Today, Passion Sunday, a few notes towards the Crucifixion of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Passion of His Mystical Body, the Holy Catholic Church.
We note that, as Father Groenings reminds us, Christ had to die outside the gate of the city, just as the scapegoat laden with the sins of the people, had to be led outside the camp. St. Leo explains the significance of Christ’s sacrifice being offered outside the temple, even, indeed, outside the gates,
“Christ was slain as our paschal lamb. But because He offered Himself to the Father as the new and real sacrifice of propitiation, He was to be crucified, not in the temple whose privilege of sacredness was at an end, nor inside the walls of the city which was awaiting its destruction on account of its crime, but ‘outside the camp,’ in order that, after the mysteries of the ancient sacrifice had ceased, the new sacrifice might be offered on a new altar, and that the cross of Christ be an altar not for the temple, but for the entire world.”
For the moment, consider if you will, the significance of that quote for our present time; we’ll return to it shortly.
Continuing, once He had reached Calvary, Christ was despoiled of His garments. It was a custom of the Romans to strip to the loin-cloth those who were to die on the cross. . . This last disrobing was much more painful than the first, especially to the sacred shoulder on which Christ had carried the cross. The wounds torn open anew, burned like fire.
This stripping was public, and was witnessed by His most pure Mother and His friends as well as His enemies.
As we consider the above, think of Christ led outside the city, and stripped of all. Today, the Bride of Christ stands stripped and shamed, a scandal and an object of mockery before the faithful and the enemies as well. We were not present for the Passion of Christ, but here and now we behold the spectacle of the Passion of Christ’s Holy Church. What shall our response be?
Before we answer, we should carefully consider the scene before us. Where were Christ’s Apostles, His chosen followers? Where was the first Pope? Where was the traitor? And above all, where was His beloved Apostle and His most beloved Mother?
We know the answers. Mary and John were not busily organizing the Apostles into a demonstration, there was no plot to unseat the unjust Roman ruler, Pilate. Nor were His followers disputing with the Pharisees. And yet, despite the counter-intuitive actions of the Blessed Virgin and her closest friends, despite John’s mystical attendance at the Cross, despite the absence and inactivity of the Apostles, Jesus freed us from sin, and saved mankind from eternal damnation. Satan was vanquished precisely by his own “victory”.
Today, as then, Satan seems to have won. And that should encourage us. For we are about to come to our appointed time. If we have heeded Our Lady of the Rosary, and followed her message of Fatima, we are aware that as her children, our place is with her, at the Cross. Her cross was to attend to Him, giving His total sacrifice the total sacrifice of her own will, believing, adoring, hoping and loving Him for all those who did not, would not.
This Lent is our most important ever. We are totally consecrated to our Savior Jesus Christ; and like Him, led like a lamb outside the once-sacred city, stripped of our certainties, stripped even of ourselves, struggling in the darkness, because the Sun of our faith is obscured as it was for His followers then. And so this is, in a way, the best of times. It is good for us to kneel here. We know the outcome for our Blessed Lord and Savior has been leading us all this way for so long now. We are not pacifists or quietists or any other such thing! We are her warriors and she will lead us in her due time.
It is enough for us is to kneel and pray, here and now, to believe, to adore, to hope and above all, to love.
Previously published March 26, 2020.
Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey: First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.
† . Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
† . Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
† . Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
† . St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
† . St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Please pray for a Pope and Bishops who will Consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!