Thought of the day
Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tuesday of the Seventh week of Easter

"When the hour came for Jesus to pass from this world to his Father..., he prayed thus"

     This was the prayer on the lips of our Lord on the eve of his passion. But it is not unreasonable to accommodate it to the day of his Ascension, when he was about to depart from the “little children” (Jn 13:33) he was then commending to his Father. In heaven he has created a multitude of angels; there he rules over them, teaches them. On earth it was a puny “little flock” (Lk 12:32) of disciples he gathered about him. They were to be taught by his presence in the flesh until their understanding had increased sufficiently for them to be capable of receiving the direction of the Holy Spirit. Thus it was that the Master loved his little ones with a great love, for he had weaned them from the love of the world and saw them, putting all hopes of the world aside, place all their hope in him. For as long as he desired to be with them in the flesh he did not readily manifest his love for them; or if he did, he did not show it to any great extent. Rather than intimacy he had to show that reserve which became a Master and a Father. 

     But when the time was come for him to leave them, he seemed to be overcome by his tender love for them so that he was no longer able to dissimulate his wealth of affection… That is why the Apostle writes: "Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end" (Jn 13:1). On that day he poured out on his friends almost the full power of his love before he himself was poured out like water for those same friends (Ps 21[22]:15). He handed over to them the sacrament of his body and blood; instituted it for them to celebrate in their turn. Was it his marvelous power or his more marvelous love that enabled him to find this new way of remaining with them as a consolation for his departure?

Blessed Guerric of Igny