St. Catherine of Sienna (one day late)
The Passion and the Death of Jesus Christ
Forget not the kindness of thy surety; for He hath given His life for thee (Gratiam fidejussoris ne obliviscaris; dedit enim pro te animam suam) – Ecclus. Xxix. 20. By this surety, commentators commonly understand Jesus Christ, who, seeing that we were unable to atone to the divine justice, offered Himself because it was His own will. (Oblatus est, quia ipse voluit) – Isa. Liii.7. He offered to make satisfaction for us, and He actually paid our debts by His blood and by His death. He hath given His life for thee.
To repair the insults which we offered to the divine majesty, the sacrifice of the life of all men was not sufficient: God alone could atone for an injury done to a God; and this Jesus Christ has accomplished. By so much, says St. Paul, is Jesus made a surety of a better testament. (In tantum melioris testamenti sponsor factus est Jesus) – Heb. Vii. 22. By making satisfaction, as his surety, in behalf of man, our Redeemer, says the Apostle, obtained by His merits a new compact, - that if man should observe the law, God would grant him grace and eternal life. This is precisely what Jesus Christ himself expressed in the institution of the Eucharist when He said, This chalice is the new testament in my blood. (Hic calix novum testamentum est in meo sanguine) – I Cor. Xi.25. By these words He meant, that the chalice of His blood was the instrument or written security by which was established the new covenant between God and Jesus Christ, that to men who were faithful to Him should be given the gift of grace and of eternal life.
Hence, by suffering the penalties due to us, the Redeemer, through the love which He bore us, made in our behalf a rigorous atonement to the divine justice. Surely, says he Prophet, He hath borne our infirmities, and carried our sorrows. (Vere languores nostros ipse tulit, et Dolores nostros ipse portavit.) – Isa. Liii, 4. And all this was the fruit of His love. Christ hath loved us, and hath delivered Himself for us. (Dilexit nos, et tradidit semetipsum pro nobis) – Eph. V.2. St. Bernard says that to pardon us, Jesus Christ has not pardoned Himself. “To redeem a slave He spared not Himself.” (Ut servum redimeret, sibi Filius ipse non pepercit.) O miserable Jews, why do you wait for the Messiah promised by the Prophets? He has already come: you have murdered Him; but, in spite of your guilt, your Redeemer is ready to pardon you; for He has come to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel: The Son of Man came to save that which was lost. (Venit enim Filius hominis salvare quod perierat) – Matt. Xviii.II.
St. Paul has written that, to deliver us from the malediction due to our sins, Jesus Christ has charged Himself with all the maledictions which we merited; and therefore He wished to suffer the death of the accursed, that is, the death of the cross: Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. (Christus nos redemit de maledicto legis, factus pro nobis maledictum: quia scriptum est: Maledictus omnis qui pendet in lingo.) – Gal. iii.13.
What a source of glory would it be to a poor peasant, captured by pirates, and reduced to slavery, to be ransomed by his sovereign at the cost of a kingdom! But how much greater glory do we derive from having been redeemed by Jesus Christ at the expense of His own blood, a single drop of which is worth more than a thousand worlds! You were not redeemed with corruptible things as gold or silver, … but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled. (Non corruptibilibus auro vel argento redempti estis … sed pretioso sanguine quasi Agni immaculati Christi.) – 1 Pet. i.18,19. Hence, St. Paul tells us that we commit an act of injustice against our Saviour if we dispose of ourselves according to our own, and not according to His, will, or if we reserve anything to ourselves, or, what is worse, if we indulge our inclinations so as to offend our God. For we belong not to ourselves, but to Jesus Christ who has purchased us with a great price. Know you not that … you are not your own? For you are bought with a great price. (An nescitis quoniam … non estis vestri? Empti enim estis pretio magno.) – 1 Cor. Vi. 19,20.
Ah, my Redeemer, if I had shed all my blood for Thee, and even given for Thee a thousand lives, what compensation would it be for the love of Thee, who hast given Thy blood and Thy life for me? Give me strength, O my Jesus, to be entirely Thine during the remainder of my life.
Mary, my Mother, my Hope after Jesus, please pray for me and intercede for me.
Dearest Angels and Saints, please guide me and help me.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!
Jesus, Mary, I love Thee, Save Souls!