Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Redemption

It was bearing His Cross that He came--weighted down under the burden of our sins. He climbed Calvary's hill and reddened it with His blood. He was barbarously crucified on a Cross, and died between two thieves.

Let us look for a moment at our suffering Savior. Taking place before our horrified gaze is the drama that dominates the world. Christ was "made sin" for us, writes Saint Paul.

On the high hill of Calvary, overlooking the world, a terrible struggle is taking place between Love and Hate--a struggle of unheard-of force. As a result of this fearsome combat, Hate dies in the blood of his immolated Victim. The last words of Christ are a shout of triumph: "Father, it is consummated."

Love has conquered Hate.

Sin is now in full flight. A moment ago, an enormous tidal wave, make up of all the crimes of earth, had sought to engulf within its corrupt depths Him who offered Himself as the Life of the World. Now, Life descends victorious from Calvary, driving back Sin to its ultimate retrenchments. God's plan now unfolds in all its majesty--the return to the Father, to the Father's House.

How may we bring about this return? By following Christ the Way, in what is to be henceforth His sorrowful way. "If anyone wishes to follow Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me." Integrated into Christ by Baptism, I (and not somebody else) ought to die to self, an live the life of Christ. "Christ died for all; that they also who live, may not now live to themselves, but unto Him Who died for them, and rose again" (2 Cor 5:15).

With Saint Paul we should say, "Those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, I fill up in my flesh, for His body, which is the Church" (Col 1:24).

If our good works, sacrifices, and sufferings are to count for eternity and be pleasing to God, it is necessary for us (as we have seen above) to be united to Christ. It is through Him, and with Him, and in Him that we become recipients of God's loving-kindness and mercy.

Our union with Christ, our integration into His Mystical Body, is effected by the sacraments. It is by Baptism that we are introduced into Christ's mystical family. It is through Baptism that we receive divine life; become adopted sons of God the Father; brothers of Jesus Christ; temples of the Holy Spirit, and heirs of heaven!

But how should we offer up--following our Lord's example--our adoration, thanksgiving, satisfactions, and petitions to God? How should we nourish the divine life within us?

By means of the Mass--the Sacrifice of the Mystical Body.

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