Today’s ✠Challoner Meditation: December 20th On Our Saviour as our sacrifice

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by
✠Challoner Meditation 20th December



Consider first, that the Son of God by his incarnation did not only come amongst us to be our king and our priest, but to be our sacrifice too, and in that quality to be an inexhaustible source of all good to our souls. Man, from the beginning, always owed to his God the homage of adoration, praise, and glory; he was ever bound to make him the best offerings he was able; he owed his God perpetual thanksgiving for his perpetual goodness and bounty to him; and he was ever bound to acknowledge, by prayer, his total dependence upon this giver of all good gifts, without whom he could do nothing. But after sin he contracted a new debt, by which he was bound to make satisfaction also to the divine justice for the offence he had committed. hence we find, from the beginning of the world, frequent mention in the scriptures of sacrifices offered to God; hence, in the law, were so many ordinances, relating to burnt-offerings, sin-offerings, and peace-offerings: as so many different kinds of sacrifices to answer the different branches of man’s duty to his maker. But alas! how little proportion was there in all, or any of these ancient sacrifices, with those great ends for which they were offered! How insignificant in itself, (abstracting from that sacrifice to come, of which they were all types,) was all that homage, adoration, glory, and thanksgiving, which was paid to the infinite majesty of God by these oblations of oxen, goats, and sheep! How much less could the blood of oxen or blood of goats take away sins, or be a proper atonement for the great sin of the world, by which man had fallen from his God! Therefore the Son of God came by his incarnation to make himself the victim and sacrifice of all mankind, to substitute himself instead of all those ancient burnt-offerings, sin-offerings, and peace-offerings; to answer in a most perfect manner all the ends of sacrifice; and to wash away all our sins with his own most precious blood. O blessed be his name through all generations, for his infinite goodness to us!

Consider 2ndly, what great things the Son of God has done for us all in making himself our sacrifice; and what great things he has enabled us to do by virtue of his sacrifice. In dying for us upon the cross, he has made himself a holocaust or whole burnt-offering for us, of most sweet savour to his heavenly Father; a sacrifice of homage, adoration, praise, and glory, worthy of the infinite majesty of God, because of the infinite dignity both of the offerer and of the offering. In bowing down his head, and yielding up his spirit for us by his death he has also made an oblation of himself, infinitely agreeable to his Father, for all the other ends of sacrifice – here he offered a thanksgiving, truly worthy of God, both for himself and for us; a peace-offering of infinite value, for purchasing peace and all happiness for us, and for opening in our favour all the fountains of grace and life; and particularly he here made himself a sin-offering for us all; a victim of propitiation of infinite virtue, for taking away all the sins of the world, and reconciling and bringing back lost man to an eternal union with his God. And this great sacrifice of his, with all its fruits, he has in such a manner made over to us, as to authorize and enable us to offer up the same sacrifice with him, and in his name, to his Father, for all the same ends as he did; and to give thereby infinite glory to God, and to procure infinite blessings to ourselves and to all the world.

Consider 3rdly, that this sacrifice which Christ our Lord offered up to his Father on the altar of the cross, (as a homage and adoration, which, as man, he paid to him by his death; a thank-offering of infinite value, as an atonement of sin more than sufficient to cancel the sins of ten thousand worlds, though infinite in malice; and as an oblation of infinite merit, in the way of prayer and impetration of all graces and blessings from God for all mankind, both for time and eternity,) did not expire by his death, no more than his priesthood did. The whole victim of his sacrifice was restored to him again at his resurrection, and he has carried it with him, at his ascension, to the sanctuary of heaven; where with it, he continually gives adoration and thanks to his Father, both in his own and our name, and continually pleads for mercy and grace for us. But this is not all; he has also appointed this same sacrifice to be kept up for ever in his church, in the sacred mysteries; and to be offered up daily for the like intentions, on thousands of altars, in all nations, as long as the world shall endure: himself in person, though invisibly officiating there, both as priest and victim – both as offerer and offering. See then, my soul, if anything more can be desired to make us completely happy, who have continually amongst us such a sacrifice, in which we have the source of all happiness, and the sovereign means of all good.

Conclude never to be wanting on thy part in a due correspondence in all these graces and blessings of heaven, which the Son of God has purchased for thee by his sacrifice, and which he daily seeks to enrich thee with, by the application of the fruits of his sacrifice, in the daily oblation of his own body and blood. O learn then, my soul, to unite all thy performances with those of the Son of God – incarnate for the love of thee – and daily offer thyself with him, who daily offers himself in sacrifice for the love of thee! Unite all thy adoration, praise, and thanksgiving, with that which thy Saviour, as man, continually presents to his Father in heaven, and with all that which he daily offers him on a million of altars here upon earth; and thy adoration, praise, and thanksgiving, will not fail of being accepted. In like manner unite all thy prayers and supplications for mercy with those of Jesus Christ, and with his sacrifice; and thou wilt always find through him both mercy and grace.

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