The Anticipation of the Passion.
Read St. Matthew xvi. 21; xvii. 21,22.
 And whilst they were eating, he said: Amen I say to you, that one of you is about to betray me.
 And the governor answering, said to them: Whether will you of the two to be released unto you? But they said, Barabbas.  Pilate saith to them: What shall I do then with Jesus that is called Christ? They say all: Let him be crucified.
1. From the first moment of His Incarnation, our blessed Lord had ever before His eyes the prospect of His approaching Agony and Death. It was present to Him, not vaguely and uncertainly, like pain and suffering to which men look forward, but vividly and distinctly, as at the actual time when He suffered. Never for a single moment was it absent from His thoughts. O wondrous love of our Incarnate God, Who thus employed His divine power to protract His sufferings by this continual prospect!
2. Yet in spite of this He was always cheerful and full of brightness and joy of heart. His coming Agony did not weigh Him down or depress Him. In spite of the bitterness of the chalice, of the unspeakable agony ever present to Him, no cloud overcast His brow, no weakness or dread was manifest to His apostles, no thought of self interfered with His perfect sympathy for others. He was a pattern of divine unselfishness; the unselfish always forget their own troubles, and so can comfort and help others.
3. But our blessed Lord not only was not cast down by the approaching Passion, He actually longed for it. “I have a baptism wherewith I am to be baptized: and how am I straitened until it be accomplished ?” His love for men was such that He rejoiced in the thought of suffering for us. How can I ever thank Him as I ought? How can I show my love for Him Who loved me with so great a love?
This article, Lent Day 1: Ash Wednesday— The Anticipation of the Passion. is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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