Today’s ✠Challoner Meditation: Monday after Trinity Sunday

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Consider first, that the Old Testament was a figure of the New; and that all the most remarkable events that are there recorded by the Spirit of God, have relation, in the way of prophetic figures, to Christ and his church of the New Testament. Thus the redemption or deliverance of the children of Israel out of the slavery of Egypt, was a figure of the redemption of man by Christ from the bondage of Satan and sin; and the means that were then ordered and appointed to be used as a preparation for their deliverance, were a figure of what was to be afterwards done by our redeemer for the deliverance of all mankind from a far worse slavery. Now it was appointed, Exod. xii., ‘That the children of Israel, the night before their going out of Egypt, should in all their families offer up an unspotted lamb in sacrifice, and that they should sprinkle their door-posts with the blood of the victim, as a sign for the destroying angel, who slew that night all the first-born of Egypt, to pass over their houses: and that they should eat the flesh of the lamb that same night, roasted at the fire, with unleavened bread, and wild lettuce; having their loins grit, their shoes on their feet and their staves in their hands, in readiness to take the journey which they were immediately to begin, in consequence of the deliverance of that night.’ See here, my soul, this illustrious figure – but now let us come to the application of it.

Consider therefore 2ndly, that this unspotted lamb, first offered in sacrifice, and then eaten in a sacred and mysterious sign or sacrament, was a lively figure of Jesus Christ, the true Lamb of God, offered up in sacrifice for our redemption from sin and hell with the sprinkling of whose blood our souls are rescued from the power of Satan, and from the second death, and whose sacred flesh we are commanded to eat in the divine mysteries, as an earnest of the share we have in him and his sacrifice; as a sovereign means of communicating to our souls the fruit of our redemption, and all the graces purchased by our redeemer; as a pledge of our eternal happiness, and as a preparation and a viaticum for the great journey we are to make out of this Egypt of the world, to the true land of promise, the land of the living. O my soul, let us adore, praise, and give thanks to our Lord for these wonders he has wrought in our favour, in these heavenly mysteries. Let us embrace with all affection this Lamb of God, immolated for our sins; this Christian Pasch; this victim of our redemption this new sacrifice of the new covenant, the covenant of life and love. Let us frequently approach these mysteries, but see it be with due dispositions.

Consider 3rdly, that the paschal lamb was to be eaten with unleavened bread and wild lettuce, to signify the dispositions of soul with which we ought to come to the Christian passover. Christ is now our Paschal Lamb. ‘Therefore,’ says the apostle, 1 Cor. v. 8, ‘let us feast not with the old leaven nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.’ So that a purity of intention, uprightness and simplicity of heart, and the sincere dispositions of a soul which desires to give herself up without reserve to her redeemer, are signified by the unleavened bread with which the pasch was to be eaten; as the wholesome bitterness of true repentance and contrition for our sins is signified by the bitter taste of the wild lettuce. And whereas it was also ordered, that in eating the paschal lamb they should have their loins girt up, their shoes on their feet, and their staves in their hands; we are to learn from these ceremonies, that if we would worthily approach the Lamb of God in the sacred mysteries, we must gird up the joins of our soul, by a resolute restraint on our passions and lusts; and have our feet, that is, the affections of the soul, ‘Shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace,’ Eph. vi. 15, that is, with a readiness of heart to follow in all things the rules of the gospel, as the only way to true peace; and hold our staves in our hands, as pilgrims and travellers, not having any property or lasting dwelling here, but wholly bent on making the best of our way to our true country.

Conclude to frequent henceforward the great Christian passover of the most blessed Eucharist, with the dispositions of true Israelites leaving Egypt, and marching towards the land of promise. Ever consider it is the sacrifice and sacrament of your deliverance and redemption, and approach it with the devotion which this consideration requires; as the Israelites were commanded to solemnize by the annual devotion of the sacrifice and sacrament of the paschal lamb, the memory of their redemption from the Egyptian bondage.

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