It is always spiritually beneficial to meditate on the Life and Passion of Jesus. Jesus is our Savior, our Teacher and our Example. Jesus is our God. He created us and saved us. We take His words in the Holy Bible TO HEART. We live for Jesus. We love Jesus.
As an example of life, we read that Jesus was persecuted right from the beginning of His life. King Herod attempted to kill him when he was just born. But the real constant persecution began when He began to teach, cast out devils and heal. In Nazareth, He insulted the towns people, so they tried to throw Him over the bluff that was close to the city.
But most of the persecution came from the Jewish religious people of that time. Because Jesus healed on the Sabbath, they used that as a pretext to condemn Him. He claimed to be able to forgive sins, showing He was God and that caused Him troubles. The Scribes, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were always trying to trip Him up so that they could condemn Him. They also hated Jesus because he was very critical of them. “Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you are like to whited sepulchers, which outwardly appear to men beautiful, but within are full of dead men’s bones, and of all filthiness. Outwardly, indeed appear to men just, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity”. St. Matthew 23: 27-28
Because of Jesus’ direct and honest way of speaking, the Jewish Religious leaders were constantly trying to kill Him. Finally they get Judas to betray Him for 30 pieces of silver. As we meditate on the Passion of Christ, we start from the beginning of His ministry. But then comes the worst part of His passion; the agony in the garden, the betrayal and arrest, the beatings, the trials, the false accusations, the scourging, the spiting, the ridiculing and finally the crucifixion. This was done by the High Priest, the chief priests, scribes and the ancients. All the religious leaders of that time.
Before all this, Jesus constantly reminded His disciples that as He was being treated, so would they be. Right off, on the Mount of Beatitudes, Jesus tells them they will be persecuted for His sake. He said; “Blessed are ye when they revile you and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.” St. Matthew 5: 11-12.
Jesus also says “Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you: for according to these things did their fathers to the false prophets”. St. Luke 6:26. Jesus says we need to take up the cross and follow Him. We are now living the way of the cross in our own lives.
I bring this up because we traditional catholics are persecuted by the church itself just as Jesus was in His time. We need to realize this is what Jesus said would happen. We need not be surprised. How many times does Jesus need to tell us. What ever is true, sacred and important will be opposed. It is worth it, but we will suffer greatly as I am sure most of you traditional catholics are experiencing now or have experienced.
Prayer and meditation on the Word of God concerning the cost of following Jesus the traditional way, will help us get through it. The devil also works to stop us. We need to support one another with love and calls and letters and prayers.
Jesus suffered terribly, but it did finally end in triumph. His horrible passion did end with the Resurrection and His return to the Glory of Heaven. It is so wonderful to know for sure His passion is over. Our traditional passion too will end upon our death. We will be rewarded for all the times we stood up for protecting Jesus’ Body and Blood, His catholic teachings, His modesty, His sacrifice. We will come to a glorious end. When we get to heaven we can share with Jesus all His scares and our scares we obtained for Him. When we are going through all sorts of persecution, we need to support each other with love, and remind each other to rejoice and be glad because your reward will be great in Heaven. It is so hard to be a traditional catholic but it is eternally worth it.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.