bodily form? And in this way it is better here, by the hand of the Father and the Son, to understand the power of the Father and the Son; lest, in taking here the hand of the Father as spoken of the Son, some carnal thought also about the Son Himself should set us looking for the Son as somehow to be similarly regarded as the hand of Christ. Therefore, "no one plucks them out of my Father's hand;" that is, no one plucks them from Me…