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Jake Gaudet

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Plunging into Good Friday

March 30, 2024

From 4/15/2019

Something Iโ€™ve been reflecting on over the last week...

โ€œThe Church is plunged into the Darkness of Good Fridayโ€ is the title of a recent interview with Robert Cardinal Sarah.

In the interview +Sarah states, โ€œI firmly believe that the situation that we are experiencing within the Church resembles in every respect the situation of Good Friday...โ€

Iโ€™ve been thinking, โ€œwhat does it mean to experience the darkness of Good Friday?โ€ What does this look like? Certainly, there are deeper soteriological and eschatological implications to consider; but I wanted to ponder this just on the apparent surface. So hereโ€™s my thoughts...

When I think of Good Friday, I tend to primarily recall the obvious, sorrowful darkness of it. That Passion of our Lord. The crucifixion and death of Jesus. Now look closer at the surroundings of that Day and consider some of the different groups that were there.

At the foot of the cross were Our Sorrowful Mother, the Beloved Disciple, and the other Maryโ€™s (Jn 19:25) and those who followed bewailing & lamenting Him (Lk 22:27). Those within the body of Christ who did not abandon Jesus in His suffering. Those who faithfully remained and entered into Jesusโ€™ suffering. Compassion literally means to โ€œsuffer withโ€ or โ€œco-sufferingโ€. Today within the Body of Christ, on Earth, there are those who remain true. Those disciples who enter into the suffering of Christ by denying themselves, picking up their crosses, & following Jesus (Lk 9:23, 14:27). The predestinate are to be conformed to the image of Him (Rom 8:29). This image does not exclude Christ crucified. I hope to be in the company of this group. Tho, I fall short very often. Iโ€™d hardly come close if it werenโ€™t for Godโ€™s grace and mercy.

We can see those who condemn our Lord to His death (Lk 23:21). Jesus is a nuisance to their way of life; and they readily condemn and mock Him (Lk 23:35). Wishing Him to go away and be forgotten. We clearly see this scene too in our present time. Jesusโ€™ Passion is palpable for this group and the aforementioned group. Both groups are deeply engaged in this cataclysmic event.

There are others on the scene. Bystanders who find themselves plunged into this epoch: โ€ข The centurion who witnessed the crucifixion and proclaimed the glory of our Lord (Mk 15:39). โ€ข Simon of Cyreโ€™ne who was seized and made to carry the very cross that imbibed the Blood of the New Covenant (Lk 23:26). Going about their daily business, these people unexpectedly encountered the suffering Christ. I can relate to this in my own conversion & encounter with the King of kings.

Then there are those who are indifferent to the happenings. Just another Roman execution. Nothing noteworthy for them. Some soldiers dividing Jesusโ€™ garments and casting lots trying get what they can from Christ not very concerned with Him otherwise (Jn 19:23-24). Unengaged. Not concerned with the divine claims of this God-man on a cross. This is a perspective with which I can ashamedly relate. There was a time (and at times still) that I just wanted to benefit from Christ redemptive act, but not partake of His divine nature (2 Pt 1:4). Unlike the first group of devout believers, I did not want to be crucified with Christ. No self-abandonment to Him. I did not want to enter into His Passion so that Christ might live in me (Gal 2:20). I simply wanted to cast lots, collect, & depart with my pleasures. Yet, I could not long ignore the suffering servant before me.

I will address one last group in hopes to avoid further prolixity. The group who, tho within the Body of Christ, abandoned, denied, and betrayed Christ. Those who were within the closest circle of disciples. Of the twelve... one betrayed Him, 10 abandoned Him, one denied Him, and only one remained at the foot of the cross. This is another perspective I can relate too. I can be within the embrace of Holy Mother Church, a member of the mystical body of Christ, yet still abandon my Lord when it gets tough. Deny and betray Jesus when itโ€™s not convenient to be a Christian in the contemporary cultural climate. Speaking generally again, some citizens from the City of the world, false teachers (2 Pt 2:1) masquerading as if from the City of God, within the Church preach another Jesus, a low christology, a counterfeit christ (2 Cor 11:4, Gal 1:8). They deny and abandon Truth which is to deny and abandon Jesus (Jn 14:6).

This might not be revelatory insight for some, but it is for me. Iโ€™m sure far smarter men have figured this scene out long ago with far less effort. Nonetheless, this reflection has helped me to better imagine what it looks like to be plunged into the darkness of Good Friday for myself and the Church.



