One Minute Reflection – 8 April – Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows – Friday of Passion Week, the Fifth Week in Lent – Jeremiah 17:13-18, John 11:47-54
“ … It is expedient for us, that one man die for the people, instead of the whole nation perishing.” – John 11:50
REFLECTION – “God, the Word of the all-good Father, did not disregard the human race, His own creation, when it was sinking back into corruption but rather, by the offering of His own Body, He destroyed the death men had incurred and by His teaching, He corrected their negligence. So, He restored by His power, all that belongs to man’s estate.
Anyone can find confirmation of this from the Saviour’s own disciples who spoke of Him, for in their writings one reads: The charity of Christ constrains us as we judge that if one died on behalf of all, then all died and He died for all, in order that we may live, no longer for ourselves but for Him Who died for us and rose from the dead, our Lord Jesus Christ. And again: We see Jesus, Who for a little while was made lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honour because He suffered death, that by God’s grace He might taste death for everyone. Then the writer goes onto show why it had to be God, the Word and no other Who became Man: Indeed it was fitting that in bringing many sons to glory, God, for Whom and through Whom all things exist, should make perfect the One Who leads them to salvation. By this He means, that the task of bringing men back from the corruption into which they had fallen, belonged to no other save God the Word, Who had made them in the beginning. Further, Scripture shows, that the Word assumed a Body for the purpose of offering It in sacrifice on behalf of other bodies like His own, for the writer continues: Since the children have blood and flesh in common, He likewise, shared in them Himself ,so that, by His own Death, He might destroy the one who had power over death, that is, the devil and might deliver those, who all their life long, were enslaved by fear of death.
For by the sacrifice of His own Body, He both put an end to the law that stood against us and made a new beginning of life for us, by giving us the hope of resurrection. Hence Paul, the Christbearer, declares: As through a man came death, so through a Man has come the Resurrection of the dead. For as all died in Adam, so also in Christ all shall be made to live.
No longer, then, do we die as men condemned but as men being raised even now, we await the general resurrection of all, which God, Whose work and gift it is, will reveal at the appointed time. – St Athanasius (297-373) Archbishop of Alexandria, Great Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from his “On the Incarnation of the Word” 10).
PRAYER – O God, in Whose Passion the sword, according to the prophecy of blessed Simeon, pierced through the soul of Mary, the glorious Virgin and Mother, mercifully grant that we, who reverently commemorate her piercing through and her suffering, may, by the interceding glorious merits of all the saints faithfully standing by the Cross, obtain the abundant fruit of Your Passion. Who lives and reigns with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).