Good Friday – Matt 27:45-46

45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over the whole earth, until the ninth hour.

Pseudo-Chrysostom: Creation could not bear the outrage offered to the Creator; whence the sun withdrew his beams, that he might not look upon the crime of these impious men.

Origen: From the beginning eclipses of the sun have happened in their proper seasons. . . . But at the time of Christ’s passion it is clear that this was not the case, because it was the paschal feast, which it was customary to celebrate when the moon was full.

[Ed. note: A solar eclipse occurs only when the moon is situated between the earth and the sun. But during a full moon, the moon is not so situated, which is evidenced by the fact that a full moon rises just as the sun sets. Therefore, a solar eclipse cannot naturally occur during a full moon phase. Now since the Passover festival began at full moon, the Good Friday “darkness” could not have been a naturally-occurring solar eclipse.]

Chrysostom: This darkness lasted three hours, whereas an eclipse is transient.

46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying: Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Rabanus: The Saviour said this as bearing about with Him our feelings, who when placed in dangers think ourselves forsaken by God. Human nature was forsaken by God because of its sins, and the Son of God becoming our Advocate laments the misery of those whose guilt He took upon Him; therein shewing how they who sin ought to mourn, when He who never sinned did thus mourn.

Origen: But you must not imagine that the Saviour said this after the manner of men by reason of the misery which encompassed Him on the cross; for if you take it so you will not hear His “loud voice” and mighty words which point to something great hidden.

Scripture from the Douay-Rheims Bible. Commentary from St. Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea, Vol. I (London: Rivington, 1842).

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