Thought of the day
Thursday, March 20, 2014

Friday of the Second week of Lent

"They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him"

Saint Bonaventure (1221-1274), Franciscan, Doctor of the Church 
The Mystical Vine, ch. 3, § 5-10
"They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him"

“I am the true vine,” Jesus says (Jn 15,1)... People dig trenches around this vine; that is to say, cunningly dig traps. When they plot to make someone fall into a snare it is as if they dug a pit in front of him. That is why he mourns about it, saying: “They have dug a pit before me” (Ps 56[57],7)... Here is one example of these snares: “They brought a woman who had been caught in adultery” to our Lord Jesus, “saying: 'Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?' ” (Jn 8,3f.)... And here is another: “Is it lawful to pay the census tax to the Emperor or not?” (cf. Mt 22,17)...

However they discovered that these traps caused no harm to the vine. To the contrary, in digging these pits they themselves fell into them (Ps 56[57],7)... Then they kept on digging: not just his hands and his feet (Ps 21[22],17) but they pierced his side with a lance (Jn 19,34) and uncovered the interior of that sacred heart, which had already been wounded by the spear of love. The Bridegroom says in the song of his love that: “You have wounded my heart, my sister, my spouse” (Sg 4,9 Vg.). O Lord Jesus, your heart has been wounded with love by your spouse, your friend, your sister. Why, then, was it necessary for your enemies to wound you again? O you enemies, what are you doing?... Do you not know that this heart of our Lord Jesus', already pierced, is already dead, already open and cannot be touched by any other suffering? The heart of the Bridegroom, our Lord Jesus, has already received the wound of love, the death of love. What other death could touch him?... The martyrs also laugh when they are threatened, rjoice when they are struck, triumph when they are killed. Why? Because they have already died through love in their hearts, “dead to sin” (Rm 6,2) and to the world...

Thus Jesus' heart has been wounded and put to death for our sake... Physical death triumphed for a moment but only to be conquered for ever. It was blotted out when Christ rose from the dead because “death has no power over him any more” (Rm 6,9).

Source: © 2001-2014

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