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MONDAY

IN PASSION WEEK.

The Station, at Rome, is in the Church of Saint Chrysogonus, one of the most celebrated Martyrs of the Church Rome. His name is inserted in the Canon of the Mass.

COLLECT.

Sanctify, O Lord, we be- Sanctifica, quæsumus, Doseech thee, our fasts, and mer- mine, nostra jejunia : et cifully grant us the pardon of cunctarum nobis indulgenall our sins. Through Christ tiam propitius largire culour Lord. Amen.

parum. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

EPISTLE,

Lesson from Jonas the Prophet. Lectio Jonæ Prophetæ. Ch. III.

Cap. III. In those days : The word In diebus illis : Factum est of the Lord came to Jonas the verbum Domini ad Jonam second time, saying: Arise Prophetam secundo, dicens: and go to Ninive, the great Surge, et vade in Niniven city: and preach' in it the civitatem magnam : et præpreaching that I bid thee. dica in ea prædicationem And Jonas arose, and went to quam ego loquor ad te. Et Ninive, according to the word surrexit Jonas, et abiit in of the Lord. Now Ninive Niniven juxta verbum was a great city of three days' Domini. Ét Ninive erat journey. And Jonas began to civitas magna itinere trium enter into the city one day's dierum. Et cæpit Jonas

men

nor

introire in civitatem itinere journey: and he cried and diei unius : et clamavit, et said : Yet forty days and dixit : Adhuc quadraginta Ninive shall be destroyed. dies et Ninive subvertetur. And the men of Ninive beEt crediderunt viri Nini- lieved in God : and they provitæ in Deum : et prædi- claimed a fast, and put on caveruntjejunium, et vestiti sackcloth from the greatest to sunt saccis a majore usque the least. And the word came ad minorem. Et pervenit to the king of Ninive : and verbum ad regem Ninive: he rose up out of his throne, et surrexit de solio suo, et and cast away his robe from abjecit vestimentum suum him, and was clothed with a se, et indutus est sacco, et sackcloth, and sat in ashes. sedit in cinere. Et clamavit, And he caused it to be proet dixit in Ninive ex ore claimed and published in regis, et principum ejus, Ninive, from the mouth dicens : Homines, et jumen- of the king and of his ta, et boves, et pecora non princes, saying: Let neither gustent quidquam : nec pas- nor beasts, oxen cantur, et aquam non bi- sheep, taste any thing: let bant. Et operiantur saccis them not feed, nor drink homines, et jumenta, et water. And let men and clament ad Dominum in beasts be covered with sackfortitudine, et convertatur cloth, and cry to the Lord vir a via sua mala, et ab with all their strength, and let iniquitate, quæ est in mani- them turn every one from his bus eorum. Quis scit si evil way, and from the iniquity convertatur, et ignoscat that is in their hands. Who Deus : et revertatur a fu- can tell if God will turn and rore iræ suæ, et non peribi- forgive : and will turn away mus ? Et vidit Deus opera from his fierce anger, and we eorum, quia conversi sunt shall not perish? And God de via sua mala : et miser- saw their works, that they tus est populo suo Dominus were turned from their evil Deus noster.

way: and the Lord our God

had mercy on his people. The Church's intention in this day's lesson, is to encourage us to earnestness and perseverance in our penance. Here we have an idolatrous city, a haughty and debauched capital, whose crimes have merited the anger

of heaven. God threatens it with his vengeance: yet forty days, and Ninive and its inhabitants shall be destroyed. How came it, that the threat was not carried into effect? What was it that caused Ninive to be spared ? Its people returned to the God they had left; they sued for mercy; they humbled themselves, and fasted ; and the Church concludes the Prophet's account by these touching words of her own:

“ And the Lord our God had mercy on his people.They were Gentiles, but they became his people, because they did penance at the preaching of the Prophet. God had made a covenant with one only nation,—the Jews; but he rejected not the Gentiles, as often as they renounced their false Gods, confessed his holy name, and desired to serve him. We are here taught the efficacy of corporal mortification; when united with spiritual penauce, that is, with the repentance of the heart, it has power to appease God's anger. How highly, then, should we not prize the holy exercises of penance put upon us by the Church, during this holy Season! Let us also learn to dread that false spirituality, which tells us that exterior mortification is of little value : such doctrine is the result of rationalism and cowardice.

