restricted access Chapter 12
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260 Chapter 12 LECTURE 1 1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Laza‑ rus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 3 Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. 4 But Judas Is‑ cariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it.1 1589. So far the Evangelist has been showing the power of Christ’s divinity by what he did and taught during his public life. Now he begins to show the power of his divinity as manifested in his passion and death. First, he treats of Christ’s passion and death; secondly, of his resurrection (chap. 20). The first is divided into three parts: in the first he states what caused or occasioned Christ’s passion and death; in the second, how Christ prepared his disciples, since his death involved his physical separation from them (chap. 13); in the third, he describes his passion and death (chap. 18). Now there were two things which caused or occasioned the passion of Christ: the glory of Christ, which aroused the envy of the Jews, and their disbelief, which blinded them. So first, he treats of the glory Christ received; secondly, of the unbelief of the Jews (v. 37). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he shows how Christ received glory from other people; secondly, how he received glory from God (v. 27). Concerning the first he does three things: first, he shows how Christ received glory from his intimate friends; secondly, from the crowd of the Jewish people (v. 9): thirdly, from the Gentiles (v. 20). Concerning the first he does two things: first, he shows the glory Christ received by being ministered to by his friends; secondly, how this kindled the indignation of the one who was to betray him (v. 4). In regard 1. St. Thomas refers to Jn 12:6 in ST II-II, q. 55, a. 7, obj. 3; q. 188, a. 7. Chapter 12 261 to the first he does three things: first, he describes the time; secondly, the place (v. 1); and thirdly, the kindness shown to Christ (v. 2). 1590. He says first, what we have already stated: that before the Passover Christ went into a region near the wilderness, and since the feast was drawing near, the Jews began to look for him. Thus, when the paschal season was at hand, during which the symbolic lamb was immolated, he, as the true lamb, came to the place where he would suffer and of his own free will be immolated for the salvation of the world: “He was offered because it was his own will,” as we read in Isaiah (53:7).2 The Evangelist says Christ came there six days before the Passover, to inform us that by the day of the Passover he did not mean the fourteenth day of the first month (when according to the twelfth chapter of Exodus, the Passover lamb was slain in the evening), but the fifteenth day. This entire day was festive, and that year it fell on the Friday our Lord suffered. Thus the sixth day before the Passover was the first day of the week, i.e., the Palm Sunday on which our Lord entered Jerusalem. Consequently, Christ came to Bethany on the previous day, that is, on the Sabbath. This is what he means by the phrase, six days before the Passover. 1591. This number is very appropriate to the mystery to be enacted . First of all, because of the number itself, for six is a perfect number . For God completed the works of creation in six days. For this reason it was appropriate that it should take six days to accomplish the work of the passion, which would restore all things: “to reconcile all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Col 1:20); “God...


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