Thought of the day
Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday of Holy Week

" Let her keep this perfumed oil for the day of my burial"

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890), priest, founder of a religious community, theologian 
Sermon « The Tears of Christ at the Grave of Lazarus », PPS, vol. 3, no.10
" Let her keep this perfumed oil for the day of my burial"

"When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days... Then Jesus wept" (Jn 11,17.35). What led our Lord to weep before the tomb of Lazarus?.. He wept from very sympathy with the grief of others...; he began to look around upon the miseries of the world...

Alas! there were other thoughts still to call forth his tears. This marvellous benefit to the forlorn sisters, how was it to be attained? At his own cost... Christ was bringing life to the dead by his own death. His disciples would have dissuaded him from going into Judea, lest the Jews should kill him (Jn 11,8). Their apprehension was fulfilled. He went to raise Lazarus, and the fame of that miracle was the immediate cause of his seizure and crucifixion (Jn 11,53). This he knew beforehand...: he saw Lazarus raised; the supper in Martha's house; Lazarus sitting at table; joy on all sides of him; Mary honouring her Lord on this festive occasion by the outpouring of the very costly ointment upon his feet; the Jews crowding not only to see him, but Lazarus also; his triumphant entry into Jerusalem; the multitude shouting Hosanna; the people testifying to the raising of Lazarus; the Greeks, who had come up to worship at the feast, earnest to see him; the children joining in the general joy; and then the Pharisees plotting against him, Judas betraying him, his friends deserting him, and the cross receiving him... 

He felt that Lazarus was wakening to life at his own sacrifice; that he was descending into the grave which Lazarus left. He felt that Lazarus was to live and he to die; the appearance of things was to be reversed; the feast was to be kept in Martha's house, but the last passover of sorrow remained for him. And he knew that this reverse was altogether voluntary with him. He had come down from his Father's bosom to be an atonement of blood for all sin, and thereby to raise all believers from the grave.

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