Thought of the day
Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wednesday of the Eighth week in Ordinary Time

"The Son of Man came... to give his life"

     “If it is possible, let this cup pass from me” (Mt 26,39). Why did you rebuke Simon Peter when he said: “No such thing shall ever happen to you, Lord!” (Mt 16,22) when you yourself now say: “If it is possible, let this cup pass from me”? He well knew what he was saying to his Father and that it was indeed possible for the cup to pass from him, but he had come to drink it on behalf of all so that with this cup he might pay the debt that the deaths of prophets and martyrs could not pay... He who had described himself being put to death in the prophets and had foreshadowed the mystery of his death through the just, did not refuse to drink it when the time had come to bring this death to fulfilment. If he had not wanted to drink it but to push it aside he would not have compared his body to the Temple in the words: “Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up” (Jn 2,19), nor would he have said to the sons of Zebedee: “Are you able to drink the cup that I shall drink?” and again: “There is a baptism with which I must be baptized” (Lk 12,50)... 

     “If it is possible, let this cup pass from me.” He said this because of the frailty he had put on, not in semblance but in reality. Because he had made himself small and had truly put on our weakness it was necessary for him to be afraid and shaken by his weakness. Having taken flesh, having put on weakness, eating when he was hungry, worn out by work, overcome by sleep, everything arising from the flesh had to happen when the time came for his death... 

     To comfort his disciples by his Passion Jesus felt what they felt. He took their fear on himself to show them, through his own likeness of soul, that we should not boast about death before we have undergone it. For if he who feared nothing was afraid and begged to be delivered even while knowing it to be impossible, how much more ought not the others to persevere in prayer before the temptation so as to be delivered from it when it came... He did not conceal his own fear so as to give courage to those who are afraid of death, that they might know that this fear does not lead to sin so long as they do not remain in it. “No, Father,” Jesus said, “but may your will be done: may I die to give life to many."