Thought of the day
Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday of the Fifth week of Lent

Melito of Sardis (?-c.195), Bishop Paschal homily, 57-67 (cf SC 123) "The mystery of the Lord’s Passover"

Friday of the Fifth week of Lent

Commentary of the day 

Melito of Sardis (?-c.195), Bishop Paschal homily, 57-67 (cf SC 123)

               "The mystery of the Lord’s Passover"

The paschal mystery is fulfilled in the Lord’s body. But he had already foretold his own sufferings in the patriarchs, prophets and all his people; he had confirmed them with his seal in the Law and the prophets. This unheard of and magnificent future had been prepared long before; long prefigured, the Lord’s mystery has been made visible today, for both old and new is the mystery of the Lord… 

Do you wish to see, then, the mystery of the Lord? Consider Abel, put to death like him; Isaac, bound like him; Joseph, sold like him; Moses, publicly displayed like him; David, hunted down like him; the prophets who, like him, were mistreated in the name of Christ. Lastly, consider the lamb sacrificed in the land of Egypt, which struck Egypt and saved Israel by its blood. 

The mystery of the Lord was also announced through the voice of the prophets. Moses said to the people: “You will live in constant suspense and live in dread both night and day, never sure of your existence” (Dt 28:66). And David said: “Why do the nations rage and the peoples utter folly? The kings of the earth rise up and the princes conspire together against the Lord and his Anointed” (Ps 2:1-2). And Jeremiah: "I, like a trusting lamb led to slaughter had not realized that they were hatching plots against me, saying: ‘…Let us cut him off from the land of the living so that his name will be spoken of no more’” (Jer 11:19). And Isaiah: “Like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before its shearers, he was silent and opened not his mouth… Who would have thought of his destiny/” (Is 53:7). 

Many other events have been foretold by numerous prophets regarding the Paschal mystery that is Christ… It was he who delivered us from service to the world as from the land of Egypt and who snatched us from slavery to the devil as from the hand of Pharaoh.