Tuesday of Holy Week : Mars Day

 

From: Jo Ann Schwartz
Date: Tue Apr 6, 2004 6:28 am
Subject: Tuesday of Holy Week : Mars Day

Tuesday of Holy Week : Mars Day
Emil Bock
The Three Years

In the early morning Jesus enters the city with His disciples once more. The waves of acclamation and enthusiasm have long since died away. Jesus is already involved in the tension of His coming decision, but He will be obedient to the Law up to the last moment and fulfill the sacred customs of preparation for the Passover. There is the feeling that He Himself is the sacrifice to be offered. The people's hatred is already surging up to Him as flames that will consume the sacrifice. From day to day the powerful sense of His spiritual presence in the city has increased. The more silent the crowds, the more majestically His sovereign will shines in His countenance. Now the day of Mars has been reached and the conflict flares up in earnest. The crowd is silent; their leaders are full of anxiety; their fear produces the hatred which leads to the attack. Every hostile group sends out assailants. One after another they accost Him with their crafty questions. What would otherwise be a blow in the face or a dagger-thrust takes on the guise of questioning.

First of all the members of the Jewish Sanhedrin approach, i.e., the High Priests, Scribes and Elders. They ask Jesus what authority He has for His actions; He is required to legalize Himself. Then come the others, the Pharisees and the Herodians, and put the insidious question: "Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar?" The Sadducees follow. They ask Jesus' opinion concerning the resurrection of the dead. Finally, a single question, intending to expose Him before all the people, asks which commandment He considers the most important of all.

These attacks, marking the outbreak of hostilities, are the best proof of how strongly the Being of Christ was making itself felt. Just as dogs bark and bite only when they are afraid, so these ostensible questions, which are really arrows of hate, are the outcome of fear.

Jesus answers each of the four questions. He is not satisfied, however, with parrying the blows aimed at Him; He accepts battle and fights back with weapons of the spirit. He uses powerful pictures. During the three previous years He has spoken to the people in poetic parables, and to the disciples in parables of deep mystery. To His opponents He now speaks parables of conflict. He tells the Parable of the Husbandmen to whom the vineyard has been entrusted; how they afterwards refuse to surrender the harvest, slay the owner's messengers, and finally even his son. The opponents realize that they themselves are meant. In fact, Jesus is telling His enemies that they will slay Him. His parable is a last endeavor to reach the soul of His enemies. Perhaps it may yet bring them to an awakening; perhaps even now they may be shocked into self-knowledge.

The parable of the Royal Marriage Feast follows. Guests are called to the marriage, and they all excuse themselves from attending. Then the invitation is passed on to strangers, to people who seem to have no occasion for coming. Because the duly licensed and established seekers after God have proved to be hypocrites, God finally summons people whom one would not credit with seeking the Divine. This is a direct thrust at His opponents, who are the privileged church people by ancient tradition. But when the fate of those wearing no wedding garment is described, a stern mirror is held up before the whole of humanity. The Parable of the King's Marriage Feast is the strongest thrust dealt on the Mars day of Passion Week, directed ultimately to all men.

The Christ goes further; He now questions back: "Whose son is the Messiah?" He asks. They answer: "He is David's son." Christ cites the words of the 110th Psalm, well known to them, to show that David describes the Messiah as his Lord. He asks, "How can David call the Christ his Lord, when it appears that he is his son?" Christ exposes the superficial piety of his questioners; they are looking only at the earthly. The first step towards grasping the divine is to see that the Messiah is a Son of God and not a son of men. Christ is showing them at this moment what they should recognize in Him, but they do not recognize it.

And so it comes to the fourth counterblow. This is the ninefold "Woe," the denunciation of the Pharisee's which is followed by the lament over Jerusalem, as over a world doomed to destruction. At the beginning of His work, in the trusted circle of the disciples, Jesus once pronounced the nine Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount, the nine-fold ideal of Spirit-Man. Now at the close of His earthly path He sets the nine-fold shadow over against the nine-fold Light. The Denunciations are a combative unmasking of those who are inimical to God, just as the Beatitudes were a revelation of man's nine-fold relation to God. In the lamentation over Jerusalem there is the reverse of the promise of the "city set upon a hill," which in the Sermon on the Mount calls up for the first time the picture of the heavenly Jerusalem.

As the day begins to decline, Jesus leaves the city with His disciples, as was His custom. He climbs the hill of Gethsemane beyond the vale of Cedron, and enters the garden which had been the scene of so much intimate teaching; but He does not continue towards Bethphage and Bethany. At the top of the Mount of Olives, where a wonderful peace surrounds them, He makes the disciples rest. Still imbued with the conflict which has been waged all day, He begins to speak to His disciples in the open air for the last time. And the words with which He instructs them are no less powerful than those He has spoken in the spiritual fight with His opponents. The courageous deeds which have been accomplished by the soul during the day call up an echo from the Gods. The Christ can make revelations to His disciples as never before. What He gives on this evening, sometimes known as "the Little Apocalypse," opens vast horizons of the future.

So it is always in life. If real deeds have ripened during the day, then evening and night call down a heavenly echo. The results of a day do not only lie in what has been directly achieved. When the activities of the day have knocked on the doors of the spiritual world, then with night descending the gates of another world can open. Genuine inner strength employed during the day is met by a spiritual response.

The present moment becomes translucent. All through the day the disciples have been with Christ near the Temple. He has shown them that it is all doomed to destruction. The destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple was a spiritual necessity and it had not come to pass four decades later through the Roman army, it would have had to be brought about in some other way. As the vision of the downfall of the Temple rises before the disciples, a great cosmic catastrophe seems to shine through it. It is the downfall of a whole world that the Christ sets before their souls. The division, manifest all day between the hostile opponents and the little band striving for discipleship -- this too becomes translucent. The history of the world will bring nothing less than a great dividing of mankind. Some strive towards the divine; others strive against it. And no matter how imposing what is accomplished on earth by the antagonists, it is only the outcome of a hidden fear. That which silently germinates in the little group seeking union with the divine will bear in itself the future of the world.