November 21, 2023

โ€œ๐™‰๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™„ ๐™ง๐™š๐™Ÿ๐™ค๐™ž๐™˜๐™š ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ข๐™ฎ ๐™จ๐™ช๐™›๐™›๐™š๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™จ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™จ๐™–๐™ ๐™š, ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ข๐™ฎ ๐™›๐™ก๐™š๐™จ๐™ ๐™„ ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ข๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™š๐™ฉ๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ก๐™–๐™˜๐™ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐˜พ๐™๐™ง๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉโ€˜๐™จ ๐™–๐™›๐™›๐™ก๐™ž๐™˜๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™จ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™จ๐™–๐™ ๐™š ๐™ค๐™› ๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™—๐™ค๐™™๐™ฎ, ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ž๐™จ, ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐˜พ๐™๐™ช๐™ง๐™˜๐™.โ€œ ~ ๐™Ž๐™ฉ. ๐™‹๐™–๐™ช๐™ก (๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ด 1:24)

This is one of my favorite passages from Holy Scripture. Itโ€™s probably also one of the most difficult to wrap oneโ€™s mind around.

What could possibly be lacking in the afflictions of Jesus Christ who died once for all and declared from the cross, โ€œIt is finishedโ€? Why is St. Paul rejoicing in his sufferings? How can he add anything to Jesusโ€™ finished work?

St. Augustine understands this verse to mean, โ€œ๐˜Š๐˜ฉ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ง๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ, ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ [๐˜š๐˜ต. ๐˜—๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ญ] ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ด, ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ง๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ, ๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ง๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ, ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ฉ ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ด ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ. ๐˜Š๐˜ฉ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ต, ๐˜ข๐˜ด ๐˜š๐˜ต. ๐˜—๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ญ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ด, ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ง๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ง๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ: โ€˜๐™„ ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š, ๐™ฃ๐™ค ๐™ก๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™š๐™ง, ๐™—๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐˜พ๐™๐™ง๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š๐™จ ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ข๐™šโ€œ (๐˜Ž๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด 2:20). St. Augustine then reminds us of the words of St. Paul in 1 ๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ด 12:12-13, โ€œ๐™๐™ค๐™ง ๐™Ÿ๐™ช๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™–๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™—๐™ค๐™™๐™ฎ ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™๐™–๐™จ ๐™ข๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฎ ๐™ข๐™š๐™ข๐™—๐™š๐™ง๐™จ, ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™–๐™ก๐™ก ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ข๐™š๐™ข๐™—๐™š๐™ง๐™จ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™—๐™ค๐™™๐™ฎ, ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ค๐™ช๐™œ๐™ ๐™ข๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฎ, ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š ๐™—๐™ค๐™™๐™ฎ, ๐™จ๐™ค ๐™ž๐™ฉ ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ ๐˜พ๐™๐™ง๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ. ๐™๐™ค๐™ง ๐™—๐™ฎ ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š ๐™Ž๐™ฅ๐™ž๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฉ ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™š๐™ง๐™š ๐™–๐™ก๐™ก ๐™—๐™–๐™ฅ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฏ๐™š๐™™ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š ๐™—๐™ค๐™™๐™ฎ...โ€œ

St. Thomas Aquinas states about this verse, โ€œ๐˜ž๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ด โ€˜๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จโ€˜, ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ, ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ง๐˜ง๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜Š๐˜ฉ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ, ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ฉ ๐˜š๐˜ต. ๐˜—๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ญ ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ฅ๐˜ด ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ตโ€œ. Dr. Scott Hahn, in a talk about suffering, draws on St. Thomasโ€™ commentary on Col 1:24 and phrases something like, โ€œWe unite our suffering with Christโ€™s suffering and He invests our suffering with His redemptive valueโ€. This is why St. Paul rejoices in his suffering, because he knows that โ€œ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™‚๐™ค๐™™โ€˜๐™จ ๐™›๐™š๐™ก๐™ก๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™ฌ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ ๐™š๐™ง๐™จโ€œ (1 ๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ด 3:9) and that his suffering wonโ€™t compare to the glory of whatโ€™s been revealed (cf. ๐˜™๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ด 8:18).

St. Paul, who suffered greatly spreading the Gospel, knew the demand Jesus put on His disciples, โ€œ๐™’๐™๐™ค๐™š๐™ซ๐™š๐™ง ๐™™๐™ค๐™š๐™จ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™—๐™š๐™–๐™ง ๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™ฃ ๐™˜๐™ง๐™ค๐™จ๐™จ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ข๐™š ๐™–๐™›๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ง ๐™ข๐™š, ๐™˜๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™—๐™š ๐™ข๐™ฎ ๐™™๐™ž๐™จ๐™˜๐™ž๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™šโ€œ (๐˜“๐˜ถ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ 14:27).

