Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Gospel commented, My appointed time draws near. I am to celebrate the Passover in your house (Matthew 26:14-25)

Book of Isaiah 50:4-9a. 
The Lord GOD has given me a well-trained tongue, That I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them. Morning after morning he opens my ear that I may hear; 
And I have not rebelled, have not turned back. 
I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; My face I did not shield from buffets and spitting. 
The Lord GOD is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame. 
He is near who upholds my right; if anyone wishes to oppose me, let us appear together. Who disputes my right? Let him confront me. 
See, the Lord GOD is my help; who will prove me wrong? Lo, they will all wear out like cloth, the moth will eat them up. 

Psalms 69(68):8-10.21bcd-22.31.33-34. 
For your sake I bear insult, 
and shame covers my face. 
I have become an outcast to my brothers, 
a stranger to my mother's sons, 
because zeal for your house consumes me, 
and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me. 

Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak, 
I looked for sympathy, but there was none; 
for consolers, not one could I find. 
Rather they put gall in my food, 
and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. 

I will praise the name of God in song, 
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving. 
“See, you lowly ones, and be glad; 
you who seek God, may your hearts revive! 
For the LORD hears the poor, 
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.” 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 26:14-25. 
One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 
and said, "What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?" They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over. 
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples approached Jesus and said, "Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?"
He said, "Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, 'The teacher says, "My appointed time draws near; in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples."'"
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover. 
When it was evening, he reclined at table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, he said, "Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, "Surely it is not I, Lord?" 
He said in reply, "He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me. 
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born."
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, "Surely it is not I, Rabbi?" He answered, "You have said so."

Gospel commented, 
“My appointed time draws near. I am to celebrate the Passover in your house”

      And wouldest thou be persuaded that he came to his passion willingly? The others, who foreknow it not, die unwillingly; but he spoke beforehand of his passion: “Behold, the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified” (Mt 26,2). But knowest thou wherefore this Friend of man shunned not death? It was lest the whole world should perish in its sins. "Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be betrayed, and shall be crucified" (Mt 20,13); and again: "He steadfastly set his face to Jerusalem" (Lk 9,51).

      And wouldest thou know certainly, that the Cross is a glory to Jesus? Hear his own words, not mine. Judas had become ungrateful to the Master of the house, and was about to betray him. Having but just now gone forth from the table and drunk his cup of blessing, in return for that draught of salvation he sought to shed righteous blood. He who ate of his bread was lifting up his heel against him...Then said Jesus: “The hour is come for the Son of man to be glorified” (Jn 12,23). Seest thou how he knew the Cross to be His proper glory?... Not that he was without glory before: for he was glorified with the glory which was before the foundation of the world (Jn 17,5). He was ever glorified as God; but now he was to be glorified in wearing the crown of his patience.

      He did not give up his life by compulsion, nor was he put to death by murderous violence, but of his own accord. Hear what he says: “I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it up again” (Jn 10,18); I yield it to my enemies of my own choice; for unless I chose, this could not be. He came therefore of his own set purpose to his passion, rejoicing in his noble deed, smiling at the crown, cheered by the salvation of humankind; not ashamed of the cross since it was to save the world.