Morning Meditations for Low Friday ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Morning Meditation

THE DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST OUR HOPE

Jesus is the only hope of our salvation. Neither is there salvation in any other-(Acts iv. 12). Oh, what a secure place of refuge shall we ever find in those sacred clefts of the rock, that is to say, in the Wounds of Jesus Christ! There shall we be set free from that feeling of distrust which the sight of our sins may produce. There shall we find weapons of defence against temptations; there shall we find sufficient strength to resist the assaults of the world.

I.

Jesus is the only hope of our salvation: There is no salvation in any other but him-(Acts iv. 12). I am the only door, says He; and he that shall enter in through Me shall assuredly find life eternal: I am the door; if anyone enter by me, he shall be saved–(John x. 9). And what sinner would ever have been able to hope for pardon if Jesus had not, by His Blood and by His Death, made satisfaction to the Divine justice for us? He shall bear their iniquities-(Is. liii.). It is by this that the Apostle encourages us, saying: If the blood of goats and of omen sanctify such as are defiled to the (cleansing of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who, through the Holy Ghost, offered himself up to God, cleanse our conscience from dead works to serve the living God!-(Heb. ix. 13). If the blood of goats and of bulls offered up in sacrifice removed from the Jews the outward defilements of the body, that so they could be admitted to the worship of the Sanctuary, how much more shall the Blood of Jesus Christ, Who for love offered Himself up as a satisfaction for us, remove sin from our souls to enable us to serve our God Most High!

Our loving Redeemer, having come into the world for no other end than that of saving sinners, and beholding the sentence of condemnation already recorded against us for our sins, what was it, then, He did? He, by His own Death, paid the penalty that was due to ourselves; and with His own Blood cancelling the sentence of the condemnation in order that the Divine justice might no more seek from us the satisfaction due, He nailed it to the same Cross whereon He died: Blotting out the handwriting of the decree that was against us, which was contrary to us. ..and the same he took out of the way, fastening it to the cross-(Col. ii. 14).

Christ entered once into the holy place, having found eternal redemption-(Heb. ix. 12). Ah, my Jesus, hadst Thou not found this mode of obtaining pardon for us, who would ever have been able to find it? It was with reason that David cried out, Declare his ways¬(Ps. ix. 12). Make known, O ye blessed, the loving contrivances which our God has employed in order to save us. Since then, O my sweet Saviour, Thou hast had such a love for me, cease not from exercising mercy towards me. Thou, by Thy Death, hast rescued me from the hands of Lucifer: into Thy hands do I consign my soul; it is for Thee to save it: Into thy hands I commend my spirit; thou hast redeemed me, OGod of truth.

II.

Little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin: but if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Just, and he is the propitiation tor our sins-(l John ii. 1). Jesus Christ did not with His Death bring to an end His intercession for us with the Eternal Father: even at the present moment He is acting as our Advocate; and it seems as if He knew not what else to do in Heaven, as St. Paul writes, but to move the Father to exercise mercy towards us: ever living to make intercession for us¬(Heb. vii. 25). And the Apostle adds that this is the end for which our Saviour is ascended into Heaven: that he may now appeal in the presence of God for us-(Heb. ix. 24}. As rebels are driven away from the presence of their king, so should we sinners have never more been deemed worthy of admission into the Presence of our God, even so much as to ask His pardon; but Jesus, as our Redeemer, makes appearance for us in the Divine Presence, and, through His merits, obtains for us the grace that we had lost: You are come to Jesus the Mediator, and to the sprinkling of blood, which speaketh better than Abel-(Heb. xii. 24}. Oh, with how much greater effect does the Blood of the Redeemer implore for us the Divine mercy, than did the blood of Abel plead for chastisement on Cain! My justice, said God to St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi, is transformed into mercy by the vengeance taken on the innocent flesh of Jesus Christ. The Blood of this My Son pleads not with Me for vengeance, like the blood of Abel, but pleads only for mercy and pity; and at the sound of this voice Mv justice cannot but rest appeased. This Blood so binds the hands of Justice that, so to speak, it cannot stir to take that vengeance upon sins which it used to take before.

Forget not the kindness of thy surety-(Ecclus. xxix. 19}. Ah, my sweet Saviour, Jesus, I was already incapable, after my sins, of making satisfaction to the Divine justice, when Thou, by Thy Death, wert willing to make satisfaction for me. Oh, what ingratitude would mine be now were I to be unmindful of this Thy so great mercy! No, my Redeemer, never will I be unmindful of it; I desire to be ever thanking Thee for it, and to how forth my thankfulness by loving Thee, and doing all that I can to please Thee. Do Thou aid me by that grace which Thou hast, by so many sufferings, merited for me. I love Thee, my Jesus, my Love, my Hope!

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