Sixth Week of Lent: Thursday
Sixth Word on the Cross
1st Prelude. Imagine you behold your crucified Lord uttering the words, "It is consummated."
2nd Prelude. Ask that you may be able to say the same words at the hour of your own death.
POINT I. When Jesus therefore had taken the vinegar, He said, "It is consummated".
CONSIDERATION. Consider how truly Our Lord at the end of His earthly life could say, 'It is consummated; all that I owed to God My Father in reparation of His glory; all that I owed to man, whose salvation is accomplished; all My labours, sufferings, and humiliations': to use His own words, "I have glorified Thee on the Earth, I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do."
APPLICATION. How happy the religious who on his deathbed can say that he has faithfully accomplished all that God, his neighbour, and his holy vocation required of him; who since his entrance into religion has made God, the salvation of souls, and his own perfection his only aims; who has observed his rule, satisfied his superiors, and edified his community in spite of difficulties, sacrifices and humiliations! Truly can he also say, 2It is consummated; I am happy, I die content and full of hope'. Can you speak thus? Look back on the past; death is the echo of life.
AFFECTIONS and RESOLUTIONS.
POINT II. "It is consummated."
CONSIDERATION. The sense of these words is best completed by those which Jesus had uttered some hours before: "And now I am not in the world, and these (His disciples) are in the world, and I come to Thee." As if He would say 'All is consummated; nothing now keeps Me in the world; I leave it willingly'. Those who have no attachment to the world do not regret leaving it. The Heart of Jesus had no attachment except for men: He had come into the world to save them, He loved them ardently, and now death is about to separate Him from them! How, then, could He leave them without regret? By a prodigy of ineffable love He instituted at the Last Supper the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, and after dying for us, deigns, by means of this same Sacrament, to remain perpetually with us.
APPLICATION. It was on Holy Thursday that the institution of this wonderful Sacrament took place; the Church solemnly celebrates it not only in her office, in the Gospel and prayers of the Mass, but in her ceremonial, which is peculiar to this day. In cathedrals the bishop, in communities the abbot or superior, alone offers up the Holy Sacrifice; the other priests receiving communion from his hand, after the example of the Apostles communicated by Jesus Christ.
AFFECTIONS and RESOLUTIONS.
POINT III. "It is consummated."
CONSIDERATION. There is no doubt that Our Lord, in giving utterance to these words, had in His mind the great act of the night before, when He celebrated the Pasch with His Apostles. He had substituted, in place of the sacrifices of the old law and of the Paschal law, the sacrifice of Himself, which will last to the end of time. He had said, "With desire have I desired to eat this Pasch with you".
APPLICATION. This, then, is the festival of the Christian Pasch; let us rejoice at commemorating it at the same time as the Apostles, and prepare ourselves with suitable dispositions, renewing our acts of faith, hope, confidence, and desire.
COLLOQUY with our loving Saviour.