Thought for the Day – 11 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Jesus is Condemned to Death
“Pilate was neither wicked nor cruel.
He was a weak opportunist who placed his position as Governor of Judea and his own personal interests above everything else in life.
He was prepared, moreover, to adopt the meanest of compromises.
He had acquitted Jesus, because, he believed Him to be innocent.
But he panicked as soon as he heard the crowd shouting and the Jewish priests accusing him of being no friend of the Emperor.
Then, he had recourse to an expedient.
When he saw Jesus covered with blood, crowned with thorns and clothed in purple rags, he showed Him to the crowd, in the hope, that their frenzied hearts would be touched with compassion.
He said only a few simple words.
“Behold the man!”
He wished them to see the condition to which this man had been reduced, who had been accused and mocked by them.
Looking like a trampled worm, He would stir up pity in every heart. In the crowd, there were people who had been enchanted by the glory of His heavenly teaching.
Some of them had listened to Him in Jerusalem only a few days previously, when He was greeted by tumults of applause.
Others had received favours and miracles from Him.
But the good folk remained silent, for they could not summon up the courage to express any sentiments of gratitude or of humanity, in that gathering.
A roar drowned the words of Pilate.
“Let Him be crucified!”
Sometimes, when we see what is good and just, a rebellious impulse suddenly rises up inside us.
Unfortunately, we may yield to it on occasion and stifle the higher inspirations, which we receive.
Let us resolve never to be guilty of weak or unworthy conduct towards Jesus and to obey at all costs, the dictates of a sound conscience.”
Antonio Cardinal Bacci
One Minute Reflection – 24 March – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Readings: Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12, Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9, John 5:1-16 and the Memorial of Blessed Didacus Joseph of Cadiz OFM Cap (1743–1801)
So the Jews said to the man who was cured, “It is the sabbath, it is not lawful for you to carry your pallet.” But he answered them, “The man who healed me said to me, ‘Take up your pallet, and walk.’ ”…John 5:10-11
REFLECTION – “Christian hypocrites, like these, only interested in their formalities. It was a Sabbath? No, you cannot do miracles on the Sabbath, the grace of God cannot work on Sabbath days. They close the door to the grace of God. We have so many in the Church, we have many! It is another sin. The first, those who have the sin of sloth, are not able to go forward with their apostolic zeal, because they have decided to stand firm in themselves, in their sorrows, their resentments, in all of that. Such as these are not capable of bringing salvation because they close the door to salvation.”… Pope Francis – Santa Marta 1 April 2014
PRAYER – God, our Father almighty, You gave us Christ Your Son to be our Bread of life and the message of truth, justice and love. May we live His lessons in every fibre of our being and thus pass from death to life. May the prayers of our Blessed Virgin Mother, your Holy angels, saints and martyrs, of Blessed Didacus Joseph, be an inspiration and a balm in our trials. Through Jesus our Lord with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Thought for the Day – 5 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“We are entitled to set aside time for lawful repose and for meditation and prayer.
But real idleness is always a sin.
It can easily be the cause of graver faults and of our spiritual ruin.
God gave us material and spiritual powers, as our talents, which we must employ for profit and not bury uselessly in the earth.
The servant who received five talents from God and increased the sum by another five, was rewarded by the praise of his Lord and admission into the kingdom of Heaven.
He dealt in a similar manner with the other servant, who had received two talents and doubled them by his industry.
But the lazy servant, who buried the talent he had received and met his master with empty hands, was condemned and flung into the darkness of Hell (Cf Mt 25:15-30).
This is a frightening lesson which the Gospel teaches us.
It should make us think about the fact that one day we shall have to render an account to God of all the gifts which He has bestowed on us.
Has He given us a great deal?
If so, we shall have to account for it all.
Has He given us only a small amount?
Even so, we shall have to account for every bit of it!
Consider the immense responsibility which becomes ours, along with the gifts of God.
Let us resolve to employ these to the best of our ability, so that when we appear before Him, our hands will not be empty but filled with gains.”
Antonio Cardinal Bacci