Itโ€™s an incredible thing of which to be demandedโ€ฆ to take up the cross of oneโ€™s own suffering, to bear it, and then follow Jesus, God incarnate, along the way of sorrows.

When Jesus foretold His own death and resurrection, St. Peter took hold of Jesus and rebuked Him saying, โ€œ๐™๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™จ๐™๐™–๐™ก๐™ก ๐™ฃ๐™š๐™ซ๐™š๐™ง ๐™๐™–๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ชโ€œ (๐˜”๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ธ 16:22). I think St. Peterโ€™s response is much like our own, particularly in our own lives and for those we love. We recoil at suffering, even the thought of it. The want of a christ without the cross. To want the promise of resurrection without the crucifixion. But, a christ who doesnโ€™t demand we take up our cross is a counterfeit. A christ without scars is antichrist. This is why Our Blessed Lord then rebuked St. Peter, โ€œ๐™‚๐™š๐™ฉ ๐™—๐™š๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ข๐™š, ๐™Ž๐™–๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ฃ! ๐™”๐™ค๐™ช ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™– ๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™™๐™ง๐™–๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ข๐™š; ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™จ๐™ž๐™™๐™š ๐™ค๐™› ๐™‚๐™ค๐™™, ๐™—๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ข๐™š๐™ฃโ€œ (๐˜”๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ธ 16:23). Jesus then says that if we would come after Him, we must deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Him (cf. Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34). We can not be His disciples otherwise.

Not only His disciples, but also โ€œ๐™˜๐™๐™ž๐™ก๐™™๐™ง๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™‚๐™ค๐™™, ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ž๐™› ๐™˜๐™๐™ž๐™ก๐™™๐™ง๐™š๐™ฃ, ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™๐™š๐™ž๐™ง๐™จ, ๐™๐™š๐™ž๐™ง๐™จ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™‚๐™ค๐™™ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™›๐™š๐™ก๐™ก๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™๐™š๐™ž๐™ง๐™จ ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ ๐˜พ๐™๐™ง๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ, ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™ค๐™ซ๐™ž๐™™๐™š๐™™ ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™จ๐™ช๐™›๐™›๐™š๐™ง ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™๐™ž๐™ข ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ค๐™ง๐™™๐™š๐™ง ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™ข๐™–๐™ฎ ๐™–๐™ก๐™จ๐™ค ๐™—๐™š ๐™œ๐™ก๐™ค๐™ง๐™ž๐™›๐™ž๐™š๐™™ ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™๐™ž๐™ข (๐˜™๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ด 8:16-17). As members of Christโ€™s body, disciples and co-heirs with Christ, we can know โ€œ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™จ๐™ช๐™›๐™›๐™š๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™จ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™š๐™จ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ข๐™š ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™ฌ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ข๐™ฅ๐™–๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™œ๐™ก๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฎ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ง๐™š๐™ซ๐™š๐™–๐™ก๐™š๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ช๐™จโ€œ (๐˜™๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ด 8:18). St. Paul does not tell us we wonโ€™t suffer or that we wonโ€™t experience significant suffering. He does tell us that our suffering wonโ€™t compare with Godโ€™s reward. St. Paul guarantees our suffering as Christians saying that we are only co-heirs with Christ provided we suffer with Him. We plead with God to alleviate our sufferings. Just as St. Paul thrice pleaded with God that his thorn in the flesh be relieved. Jesus responds, โ€œ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฒ ๐˜‚๐—ฝ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฐ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜€๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐—บ๐—ฒ.โ€œ Godโ€™s grace is sufficient for us and His power is made perfect in our weakness (cf. 2 ๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ด 12:7-9).

Speaking of those in Christ, St. Paul says that the predestined are to be conformed to the image of Jesus (cf ๐˜™๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ด 8:29). Jesus who appeared to the disciples and showed them the wounds of His hands and feet; and invited St. Thomas to place a hand in His side where the Sacred Heart is pierced (cf. ๐˜“๐˜ถ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ 24:40, ๐˜‘๐˜ฐ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฏ 20:27). This is the Christ we are to image. This is the Christ of whomโ€™s body we are members. Itโ€™s as members of His body that we conform to His image in our lives, that He would live in us, in whom we take up our crosses and follow as fellow laborers and co-heirs whose suffering is invested with the grace of His redemption.

How hard is it to have ears to hear this in our times? The world proclaims almost any kind of suffering as evil and to be avoided or ended by any means, even means that include separating ourselves from God in sin.

