Today’s Offertory verse for today “Thursday in Passion Week”( TLM) was Psalm 136:1 – “Upon the rivers of Babylon there we wept, when we remembered Sion.”
God’s chosen people were in exile in a foreign country, that only adored false (pagan) gods. They felt abandoned; they did not have the Temple where God’s Presence was – (in the Ark of the covenant). They could not gather together as a God’s chosen nation to worship Him in the temple. They missed their special celebrations, such as the Passover, Yom Kippur, etc.
The Israelites gathered on the banks of the river and wept as they remembered these things.
This is so true for us today. The churches are closed. We cannot gather together and celebrate God’s word or worship together.We are in exile in a secular world, without being able to receive Jesus. He is locked away, where we cannot receive Him. We can watch the Mass on our electronic devices, but we are separated from our priests. It is like a distant memory where we remember how it should be, and we weep.
We will miss the celebration of Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and all the beautiful prayers and rituals that go with them. We miss receiving Jesus in Holy Communion. Due to new tightening of laws yesterday, we are in lockdown for 3 months- and our priests had to cancel outdoor Confession arrangements.
We should also weep for other reasons. At the beginning when this all started, we were told to make “Spiritual Communions”. Father said that this was a “chastisement”. None of us, reading this, doubt this. We need to make reparation for all the times we did not receive Jesus as we should.
Today’s Gospel was about Jesus and the Apostles, who were invited to eat at Simon the Pharisee’s house. He wanted to check Jesus out. He did not offer him the usual welcome – a kiss on the cheek, water to wash his feet, etc. Mary Magdalen came in, crying and weeping when she saw Jesus, she went down on her knees and bent down to wash His feet with her tears and dry them with her hair. She sacrificed her beautiful hair, and the very expensive ointment. She repented of her sins, and later stayed at the foot of the Cross. After the Resurrection she was the one to whom Jesus appeared.
How many of us are like Simon the pharisee? Or like Judas? We need to have the love and sorrow for our sins as Mary Magdalen did; we need to kneel before our Blessed Lord in humility; we need to have Faith and Reverence, and silence in His Presence. We need to dress modestly, as befits greeting our King and Saviour, and welcoming Him into our soul.
We need to make retribution for all the Sacrilegious Communions that have been committed. Offering up our suffering in not being able to access Confession easily, or even receive Him in Holy Communion is a worthy sacrifice for us. We need to pray more, abstain more, fast more. We need to make more Reparation!
My Missal’s “My Daily Thought From the Following of Christ”:
“If thou carry the cross willingly, it will carry thee, and bring thee to thy desired end, namely, to that place where there will be an end of suffering, though here there will be no end.”