Ninth Sunday After Pentecost The Gospel Luc.19. v. 41. Tuesday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
DUCCIO di Buoninsegna
Entry into Jerusalem
GOSPEL Luke 19. 41-47.
At that time, when Jesus drew near to Jerusalem, seeing the city, He wept over it, saying: If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace: but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, and thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side; and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee; and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone, because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation. And entering into the temple, He began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought, saying to them: It is written, “My house is the house of prayer.” but you have made it a den of thieves. And He was teaching daily in the temple.
Whereas Christ sayth to Jerusalem (If thou knewest even in this thy day, which is to thee in peace) we will ponder a little, what secret meaning this word (thy day) may contain. For sure, since the Prophet David sayth unto God, the day is thine, and the night is thine,thou didst make the morning,and the sun; there is some secret mystery in it, when Christ calleth it our day and not his: & commonly where we find it called our day,it signifieth something in us that is not well,and it may signify divers ways.
One way, that as when a man lendeth a horse to another to return him safe and sound,or else the horse to be his, & he to pay the lender the worth of him; in this case if he that borroweth the horse send him home not safe and sound, as his bargain was, but lean, or lame, or sick, or the like, & telleth him, he hath bought him his horse; No, saith the lender,this is no horse of mine, this is your horse, and you must pay me for him.
So our time that God hath lent us to serve him, if we have abused it overmuch, and defiled it with all manner of filthiness and sin,God will not accept of it as his,nor call it his time, or his day, but ours, and we shall pay him well for it at the day of judgment which is properly his Day.
Another way is, that when we spend our time in our own pleasures, and delights,and not in the service of God, then it is our time, on our day, & not the day of God, who permitted us oftentimes to have our day here all this life, and he to have his afterwards in the next.
Which because we cannot take away from him, it is most properly called the day of our Lord: and the other by way of abuse, & permission of God, for our greater punishment, ours.
There be some that dimidiate or divide their days into two parts, that is to say, spend the one half of their life in the pleasures and delights of the world, to wit their youth, & first half of their life, & the other part in the service of God, and of a bad beginning make a good end; others begin well and end ill,serving God in their life,and their own pleasures & delights at the last.
There be some again, that spend their whole life in the pleasures and delights of the world.
That which is here meant by our day in not the first,that is but half our day, it is the other two that is called ours, because it is all ill, or the latter part at least, which is all one, because where the tree falleth, there it shall lie.
To spend the first part ill, though it be ill, yet it seemeth to be natural for young men to be given to the pleasures and delights of the world, but for them that be old, it is against nature, &a very presumptuous thing: young folks may presume of longer life, but old men not.
When corn is once grown white towards harvest,what is to be expected but to be cut down? when men are white with years,what can they expect but death? They that spend the first part of their life, in the pleasures and delights of the world,and the latter in the service of God,are those that be properly said in the Scripture, to dimidiate their days; but those that spend the latter part ill, though they spend the first well, are said not to dimidiate their days no more then they that spend all their life ill, and therefore are called in one place of Scripture men of blood as well as they, because they spill the blood of Christ and spend it in vain: and in another place they are called false and deceitful men in their measure, or weights, to God, because they give him but half the measure of their lives, & the worst half too, unto whom the whole is due, deceiving both themselves and Christ of their souls which he so dearly bought with his most precious blood:from this let us pray with the Prophet David, Deliver me, O Lord, from blood in the singular number, but from bloods in the plural, to signify that we cannot be guilty of the blood of Christ,but we shall be guilty also of the blood of our own souls,deceiving both Christ and ourselves of the price,and benefit thereof.