Friday, May 22, 2009

4. The Fourth Word

And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying: "Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabacthani?" Which is, being interpreted: "My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me?" And some of the standers by hearing, said: "Behold he calleth Elias." And one running and filling a sponge with vinegar and putting it upon a reed, gave him to drink, saying: "Stay, let us see if Elias come to take him down." (Mark 15:34-36)

THE VICARIOUS SACRIFICE AND DEATH OF JESUS: The great work entrusted by the Eternal Father to His Son is consummated! That which the types foreshadowed, which the just longed for, and the prophets foretold, is accomplished! Jesus Christ was born in poverty and humility, lived a life of toil and hardship, poverty and persecution for thirty-three years, and at the end of it died a painful and disgraceful death. Those eyes which beamed with gentleness and kindness are shut; that Mouth which spoke comfort to the afflicted and peace to all men is closed; those Hands which bestowed benefits all around are powerless; those Feet which left traces of blessings wherever they went are stiff; that Heart which beat with love for all men is cold and dead! The Good Shepherd has given His life for His sheep; the true Paschal Lamb has been slain, and has delivered us from the slavery of sin and of Satan, and opened to us the way into the Promised Land of heaven. He gave Himself over to a violent death in the very prime of His Manhood and in the height of health and strength, to redeem us from sin and eternal death, and to win for us grace and eternal life. The guiltless died for the guilty; and the Most Holy for the sinner. We have indeed been "bought with a great price" (I Cor. 6:20).

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)