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Preface II of the Passion of the Lord
This preface is used on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday day of Holy Week. The Passion of Our Lord just recalled on Palm Sunday is still fresh in our minds, and on Holy Thursday we’ll begin the Paschal Triduum where we accompany Our Lord per crucem ad lucem: through the Cross to the light.
The victory of the Passion
The beginning of the Paschal Triduum is characterized by betrayal and tragedy, but the darkest moment of salvation history is also the moment of victory. Through the Passion Our Lord conquers not only sin, but death itself, and he opens the way for that victory to play out as well in our lives.
“For the days of his saving Passion and glorious Resurrection are approaching, by which the pride of the ancient foe is vanquished and the mystery of our redemption in Christ is celebrated.”
Our Lord did not just suffer on the Cross; he won. Holy Week enables us every year to remember that he won the war not just for the disciples of his time, but for each of us, throughout history.
We don’t know how much Satan knew about Christ. He knew he was the Messiah, but did he know he was God? In the end it didn’t matter, because his pride blinded him to the bigger picture the minute he said non serviam (I will not serve) and was cast out of Heaven. Our Lord told us that when he was raised up (on the cross), the “ruler of this world” would be cast out (see John 12:31). Satan thought he was all-powerful due to his dominion over a fallen world, but to Our Lord he had no power at all (see John 14:30).
Through the Passion the Father delivered us from the Devil’s power and brought us into the kingdom of his Son: “He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14). It’s not coincidence, but Providence that the Paschal Triduum coincides with the Passover: both feasts commemorate a liberation from sin.
The battle is about to be at its darkest, but victory is within sight.