Evening Meditations for Low Wednesday ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Evening Mediation

THE PRACTICE OF THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST

VIII.-HOW MUCH JESUS CHRIST DESERVES TO BE LOVED BY US ON ACCOUNT OF THE LOVE HE HAS SHOWN US IN INSTITUTING THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE ALTAR

I.

Jesus, knowing that his hour was come, that he should pass out of this world to the Fatherhaving loved his own . .. he loved them unto the end-(John xiii. 1). Our most loving Saviour, knowing that His hour was now come for leaving this earth, desired before He went to die for us, to leave us the greatest possible mark of His love; and this was the gift of the most Holy Sacrament. St. Bernardine of Sienna remarks that men remember more continually, and love more tenderly, the signs of love which are shown to them at the hour of death. Hence it is the custom that friends, when about to die, leave to those persons they have loved some gift, such as a garment or a ring, as a memorial of their affection. But what hast Thou, 0 my Jesus, left us, when quitting this world, in memory of Thy love? Not, indeed, a garment or a ring, but Thine own Body, Thy Blood, Thy Soul, Thy Divinity, Thy whole Self, without reserve. “He gave thee all,” says St. John Chrysostom; ” He left nothing for Himself.”

II.

The Council of Trent says that in tnis gift of the Eucharist Jesus Christ desired, as it were, to pour forth all the riches of the love He had for men. And the Apostle observes that Jesus desired to bestow this gift upon men on the very night itself when they were planning His death; The same night in which he was betrayed, he took bread; and giving thanks, broke and said: Take ye and eat; this is my body-(1 Cor. xi. 23-24). St. Bernardine of Sienna says that Jesus Christ, burning with love for us, and not content with being prepared to give His life for us, was constrained by the excess of His love to perform a greater work before He died; and this was to give His own Body for our Food.

This Sacrament, therefore, was rightly named by St. Thomas, “the Sacrament of love; the pledge of love.” Sacrament of love, for love was the only motive which induced Jesus Christ to give us in It His whole Self. Pledge of love, so that if we had ever doubted His love, we should have in this Sacrament a pledge of it; as if our Redeemer, in leaving us this gift, had said; 0 souls, if you ever doubted My love, behold I leave you Myself in this Sacrament; with such a pledge you can never any more doubt that I love you, and love you to excess.

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