Power and obedience

Yesterday, we heard at Vespers, at the Magnificat, our Lord politely putting Pilate in his place, with a rephrasing of Jn. 19, 11.

Antiphona ad Vesperas - Feria II Maioris Hebdomadae

Thou shouldst have no power over Me, unless it had been given thee from above.

Today, we heard the following quotation from Jn. 10, 18:

Antiphona ad Vesperas - Feria III Maioris Hebdomadae

Power have I to lay down my soul, and to take it up again.

On Monday, our Lord responded to Pilate’s absurd and naive claim that he had the power to crucify Him. That power was not granted to Pilate from God; rather, that power was given to Pilate from the Roman emperor. Today, the Office tells us why, having told Pilate point blank he had no power to crucify Him, He eventually died on the Cross. No man takes away the Lord’s life; only He can lay it down, for He has the power to take it up again.

Ciseri - Ecce homo
Ecce homo | Antonio Ciseri | 1871

Pilate willed to give the Son of God up to the Jews to be crucified. And so he did. The Lord Jesus Christ, on the other hand, Who is the first begotten of all creation, the first begotten from among the dead, could have easily nullified the decree of an earthly authority whose power proceeded from a superior, but ultimately another merely earthly, authority. But He did not. What made it possible for the most perfect sacrifice to take place on Calvary was the Lord’s obedience to the Father, Whose love for His Son manifested in the Lord’s power to to lay down His life and to take it up again.

Ut in omnibus laudetur Dominus.

To Galilee

At Vespers yesterday, at the Magnificat, we chanted a short pericope from Matthew (26, 32, 32):

Antiphona ad Vesperas - Dominica in Palmis

For it is written: I shall strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered away: for after I shall have risen again I shall go before you into Galilee: thither shall you see Me, saith the Lord.

Christ calling the apostled James and John
Christ calling the apostles James and John | Edward Armitage | 1869

On Palm Sunday, the Lord speaketh. On Easter Sunday, when we chant the sequence, we hear the latter part of the pericope above restated by Mary.

I have seen the tomb of the living Christ, and the glory of the risen Christ; the angelic witnesses, the shroud, and the linens. Christ my hope hath risen again: He shall go before His own into Galilee.

Sepulcrum Christi viventis, et gloriam vidi resurgentis : angelicos testes, sudarium, et vestes. Surrexit Christus spes mea : praecedet suos in Galileam.

The Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday culminates in the triumph of the Cross when our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was crucified and died on the cross on Good Friday. The Lord’s earthly ministry started in Galilee and ended in Jerusalem. He brought His disciples into this city, but when He had risen up again, He told them to meet Him in Galilee, the homeland of His apostles, where He can appear before all His disciples, and where He had first preached and performed miracles.

Ut in omnibus laudetur Dominus,