Contemplation on the 6th hour of the Eve of Great Friday (3)

"My soul is very sorrowful" 

The Lord, to test the fidelity of the human nature He had taken on, truly felt sorrowful. However, lest the suffering in His soul be overwhelming, He began to feel sorrowful over the events taking place just before His suffering. For it is one thing to feel sorrowful and another thing to begin to feel sorrowful. But He felt sorrowful, not because He feared the suffering that lay ahead and because He had scolded Peter for his timidity but because of the most unfortunate Judas, the falling away of all the apostles, the rejection by the Jewish people, and the overturning of woeful Jerusalem. Jonah, too, became sad when the plant of ivy had withered, unwilling to have this booth disappear.

Contemplation on the 3rd hour of the Eve of Great Friday

Peter's Denial (Luke 22:31-39)

Out of twelve deserted; eleven remained loyal. The cross came; they fled; one remained – Peter, one with One. The one himself fled, and would that he had! He denied Christ. We may say, then, that the entire human race was lost. Because it had perished, the complaint of the Lord crucified is: "The wine press I have trodden alone, and of my people there was no one with me." (Isa 63:3) Then the psalm was fulfilled, "Help, O Lord! For no one now is dutiful." (Ps. 12:1-2) "There is none who does good, no not even one." (Ps. 14:1-3; Rom 3:12) He who has promise, "Even if I should have to die with You, or to be imprisoned, I will not deny You" (Matt 26:35; Mark 14:31) denied Him.

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 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 9th hour of the Eve of Wednesday (1)

Who is Zachariah son of Berachiah?

St. Jerome thinks that in his time there were three options as to who this Zechariah was:

  1. The prophet Zachariah was one of the minor prophets, even though his father's name is in the accordance with the Lord's words. But the Book did not mention anything about the shedding of his blood between the temple and the altar, particulary because the temple at his time was merely in ruins.
  2. Some others think he is Zachariah, John the Baptist's father, who has been killed because of his prophecy about the Savior's coming. But St. Jerome does not accept this suggestion.
  3. He is Zachariah killed by Joach, King of Judea, as mentioned in 2 Chr. 24:21. But his father's name is mentioned in the Holy Book as Jehoioda. St. Jerome believes that this man had two names: Berachia, meaning "blessing" or "blessed from the Lord," and Jehoiada meaning "holiness."