Wednesday, March 27, 2013

They Crucified HIm: Station XII

This series is not my own work, but all taken from Rev Robert Nash, S.J.'s reflections on the Stations of the Cross: They Crucified Him. I will post one Station a day in these final days before (and concluding on) Good Friday. Here is the Twelfth Station.
***   ***   ***

All through this Way of the Cross, we have been watching how Christ gives. Now the question arises: “Is all the giving to be on His side?” And the answer? We have a gift too to offer to God, one only gift and it is actually the same which He Himself is offering in the twelfth station. The sacrifice He is making here of His life, is ours to offer too, through holy Mass. What an ineffable privilege it would have been to stand or kneel on this hallowed spot while Jesus was hanging on this cross! When we come to Mass, we are not coming merely to say our prayers, or make a visit, or go to Holy Communion. We are coming, first and before all else, to offer Jesus to His eternal Father — that Jesus may plead for us as He pleaded here on Calvary, that He may thank the Father in our name for the innumerable gifts lavished upon us, that He may adore the Father and supplement our inability to do this in a fitting manner. Jesus belongs to us and we present Him, as the only gift worth while, to His eternal Father. We stand in spirit with Mary near the cross and continue the stupendous offering made on Good Friday.

Complaints are made about us that we do not understand the value of the Mass and that, as a result, we come late or not at all. If there is question of catching a bus on Sunday morning to get to a match, we take very good care to be in ‘our queue’ in time. But ten minutes or a quarter of an hour after Mass has begun is good enough for Jesus Christ! There is not much use in abusing Catholics who act in this way. Rather, let them sit back and try to realise what the Mass is. That is to get at the root of their trouble — little love for the Mass because little understanding of its marvellous significance.

And why is it true that “of all honours that have ever been rendered to God,” to quote Saint Liguori, “whether by the homage of the angels and by the virtues, austerities, martyrdoms and other holy deeds of men, none could procure so much glory for Him as one single Mass?” Why? Because, in the Mass, Jesus takes our poor prayers and acts, and makes them His own, presenting them on our behalf to the Father. “He catches them up,” writes Bishop Hedley, “in His own infinitely strong and perfect acts and so carries them to the throne of His Father.”

You consider yourself fortunate if, when seeking a favour from somebody in a high place, you have a friend of his to plead your cause. Jesus pleads in the Mass — the well-beloved Son of God. He it is Who presents our prayers and petitions with His own, just as the priest offers, in one and the same chalice, the wine and with it, the tiny drop of water.

Mass continues Calvary. That is why you cannot dissociate the two, and the twelfth station leads you almost imperceptibly into thoughts concerning the Mass. Indeed this station is represented at every Mass for at the altar the crucifix must be placed, to keep vividly before our eyes the amazing truth that we need not envy Magdalene or John, or even the Blessed Mother, their privilege of standing by His Cross. What we should beg for in this station is a deeper faith, for if that comes then our eyes will be opened to see into the depths of the mystery of the Mass and our hearts inflamed to love it. “The active participation of the faithful,” writes Pope (Saint) Pius X, “in the sacred mysteries . . . is the first and indispensable source whence is drawn the true Christian spirit.”


Post a Comment