Lenten Journey Day Forty-one – 31 March – Wednesday in Holy Week, Readings: First: Isaiah 50: 4-9a, Psalm: Psalms 69: 8-10, 21-22, 31 and 33-34, Gospel: Matthew 26: 14-25
Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
In You is the source of life
and in Your Light Lord, we see light
“My appointed time draws near. I am to celebrate the Passover in your house” – Matthew 26:18
JESUS has always many who love His heavenly kingdom but few, who bear His cross.
He has many who desire consolation but few, who care for trial. He finds many to share His table but few, to take part in His fasting.
All desire to be happy with Him; few wish to suffer anything for Him.
Many follow Him to the breaking of bread but few, to the drinking of the chalice of His passion.
Many revere His miracles; few approach the shame of the Cross.
Many love Him as long as they encounter no hardship; many praise and bless Him, as long as they receive some comfort from Him. But if Jesus hides Himself and leaves them for a while, they fall either into complaints or into deep dejection.
Those, on the contrary, who love Him for His own sake and not for any comfort of their own, bless Him in all trial and anguish of heart as well as in the bliss of consolation. Even if He should never give them consolation, yet they would continue to praise Him and wish always to give Him thanks.
What power there is in pure love for Jesus – love that is free from all self-interest and self-love!
If a man give all his wealth, it is nothing; if he do great penance, it is little; if he gain all knowledge, he is still far afield; if he have great virtue and much ardent devotion, he still lacks a great deal and especially, the one thing that is most necessary to him.
What is this one thing? That leaving all, he forsake himself, completely renounce himself, and give up all private affections. Then, when he has done all that he knows ought to be done, let him consider it as nothing, let him make little of what may be considered great; let him in all honesty call himself an unprofitable servant. For truth itself has said: “When you shall have done all these things that are commanded you, say: ‘we are unprofitable servants.'” (Luke 17:10)
Then he will be truly poor and stripped in spirit, and with the prophet may say: “I am alone and poor.”(Ps 25:16) No-one, however, is more wealthy than such a man; no0one is more powerful, no-one freer, than he who knows how to leave all things and think of himself as the least of all.
(Book 2 Ch 11)