Our Blessed Lord, a sign that is spoken against, a sign of contradiction (cf. Lk 2:34), looks at us, points to our cross and says โ€œ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐—บ๐—ฒโ€. Jesus speaks to us, โ€œ๐——๐—ผ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ฟ. ๐— ๐˜† ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜†. ๐— ๐˜† ๐˜†๐—ผ๐—ธ๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜. ๐——๐—ผ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ฑ. ๐——๐—ผ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜…๐—ถ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜€. ๐—ง๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐˜ ๐˜‚๐—ฝ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—น๐—น๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐—บ๐—ฒ.โ€


The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied!

September 9, 2023

โ€œThe afflicted shall eat and be satisfied: those who seek him shall praise the Lord! May your hearts live for everโ€ โ€“ Psalm 22:26

God reveals His plan to feed us in the Holy Eucharist throughout Sacred Scripture. We can see this revealed in events of the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New Testament. Here we will briefly highlight some of these prefigurements and fulfillments.

It is no coincidence that our Blessed Lord was laid in a manger at His Birth (Lk 2:7). A foreshadowing of Jesus feeding us in the Eucharist (Mt 26:26-28). A manger is an open box designed to feed livestock. The word โ€œmangerโ€ comes from the Latin word โ€œmandereโ€ which means to chew. Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, means โ€œHouse of Breadโ€ in Hebrew and Aramaic, and โ€œHouse of Meatโ€ in Arabic. From the very birth of Christ, we see an orientation towards the Last Supper.

Jesus is a priest in the order of Malchizedek who, in Genesis, offered the non-bloody sacrifice of bread and wine (Heb 7:11-27, Gen 14:18, & Ps 110:04).

Jesus is the fulfillment of the Passover Lamb that was to be sacrificed and eaten with unleavened bread by the Israelites when God saved them from slavery in Egypt and brought them to the promised land (Ex 12, Lev 23:4-14). Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes a way the sins of the world! (Jn 1:24). He is our pascal lamb (1 Cor 5:7). Jesus Christ, who nourishes us in His Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist, stands before the Father, as our slain Paschal Lamb (๐˜™๐˜ฆ๐˜ท 5:6,ย 5:12).

God fed the Israelites with Manna (Bread from Heaven) & quail meat as they journeyed through the desert to the Promised Land (Ex 16:4-13). Jesus fulfills the miracle of Manna & quail meat in Exodus, because He is the bread from heaven and we must eat his flesh to have eternal life (see Bread of Life discourse in Jn 6:22-52).

The Bread of Presence in the Old Covenant Temple was to be eaten by the priests and given every Sabbath as a holy offering to God (Lev 24:5-9); and be kept always before the Lord (Ex 25:30). This was a sign of the everlasting covenant between God and His people. The Holy Eucharist is Jesusโ€™ Real Presence (1 Cor 10:15-16). In the Gospel accounts of the Last Supper, Jesus states, โ€œfor this is my blood of the covenantโ€. The new covenant is the everlasting covenant.

From the very beginning God was telling us how He intended to feed us. Our Lord instructed Adam and Eve in the garden that they could eat from any tree, except the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen 2:16). Itโ€™s easy to overlook, but important to note, that of the trees they could eat from was also the Tree of Life. After the fallโ€ฆ โ€œlest he put fort his hand and take also from the Tree of Life, and eat, and live foreverโ€-therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden (Gen 3:23). Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (Jn 14:6). St. Peter, referring to the Cross, tells us Jesus was hung from a tree for our sins (1 Pt 2:24). Here St. Peter is calling us back to the Tree of Life from the garden. In John 6, Jesus tells us He is the bread from Heaven and if we eat His flesh and drink his blood we will live forever (v51), have eternal life and be raised on the last day (v54), He will abide in us and we will live because of Him (v56), and โ€œhe who eats this bread will live foreverโ€ (v58). Considering this imagery, and all mentioned so far, we can see how Jesus fulfills the Tree of Life from whom we eat and have His life in us, that we will live forever.

We began referencing Psalm 22. Jesus referenced Psalm 22 while nailed to the cross, when He cried out, โ€œMy God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?โ€ (Mt 27:46, Ps 22:1). Psalm 22 reveals to us how God intends to save us from the slavery of sin through Jesus Christโ€™s crucifixion, death, and resurrection; and that He intends to feed us through Christ.ย  Jesus fulfills what is revealed in Psalm 22. Read this Psalm, John 6 and the accounts of the Last Supper and pray. Ask God our Father for the grace of repentance and to draw you into a more intimate union with Him through the Holy Eucharist in the Holy Spirit. Spend time with our Lord, in the Blessed Sacrament, at adoration.

โ€œJesus said to them, โ€œI am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.โ€ (Jn 6:35). At the Kingโ€™s table we shall eat and be satisfied. Our hearts will live for ever.

- Jake

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