Lent Day 2: First Thursday in Lent — The Preliminaries of the Passion.
The Preliminaries of the Passion.
See the Preface for information on these meditations.
Read St. Luke xxii. 1-6.
 Now the feast of unleavened bread, which is called the pasch, was at hand.  And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might put Jesus to death: but they feared the people.  And Satan entered into Judas, who was surnamed Iscariot, one of the twelve.  And he went, and discoursed with the chief priests and the magistrates, how he might betray him to them.  And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.
 And he promised. And he sought opportunity to betray him in the absence of the multitude.
1. During the first days of the week in which He suffered, our blessed Lord had been teaching all day in the Temple. The assembled crowd had cried, “Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.” It seemed as if He were going to be acknowledged by the voice of the people as the King of Israel. How deceptive are appearances! How often, when all seems going well and the cause of Christ about to triumph, some grievous disappointment is at hand!
2. Side by side with the enthusiasm of the people grew the rage and fury of the chief priests and scribes. Why did they thus hate Him Who went about doing good? In their selfishness and cupidity they feared lest He should interfere with their influence and they thus lose their position, their reputation, their gains. Pride and self-love blinded their eyes, and made them hate with a bitter hatred the Son of God. Am I not sometimes blinded by like feelings? filled with unjust dislike of others because they seem to interfere with my influence or my personal interests?
3. The chief priests had a great advantage in the fact that in the little company that surrounded Jesus there was a traitor. Judas, impelled by avarice, had been first a thief, and then had made overtures to betray his Master. O fatal love of money, to harden the heart of man! How careful must I be not to set my heart on any earthly possessions, since nothing has a more deadly power than this to separate me from the love of Jesus!
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