His redeeming love

During His three years of public life, we find Our Lord preaching His gospel to the Jews, confirming it by miracles, and recruiting and forming a number of chosen followers among whom twelve take a prominent place. His fame spread throughout the whole country, He spoke as one having power and authority and His influence became so great, that the Pharisees and Scribes, fearing for their own position, began to plot against Him. But the Jews began to hope that He was the deliverer for whom they had waited so long. To understand their attitude we should remember that the tradition of a Redeemer to come had been confirmed and developed by a long line of prophets sent by God – but in the minds of an oppressed people, suffering under the foreign yoke of the Romans, it had taken on a more political colour. Among the Jews in the time of our Lord, there was a widely spread hope of a redeemer who would come as a king to free Israel from its subjection and restore the ancient kingdom of the Jews. The religious and political aspects of this redemption could be found mingled in varying proportions in many minds. Despite our Lord’s insistence upon the true nature of His kingdom, even His own chosen twelve apostles, who were so closely associated with Him, did not escape from the popular error. When Our Lord began to speak of His own death as a criminal on the cross, consternation took hold of them, so much so, that Peter, who was to be the head of His followers, remonstrated with His Master and earned a sharp rebuke from the lips of Christ.

The triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday seemed to lend colour to the Jewish hopes of national deliverance – the people acclaimed Him as their king and gave Him a public reception of such enthusiasm that it only needed a definite sign from Him to start a general movement for national deliverance.

To us, it might seem that this was the opportune occasion to seize temporal power as a means to building up a spiritual empire. Such was not our Lord’s plan, nor were these developments anything but an accidental result of His policy. All His work was directed quite differently. The kingdom of God, He preached, is within you (Luke 17:21). In fact, when one remembers who our Lord really was, and what infinite power was at His disposal, the whole wonder of His public life is not the marvelous works He actually did, but the many and more wonderful works which He could have done and did not do. And one gets the impression that, throughout all this period, His chief desire was to press on to the final stage of His life – that the works of His public ministry formed but a small part of His plan, a part perfectly performed, but still something that He seemed to have far less at heart than the final stage – the baptism wherewith He was to be baptized (Luke 12:50) – and to which He hurries on, if one may say so, with the impatience of a lover.

Our standards cannot be adopted to measure this period, of which certain things are noteworthy. He wrote nothing with His pen – He shared the work of preaching with His disciples and eventually left the whole of that ministry to them – great as were the works which He performed, His disciples were to do still greater – the one pre-eminence He seemed determined to reserve for Himself was that of suffering. Looking at His work as it appeared on the day of His death, it seemed to have been a complete failure. The crowds who had acclaimed Him on the previous Sunday, are replaced on Friday by a mob who clamor for His death. The thousands who heard Him and saw His wonderful miracles, and who were helped by Him and healed by Him, seem to have disappeared. At His death on the cross we find only His Mother, one of the apostles, a few faithful women – and in a crowd, a few of His followers, whose eminence, perhaps, gave them courage to be present. He Himself is branded as an impostor, disgraced as a criminal, and put to a death that carries with it the stigma of the deepest degradation.

All this is part of a plan, but the plan is one which shatters our standards of value. On that very end of our Lord’s life, which material standards condemn as a complete failure, the whole history of the human race hangs in eternal dependence. Since our Lord was God, since the Person who acted and suffered in the human nature of Christ, was divine, all His acts were of infinite value. Had God so willed, any single one of them, however small, would have been more than sufficient to satisfy for the sins of the world and to redeem all men. Yet God’s love had decided otherwise. For His own wise reasons, to help men to understand the enormity of sin, to win their confidence and their love, and to show them His own immense love and desire for their happiness, God had decreed that the salvation of the world would be purchased by the Passion and Death of His Son.

 

(I will not be at the computer throughout Holy Week. God bless you all).

26 Responses to “His redeeming love”


  1. 1 Karinann March 26, 2010 at 11:21

    Beautiful post Gabriella. I think the other reason God permitted the Passion and death of His Son was to show us the value of suffering. Because of Christ’s suffering, ours too if offered with His has infinite value in God’s eyes.
    Have a blessed Holy Week and a joyous Easter!

