Evening Meditations for the Tenth Friday After Pentecost~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Posted by

Evening Meditation



Observe how it was foretold by Isaias: We have thought him as it were a leper, and as one stricken by God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our iniquities; he was bruised for our sins. The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, every one hath turned aside into his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Is. liii. 4-6). Jesus, full of love, offered Himself most willingly to accomplish His Father’s will, Whose will allowed Him to be outraged by executioners at their own pleasure. He was offered because it was his own will, and he opened not his mouth: He shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer (Is. liii. 7). As a lamb offers itself to be shorn without complaint, so our loving Redeemer in His Passion allowed Himself to be shorn, not of wool, but of His very skin, without opening his mouth.

What obligation did He lie under to offer satisfaction for our sins? Yet He chose to take it upon Him, that He might deliver us from eternal damnation; and therefore every one of us ought to give Him thanks, and say: Thou hast brought forth my soul, that it should not perish; Thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back (Is. xxxviii. 17).

And thus Jesus voluntarily, through His own goodness, making Himself the debtor for our debts, chose to sacrifice Himself even to death in the pains of the Cross, as He Himself says in the Gospel of St. John: I lay down my life; no one taketh it away from me, but I lay it down of myself (Jo. x. 17, 18).


St. Ambrose, writing of the Passion of our Lord, said that Jesus Christ had followers but no equals. The Saints have endeavoured to imitate Jesus Christ in suffering to render themselves like Him; but who ever attained to equalling Him in His sufferings? He truly suffered for us, more than all the penitents, all the anchorites, all the Martyrs have suffered, because God laid upon Him the weight of a rigorous satisfaction to the Divine justice for all the sins of men: The Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all (Is. liii. 6). And St. Peter writes that Jesus bore all our sins upon the Cross to pay our punishment in His most holy body: He himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree (1 Pet. ii. 24). St. Thomas writes that Jesus Christ, in redeeming us, chose to suffer such a death of pain and sorrow as would be sufficient to satisfy abundantly and rigorously for all the sins of the human race. And St. Bonaventure writes: “He chose to suffer as much pain as if He Himself had committed all our sins.” God Himself thought right to aggravate the pains of Jesus Christ, until they were equal to the entire payment of all our debts; and thus the prophecy of Isaias was fulfilled: The Lord was pleased to bruise him in infirmity (Is. liii. 10). When we read the Lives of the Martyrs it seems at first as if some of them had suffered pains more bitter than those of Jesus Christ; but St. Bonaventure says that no Martyr’s pains could ever equal in acuteness the pains of our Saviour, which were more acute than all other pains. In like manner, St. Thomas writes that the sufferings of Christ were the most severe pains that can be felt in this present life. Upon which St. Laurence Justinian writes that in each of the torments which our Lord endured, on account of the agony and intensity of the suffering, He suffered as much as all the tortures of Martyrs. And all this was predicted by King David when, speaking in the person of Christ, he said: Thy wrath is strong over me; Thy terrors have troubled me (Ps. lxxxvii. 8, 17). Thus all the wrath God had conceived against our sins, poured itself out upon the person of Jesus Christ; and thus we must interpret what the Apostle said: He was made a curse for us (Gal. 13), that is, the object of all the curses deserved by our sins.

Leave a Reply