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Friday, April 08, 2011

Friday after the Fourth Sunday in Lent.

Friday after the Fourth Sunday in Lent.
Station at St. Eusebius.
(S. Eusebio.)

The ascent into heaven
of the soul of St. Eusebius the Martyr.

The Church of St. Eusebius (Dominicum Eusebii),
first mentioned in the Acts of a Council held in Rome
under Pope Symmachus in A.D. 498,
marks the site of the house of St. Eusebius,
that heroic Roman priest who was a victim
of the cruel measures of the Arian Emperor Constantius II (A.D. 353 - 361).
It was converted into a church immediately after the death of the saint.

St. Eusebius is commemorated on August 14, the Vigil of the Assumption.

(Modern restorations in 1711 and 1750
have robbed the church of all its ancient and artistic features.)

The Raising of Lazarus

The Gospel describes the resurrection of Lazarus (Jn. 11: 1-45),
thus anticipating the Greek Church,
which celebrates it with great solemnity on the day preceding Palm Sunday.

The raising up of Lazarus
after he had lain four days in the grave
is the most marvellous of the miracles worked by Our Saviour.
Not indeed on account of the magnitude of the prodigy
-for to the omnipotence of God it is as easy to raise to life
the whole human race at the last day
as it is to cause the smallest flower in the field to unfold its petals -
but because of the circumstances in which it was accomplished.
The miracle, tangible and undeniable,
was worked at the very gates of Jerusalem,
and in the presence of a multitude of witnesses.
the enemies of Jesus were so convinced of the decisive power
of this new proof of His Messianic mission
that they even planned to do away with Lazarus
and put him back again into his tomb,
as though by killing him thay could,
says St. Augustine,
prevent our Lord from restoring him a second time to life.

Liturgical Note:
The Communion, contrary to the usual lenten custom,
is drawn from the Gospel of the day.
It belongs to the Ambrosian Liturgy,
which shows a more archaic taste
in the selection of its chants compared to that of Rome.
The videns Dominus
with the syllabic melody of the Gregorian antiphonary
is wonderfully striking,
especially in the force of the Lazare, veni foras (Lazarus, come forth)
in which the composer has endeavoured
to express the fullness of the love of Jesus for His friend.

Let us pray.

Deus, qui ineffabilibus....
O God, who in Thy ineffable mysteries givest new life to the world;
grant, we beseech thee,
that Thy Church may advance in the observance of Thy eternal precepts,
and never de destitute of Thy temporal assistance.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

1 comment:

Anne B said...

Never let us doubt Our Lord's care for everything that touches our lives. He wept at the news of Lazurus' death - even though He knew He was going to raise him from the dead. The preacher at Holy Spirit Church told us He sobbed, so deep was His Compassion for Martha and Mary, His beloved friends.

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