MEDITATION ON OUR LORD'S PASSION: If They Do These Things In Green Wood, What Shall Be Done In The Dry?

MELONE, Altobello 
Christ Carrying the Cross 
1515

For if they do these things in green wood, what shall be done in the dry?

Consider first, Christ is the wood, ever green and flourishing, delectable to behold, moderating the great heat with the shadow of his thick leaves, bringing forth fruit, pleasant both to the taste and smell, delighting the earth with the singing of birds. For by his divine nature, and by the inward grace of the Holy Ghost, he doth not only exceed all beauty, but also preserve, cherish, and comfort all creatures. Thou also art wood, but dead without the sap of Gace, barren without the fruit of charity; naked and unprofitable, without the leaves of good works.

Consider secondly, who they are which do these things in the green Wood: that is, which gave these torments and death unto Christ thy Lord. First, God the Father, who spared not his own son, but delivered him for us all. Secondly, the Devil, who provoked his servants to put Christ to death. Thirdly, the Jews, and other ministers of his death. But all these did not concord in the passion of Christ to one end. For God the Father punished his Son for the love of thy salvation, and like Abraham, carrying the sword of justice in his hand against his son, and the fire of Charity towards thee, he laid the wood upon hid sons shoulders, to be carried by him, for the burning of the holocaust. The Devil grieving at the conversion of many, endeavored to hinder the course of his preaching, to intangle the Jews in the most grievous sin of innocent death, and to over come the patience of Christ by his torments. And the Jews being moved by envy, could not endure to be admonished to amend their lives by the words and example of Christ.


Consider thirdly, the argument of our Lord: If they do these things in green wood, what shall be done n the dry? First if I suffer this for other mens sins, what shalt thou suffer for thine own? Secondly, if the Father do so grievously afflict his innocent and obedient Son, what will he do against his wicked and disobedient servent? Thirdly, if the devils could by their officers do these things in another kingdom against the sone of God, what will they be able to do in hell in their own kingdom against their own bonslaves? Fourthly,if by the permission of God wicked men raged thus against the only begotten Son of God for the sins of men, why shall any man marvel that God will permit men to vex and molest men, when their sins deserve it? Pray thou thy Lord to ingraft thee into himself being the green wood, and that never more punishment be exacted of thee, then that which he himself suffered for thee.

 ~ Fr. Francois Coster S.J. 

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