Station Church: S. Vitale
The miracle that was worked to cast the enemies of Christ to the ground as He said “I am He,” was done to prove that while the Son of God would not thwart the purposes of His sworn enemies who thirsted for His blood, the Master was resolved to do enough to render them inexcusable in putting Him to death. If they proceeded to arrest, torture, and crucify Christ, they would do it with the knowledge that they were acting against One who had divine power. The miracle was done to convince the enemies of Christ, led by the traitor Judas, that their imminent act was wrong, and if they proceeded to culminate it, they would be held accountable for it. The miracle went as far as to make those miserable who had laid hands on the Son of God but not so far as to frustrate their impious design.
It scarcely ever happens that we commit any great sin without experiencing great resistance. This is particularly true of the first great sins in our life. The remorse, the degradation and the disillusionment is nearly enough to throw us to the ground, and the warning voice of conscience is like thunder in our soul. It is nearly a verity that after the first or the thousandth grave sin – but after one of them – there is a turning point in our life. We must not look to be kept prostrate on the ground for the mastery of conviction will release its strong hold, and we will gradually feel at liberty to arise – and then what shall we do? Paul was thrown to the ground but he arose saying to Jesus – “Lord, what will Thou have me do?” Judas was struck to the ground but he arose only to renew his traitorous attack, to make fresh quest after Jesus whom he was determined to betray.
After any grave sin we must follow the example of Paul or that of Judas. If we rise from the serious sin determined to take another and another step towards sin, the likelihood is that path will be smooth and we will be suffered to proceed without much protestation by our conscience, or by remorse. One thing we ought to fear, and that is to be left to sin undisturbed. The longer we remain in that state the worse the chances are for spiritual recovery.
When Christ’s enemies laid hands upon His sacred Person, Peter drew his sword and lopped off the ear of Malcus, the servant of the High Priest. Christ told Peter to put away his sword and Scripture adds these words: “Bear with them thus.’ And he touched his ear and healed him.” (Lk. 22:51)
Judas and the Roman soldiers, the Pharisees, Scribes, and Elders experienced two striking miracles in rapid succession – the strange power which hurled them to the ground, and the miraculous healing of the ear of the servant of the High Priest – but what was the effect upon Judas and the others who came to seize Christ? Nothing. They experienced miracles and remained adamant. Oh, the sad plight of those who betray Christ and those who crucify Him. St. Paul says that when men sin they crucify again to themselves the Son of God and make Him a mockery. (Heb. 6:6)
Never let a day pass without saying your three Hail Marys morning and night, adding this ejaculation: “Oh Mary, my Mother, preserve me from mortal sin this day (this night).”*
*To read more about the devotion of the Three Aves, go here.
Join in the Novena to Saint Philip Neri for a special intention: HERE
See how you can spread devotion to the Passion by assisting in the campaign to provide my publication of meditations on the Passion written by a Passionist priest for novices. May this little effort of ours bear much fruit in the reform of the Church, starting with our own souls and the souls of as many future priests we can reach! Find more information out at the BOOKS4SEMS campaign.