Jesus continues the apocalyptic discourse, and gives the disciples the most intimate parables that He can possibly give them, the two parables of the Second Coming. He had already spoken of the Son of Man coming in the clouds, while all around the universal storm is raging. He had pointed to a future where a new revelation of Christ must force a way for itself amidst hurricanes of destruction. Now, in the two parables of the Ten Virgins and the Talents, He shows the disciples what people must do to prepare themselves for the return of the Christ. Some day the Bridegroom of the soul will come; some day the One who entrusted the talents to his servants when He went way, will come again to claim the reckoning. Down below in the Temple the "woe, woe" sounded as anti- beatitudes; now the day ends with another Sermon on the Mount, one even more sublime. With this final and most intimate teaching Christ arms the disciples with equipment of courage for millennia ahead. The parables of the Second Coming, and in particular the concluding vision of the division of mankind into sheep and goats, are to serve the disciples as provision on the road for many incarnations.

The words of the Tuesday in Holy Week, taken together, are wonderfully relevant to every battle of light with darkness, every struggle for Christian discipleship in conflict with Christ's enemies. Goethe's statement that world history is nothing else than a continuous fight of belief against unbelief touches the truth that is given in all detail during the Tuesday of Holy Week. All opposition to Christ and hostility to the Spirit has its root in unbelief, in deeply hidden weakness and fear. Discipleship of Christ means courage and strength. The battle is not necessarily fought by one group of men against another. It must be carried on within ourselves. In each human soul fear and courage, opposition to Christ and discipleship of Christ, are mingled.

The fighting parables directed against Christ's opponents make it clear that fear is always at the root of enmity to the spirit. The egotism of the husbandmen of the vineyard, who are unwilling to surrender the fruits of the harvest, is the offspring of inner weakness and fear-- as is every egotism. When a man learns to leave and sacrifice all because he realized that all he can ever possess is the property of God, the first seed of courage is born.

The denunciations uttered by Christ are an ever plainer unmasking of unbelief. They begin at once with words which tear away the mask not only of denial of the spirit, but of every kind of dragooning of human souls: "Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees! For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for ye neither go in yourselves neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in."

To work upon one's own soul demands the greatest courage. The wedding garment is the soul become radiant through purification and prayer. The oil in the lamps is a picture of the forces of the soul to be won by struggle. The talents increased by personal effort are the spiritual organs in man brought to further development.

In His answer concerning the tribute money, Jesus shows that true courage attained through constant inner effort is able to hold the balance between earthly duties and spiritual ideals, and in so doing gains sovereignty over all earthly conditions. Even if, as at that time, a monster occupies the throne, He is able to say "Render to Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things which are God's."

In the concluding vision of the dividing of mankind, the true quality of inner courage is described: "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." The true path to the spirit shows itself in the power to love. Love is the opposite of fear. All genuine inner development begins with inner courage and finds its goal in love. True love of men is identical with love for Christ Himself, so His words of spiritual battle end in words of love.

[with thanks to Liz -- she knows why]

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From: eyecueco
Date: Tue Apr 6, 2004 9:05 am
Subject: On Mars Day parallels to AT

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, Jo Ann Schwartz wrote:

Tuesday of Holy Week : Mars Day
Emil Bock
The Three Years

Jo Ann,

Thanks for sending these in (and thanks to Liz for saving these scans over the years).

Rereading Mars Day several paragraphs stood out as relevant to what is currently going on at AT, so I am going to take the liberty of reposting, a few excerpts as I think they apply to all of us here, and are worth thinking reflectively:

Just as dogs bark and bite only when they are afraid, so these ostensible questions, which are really arrows of hate, are the outcome of fear.

It is the downfall of a whole world that the Christ sets before their souls. The division, manifest all day between the hostile opponents and the little band striving for discipleship--this too becomes translucent. The history of the world will bring nothing less than a great dividing of mankind. Some strive towards the divine; others strive against it. And no matter how imposing what is accomplished on earth by the antagonists, it is only the outcome of a hidden fear.

Again, because it is relevant...

The history of the world will bring nothing less than a great dividing of mankind. Some strive towards the divine; others strive against it. And no matter how imposing what is accomplished on earth by the antagonists, it is only the outcome of a hidden fear.

Christ told use two thousand years ago a division of humanity will come about, a division into two races, the good race and and the evil race in the distant future. Was Christ a racist? :-)

Some day the Bridegroom of the soul will come; some day the One who entrusted the talents to his servants when He went way, will come again to claim the reckoning.

The words of the Tuesday in Holy Week, taken together, are wonderfully relevant to every battle of light with darkness, every struggle for Christian discipleship in conflict with Christ's enemies.

Goethe's statement that world history is nothing else than a continuous fight of belief against unbelief touches the truth that is given in all detail during the Tuesday of Holy Week.

The battle is not necessarily fought by one group of men against another. It must be carried on within ourselves.

And, again...

"It must be carried on within ourselves."

(Just because some of us believe Steiner's Christologies doesn't mean we don't fall prey daily, several times a day to our own struggle. Christ would never have said to his Mars opponents some of the things said to PS and those considered 'the opponents" here. :-( He did not name call, and deride and I feel increasingly sad to see this increasing at AT, to be honest. It sure doesn't reflect well on either Steiner, or our position, imo. Do we love our opponents as Christ did His? If not, why not?)

"In each human soul fear and courage, opposition to Christ and discipleship of Christ, are mingled."

Paulina

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