  2. 2 Victor S E MOUBARAK March 26, 2010 at 12:04

    I wish a blessed and prayerful Holy Week to you and your readers.

    God bless.

  3. 3 anne bender March 26, 2010 at 12:28

    A blessed Holy Week to you Gabriella! Thanks for all that you do! You are a blessing to Catholics and Christians everywhere! My prayers for you and your family!

  4. 4 Jeffrey Low March 26, 2010 at 12:50

    Wonderful post!
    I also agree with Karinann.

    “Our Lord subjected his might, and they seized him,
    so that through his living death he might give life to Adam.
    He gave his hands to be pierced by nails
    to make up for the hand which plucked the fruit.
    He was struck on his cheek in the judgment room
    to make up for the mouth that ate in Eden.
    And while Adam’s foot was free, his feet were pierced.
    Our Lord was stripped that we might be clothed.
    With the gall and vinegar he sweetened
    the poison of the serpent which had bitten men”.

    – St. Ephrem (A Syrian deacon who wrote around 350 A.D.)

  5. 5 Cathy March 26, 2010 at 13:08

    “Since our Lord was God, since the Person who acted and suffered in the human nature of Christ, was divine, all His acts were of infinite value.” These words have great import. I reflect today on what I place “value” and where that “value” should be redirected. Thank you! Blessings to you this Holy Week!

  6. 6 Raman Chakravorthy March 26, 2010 at 13:23

    Thank you Gabriella for helping us meditate on Our Lord.
    I think all Catholics should abstain from computers (except work of course) at least on Holy Week.

    There is so much going on in my life, Lord. So many things that I am concerned with, worried about, and fearful of. And there are so many distractions, that I am unable to find you and feel your presence.
    Speak to me Lord, in my everyday experiences. Make me still that I may recognize You as the God of my joys, my successes, my victories, even as you are the God of my concerns, my worries, and my fears.
    My Lord Jesus, I beg for the grace of inner silence, that I may hear You speak to my life. I beg for the grace of stillness, that I might feel how, true to Your promise, You are with me always.

    Greetings to all from India!

  7. 7 Judy March 26, 2010 at 13:32

    Thank you Gabriella.
    May God bless you too!

  8. 8 Korrigan March 26, 2010 at 14:44

    Palm Sunday is the beginning of the holiest week of the year.
    During the first Holy Week, two thousand years ago, Jesus achieved victory over sin and evil.
    During this Holy Week, he wants to extend that victory into our lives, into the parts of our lives that still need it, that still haven’t learned how to live the paradox of Palm Sunday.
    He wants to come into our hearts this Holy Week in the same way he came into Jerusalem, humbly and peacefully, riding on a donkey colt.
    • Then, it was a literal donkey colt.
    • Now, the donkey that brings Christ into our hearts is the Church.
    The wonderful extraordinary liturgical celebrations of this coming week, as beautiful as they are, will only be a dim shadow of the true glory of Christ that they represent, a humble vehicle, like the donkey.
    But the liturgy is also a dependable vehicle, like the donkey, and Jesus will be truly present in them.
    We just have to open the gates in the walls around our hearts.
    And we can do that by making this week different:
    • by turning off the radio and television more often than usual,
    • by spending our time in prayer and not online,
    • by quietly visiting Jesus in church, meditating, praying and keeping him company.

  9. 9 pablo March 26, 2010 at 17:17

    Dear Mrs. Gabriela,

    May God grant you and your readers the extra graces He gives during Lent.

    Thank you for helping edify our souls through your blog.

    Our hearts are not big enough to contain the love and respect we have for you, so we ask Christ to take you and your loved ones into His most Sacred Heart, and keep you there always.

    Que Dios te bendiga.

    pablo

    ^

  10. 10 churchmouse March 26, 2010 at 18:26

    Thank you, Gabriella, for a beautiful weekend meditation. I particularly liked the line ‘Our standards cannot be adopted to measure this period’ — something to consider during Holy Week. How we delight in so many things that go against Christ’s life and what He wants for us!

