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March 24, 2024 Bulletin & News

By March 20, 2024No Comments

“Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps”

(1 Peter 2:21).

As we celebrate the Passion of the Lord during Holy Week, we remember the commandment that he gave his disciples to love one another as he taught us.

From a commentary on the Gospel of John by Saint Augustine:

Dear brothers and sisters, the Lord has defined for us that fullness of love which we ought to have for one another when he tells us: “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:13). In these words, he tells us what the perfect love we should have for one another involves. John, the evangelist who recorded them, draws the conclusion in his letter: “As Christ laid down his life for us, so we too ought to lay down our lives for our brothers” (1 Jn 3:16). We should indeed love one another as he loved us, he who laid down his life for us.

This is surely what we read in the Proverbs of Solomon: “If you sit down to eat at the table of a ruler, observe carefully what is set before you; then stretch out your hand, knowing that you must provide the same kind of meal yourself” (Prov 23:1-2). What is this ruler’s table if not that from which we receive the body and blood of him who laid down his life for us? What does it mean to sit there if not to approach in humility? What does it mean to consider carefully what is set before you if not to meditate devoutly on so great a gift? What does it mean to stretch out one’s hand, knowing that you are bound to provide the same kind of meal, if not what I have just said: as Christ laid down his life for us, so we in our turn ought to lay down our lives for our brothers? For as the Apostle Peter also says, “Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps” (1 Pet 2:21).

This is what is meant by providing “the same kind of meal.” This is what the blessed martyrs did with such burning love. If we are to give true meaning to the celebration of their memorials in no mere empty form, and, by approaching the Lord’s altar where they themselves were filled to the full, we must, like them, provide “the same kind of meal.”

At the altar of the Lord we do not commemorate the martyrs in the same way that we commemorate others who have gone before us to rest in the Lord. We do not pray for the martyrs as we pray for the others; rather, they pray for us, that we may follow in their footsteps. They practiced the perfect love of which the Lord said there could be none greater. They provided “the same kind of meal” as they had themselves received at the Lord’s altar.

-Fr. Nathan

San Pedro Comms

Author San Pedro Comms

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