THE PRACTICE OF THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST
XIII.-ON THE GREAT CONFIDENCE WE OUGHT TO HAVE IN THE LOVE JESUS CHRIST HAS SHOWN US AND IN ALL HE HAS DONE FOR US.
David placed all his hope of salvation in his future Redeemer, and said: Into thy hands, 0 Lord, I commend my spirit; Thou hast redeemed me, 0 Lord, the God of truth-(Ps. xxx. 6). But how much more ought we to place our confidence in Jesus Christ, now that He has come and has accomplished the work of Redemption! Hence each one of us should say, and repeat again and again with greater confidence: Into thy hands, 0 Lord, I commend my spirit; thou hast redeemed me, 0 Lord, the God of truth.
If we have great reason to fear everlasting death on account of our sins against God, we have on the other hand far greater reason to hope for everlasting life through the merits of Jesus Christ, which are infinitely more powerful for our salvation than our sins are for our damnation. We have sinned, and have deserved hell; but the Redeemer has come to take upon Himself all our offences, and to make satisfaction for them by His sufferings: Surely he hath borne our infirmities, and carried our sorrows-(Is. liii. 4). . In the same unhappy moment in which we sinned, God had already written against us the sentence of eternal death; but what has our merciful Redeemer done?
Blotting out the handwriting of the decree which was against us … the same he took out of the way, fastening it to the cross-(Col. ii. 14). He cancelled by His Blood the decree of our condemnation, and then fastened it to the Cross, in order that, when we look at the sentence of our damnation for the sins we have committed, we may at the same time see the Cross on which Jesus Christ died and blotted out this sentence by His Blood, and so regain hope of pardon and everlasting life.
Oh, how far more powerfully does the Blood of Jesus Christ speak for us, and obtain mercy for us from God, than did the blood of Abel speak against Cain! You are come to Jesus, the mediator of the New Testament, and to the sprinkling of blood, which speaketh better than that of Abel-(Heb. xii. 24). As if the Apostle had said: “0 sinners, happy are you to be able, after you have sinned, to have recourse to Jesus crucified, Who has shed all His Blood in order to become the Mediator of peace between sinners and God, and to obtain pardon for them! Your iniquities cry out against you, but the Blood of the Redeemer pleads in your favour; and the Divine justice cannot but be appeased by the voice of this Precious Blood.”
It is true that we shall have to render a rigorous account to the Eternal Judge of all our sins. But who is to be our Judge? The Father hath committed all judgments to the Son-(John v. 22). Let us comfort ourselves; the Eternal Father has committed our judgment to our own Redeemer. Therefore St. Paul encourages us, saying: Who is he that shall condemn? Christ Jesus who died . . . who also maketh intercession for us–(Rom. viii. 34). Who is the Judge to condemn us? It is that same Saviour Who, in order not to condemn us to everlasting death, vouchsafed Himself to be condemned and to die; and not content with this. at this moment intercedes with His Father for our salvation. Hence St. Thomas of Villanova says: What do you fear, 0 sinner, if you detest your sin? How will He condemn you, Who died in order not to condemn you? How will He cast you from Him, if you return to His feet, He Who came from Heaven to seek you at the very time you were flying from Him?