Quinquagesima Sunday The Gospel Luc. 18 v.31. Sunday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
GOSPEL (Luke 18:31-43)
At that time, Jesus took unto him the twelve and said to them: "Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and all things shall be accomplished which were written by the prophets concerning the Son of man. For he shall be delivered to the Gentiles and shall be mocked and scourged and spit upon. And after they have scourged him, they will put him to death. And the third day he shall rise again." And they understood none of these things, and this word was hid from them: and they understood not the things that were said. Now it came to pass, when he drew nigh to Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the way side, begging. And when he heard the multitude passing by, he asked what this meant. And they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he cried out, saying: "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me." And they that went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried out much more: "Son of David, have mercy on me." And Jesus standing, commanded him to be brought unto him. And when he was come near, he asked him, Saying; "What wilt thou that I do to thee?" But he said: "Lord, that I may see." And Jesus said to him: "Receive thy sight: thy faith hath made thee whole." And immediately he saw and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.
Consideration For Sunday
By fasting and prayer and other holy exercises in the holy time of lent, to prepare ourselves to celebrate the death, passion, and Resurrection of Christ by having every day in Lent a several gospel read in the Service of the Church, tending to that end, as it doeth, and especially upon Palm Sunday and all the holy week, when the whole story of the passion of Christ is read four several days, according to the four several Evangelists that write the same: We do as it were walk up daily in a holy pilgrimage toward Jerusalem, to see these things represented at Easter. And without these preparations we should, as it were be but blindly led.
Wherefore the Church hath fitly appointed this gospel to be read upon this Sunday, that goeth immediately before lent, wherein Christ took his disciples with him to go to Jerusalem to be, as he said, delivered to the gentiles, mocked, scourged, spit upon, crucified and the third day to rise again, and by the way to restore a blind man to his sight. And because Saint Mathew who write this relation as well as Saint Luke, saith, Christ, took his disciples secretly with him, we will first meet with this word (secretly) as Christ met with the blind man, and learn thereby this lesson, that if in case we have any good motions or designments of leaving the world to enter into some perfect course of life. to wit into some religious Order,or the like, or forsaking some dangerous occasion of sin, & reforming our lives, not to acquaint our carnal friends with it, nor those that are like to hinder it; but impart our mind only to good and virtuous people, that are likely to further & assist us therein.
At this time though Christ told his disciples in plain terms his designments of going to Jerusalem to be crucified,yet,as the text saith, (God so providing)they understood it not, else it is like they would have dissuaded him, as they did in the like at another time, & St Peter did, for which Christ sharply reprehended him, saying,come after me Satan,thou doest not favor of the things that be of God.
If St Peter out of his overmuch carnal love to Christ, went about to hinder his passion,imparted unto him,and Christ said he was a scandal unto him; how much more may we thin and fear,our carnal friends and companions will hinder us in our good designments, and be a scandal unto us, (if we kept it not secret from them,) rather then they will be deprived of our company,or their own ends?
So was the case with St.Peter at another time, when Christ foretold him of his imprisonment and death, saying when thou wert young, thou didst gird thyself & wentest whither thou list: but when thou art old, another shall gird thee,and lead thee whither thou wouldest not, signifying (as the Text saith) what death he should die: where upon he asked Christ out of his over much carnal lover to St.John what should become of him? as if he were loath to leave him, or die without him: for which Christ bestowed upon him this round reprehension: what is that to thee? follow thou me. In our good deeds we are counseled by Christ to be so secret, for fear of hinderers,as well as shunning vainglory, that the right hand doeth.
In another place, Christ warneth us, that if our hands or eye or foot scandalize us, that is to say, be an occasion of sin or hindrance of doing good: we should cut it off,and cast it from us; that is to say, if any one be so dear or necessary unto us as our hand, eye or foot; if they scandalize us, we must cut them off and cast them from us, either by leaving them, or keeping our designments from them or otherwise, as we shall find fit.
Where we may note also, with what vehemency and zeal Christ would have us to do it, in that he useth vehement terms of cutting away, as it were in an anger, which he might have expressed in more temperate terms: But that he did it of purpose, to show what vehemency the matter doeth require in them, unto whom the scandal is offered, and consequently the wickedness of the offense in them,that offer it in so much that in the verse before he saith, such are worthy to have a milestone tied to their neck, and cast into the sea; to express the odiousness thereof.