This passage from the Prophet Jonas is also intended for the Catechumens, whose baptism is so close at hand. It teaches them to have confidence in this merciful God of the Christians, whose threats are so terrible, but who, notwithstanding, turns from his threats to forgive the repentant sinner. These Catechumens, who had hitherto lived in the Ninive of paganism, were bere taught that God, even before sending his Son into the world, invited all men to become his people. Seeing the immense obstacles their Gentile ancestors had to surmount in order to receive and persevere in the grace offered them, they would bless God their Saviour, for having, by his Incarnation, his Sacrifice, his Sacraments, his Church, facilitated salvation for us who live under the New Testament. True, he was the source of salvation to all preceding generations: but with

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what incomparable richness is he the source of ours ? The Public Penitents, too, had their instruction in this Epistle. What an encouragement for them to hope for pardon! God had shown mercy to Ninive, sinful as it was, and sentenced to destruction : he would, therefore, accept their repentance and penance, he wonld stay his justice, and show them mercy and pardon.

GOSPEL,

:

Dixit ergo

Sequentia sancti Evangelii Sequel of the holy Gospel secundum Joannem.

according to John. Cap. VII.

Ch. VII. In illo tempore : Miserunt At that time : The rulers principes et Pharisæi, mini- and Pharisees sent ministers stros, ut apprehenderent to apprehend Jesus. Jesus Jesum.

eis therefore said to them : Yet a Jesus :

Adhuc modicum little while I am with you: tempus vobiscum sum : et and then I go to him that sent vado ad eum qui me misit. You shall seek me, and Quæretis me, et non in- shall not find me : and venietis : et ubi ego sum where I am, thither you canvos non potestis venire. not come. The Jews, thereDixerunt ergo Judæi ad fore, said among themselves : semetipsos : Quo hic iturus Whither will he go, that we est, quia non inveniemus shall not find him ? Will he eum ? Numquid in disper- go to the dispersed among the sionem Gentium iturus est, Gentiles, and teach the Genet docturus Gentes ? Quis tiles ? What is this saying est hic sermo, quem dixit : that he hath said : You shall Quæretis me, et non inveni- seek me, and shall not find etis : et ubi sum ego, vos me ; and where I am, you cannon potestis venire ? In not come ? And on the last novissimo autem die magno and great day of the festival, festivitatis stabat Jesus, et Jesus stood and cried, saying: clamabat dicens : Si quis If any man thirst, let him sitit, veniat ad me, et bibat. come to me, and drink. He Qui credit in me, sicut dicit that believeth in me, as the Scriptura, flumina de ventre Scripture saith, “Out of his ejus fluent aquæ vivæ. Hoc belly shall flow rivers of living autem dixit de Spiritu, water." Now this he said of quem accepturi erant cre- the Spirit which they should dentes in eum.

me.

receive who believed in him.

1

The enemies of Jesus sought to stone him to death, as we were told in yesterday's Gospel; to-day they are bent on making him a prisoner, and send soldiers to seize him. This time, Jesus does not hide himself; but how awful are the words he speaks: I go to Him that sent me : you shall seek me, and shall not find me! The sinner, then, who has long abused the grace of God, may have his ingratitude and contempt punished in this just, but terrific way,—that he shall not be able to find the Jesus he has despised : he shall seek, and shall not find. Antiochus, when humbled under the hand of God, prayed, yet obtained not mercy. After the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, whilst the Church was casting her roots in the world, the Jews, who had crucified the Just One, were seeking the Messias in each of the many impostors, who were then rising up in Judea, and fomenting rebellions, which led to the destruction of Jerusalem. Surrounded on all sides by the Roman legions, with their temple and palaces a prey to flames, they sent up their cries to heaven, and besought the God of their fathers to send, as he had promised, the Deliverer! It never occurred to them, that this Deliverer had shown himself to their fathers, to many even of themselves ; that they had put him to death, and that the Apostles had already carried his name to the ends of the earth. They went on looking for him, even to the very day when the deicide city fell, burying beneath its ruins them that the sword had spared. Had they been asked, what it was they were awaiting, they would have replied, that they were expecting their Messias ! He had come, and gone. You shall seek me, and shall not find me! Let them, too, think of these terrible words of Jesus, who intend to neglect the graces offered them during this Easter. Let us pray, let us make intercession for them, lest they fall into that

1 II. Mach. ix. 13.

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