    Have a good Holy Week and a blessed Easter!

  11. 11 Daily Grace March 26, 2010 at 19:45

    The kingdom of God is within you! That says an awful lot doesn’t it, as do the words “to help men to understand the enormity of sin”.

    Your insightfulness is a blessing. Thank you Gabriella

    May you have a good Holy Week and a blessed Easter too!

  12. 12 Cinzia March 27, 2010 at 09:46

    Raman – what a beautiful prayer you say! I will recite it daily this week and maybe forever! Korrigan what you say is also beautiful, and so are everyone else’s comments.

    I wish you all a blessed and happy Easter with the Risen Christ in your hearts.

    All of you should know that I get a huge sense of daily joy and relief and comfort from this blog and from all of your regular comments. They are all like a breath of fresh air when everything else around me seems to crumble.

    When I say crumble, this is the sort of thing I am talking about: I have just returned from the Palm Sunday Vigil Mass at the local parish near my home. I tolerated the usual nursery rhyme songs that no one knows and all those horrid Novus Ordo things like the reader going up to the sanctuary dressed in a dirty old baggy tee-shirt, shorts, dirty socks and those damn awful rubber sneakers … and so on – BUT I was shocked and totally dejected to discover that the Passion of our Lord that is usually read on Palm Sunday had been cut short – at least two thirds of it had been omitted. Ironically, the priest started by asking everyone to sit because “this is a long reading ….” 😦 As it turned out, it was shamefully and disgracefully short.

    I believe this to be the absolute pits of shamefulness, that we can’t even stand and listen to the entire narration of our Lord’s passion, suffering and death, not even once a year during Holy Week … we have to sit comfortably while most of the gospel narrative has been ripped apart and deleted. Even some of the words that Our Lord said on the cross just before he died had been cut off.

    Shame, shame and more shame on those in authority in the Church itself who do these sorts of things. Shame on them!!

    Lord, forgive them all for they know not what they are doing ….

    I am feeling so dejected! Things seem to get worse every year. Now I am wondering how much is left of the commemorations of Good Friday.

  13. 13 Arturo C. March 27, 2010 at 12:02

    Bella riflessione.

    Cinzia, è vero. Quanto racconti è una vergogna. E anch’io mi sento molto giù per un altro fatto vergognoso.

    Questa mattina ho per caso ascoltato un sacerdote, un certo Don Maggi mi sembra di Ancona, che in Tv RAi Uno durante un programma sui gay ha dichiarato che la Chiesa purtroppo è sempre indietro nei tempi e che non c’è niente di male se due gay si amano e vivono insieme e che dobbiamo tutti stare tranquilli perchè la dottrina si aggiorna coi tempi e presto la chiesa capirà che non c’è nulla di male nell’amore fra due gay!

    Figurati! Un sacco di applausi e le persone in studio tutti a dire Oh, che boccata di aria pura questo sacerdote!

    Signore, perdonaci.

  14. 14 Tullio March 27, 2010 at 16:26

    Siamo diversi, per età, abitudini, carattere, opinioni, ma noi Cattolici siamo un unico popolo, un’unica famiglia, la famiglia di Dio, che in questi giorni si stringe in unità attorno a Gesù nell’ora della passione. Oggi noi percorriamo la vicenda dolorosa di un uomo che non ha voluto salvare se stesso e non ha rinunciato ad amare fino alla fine. Per questo è stato appeso alla croce. Il suo amore suonava e suona anche oggi di scandalo in un mondo di donne e uomini che amano poco e sono preoccupati di mettere al sicuro se stessi. La voce del nostro mondo non è diversa da quella di chi si rivolgeva a lui crocifisso dicendo: “Salva te stesso”. È un ritornello prepotente, che vuole convincerci che il problema dell’uomo e della donna è pensare a sé e non agli altri. Sembra una legge di vita e di sopravvivenza, soprattutto nei tempi difficili come il nostro, in cui ognuno si sente vittima e incolpa gli altri delle sue difficoltà. Ma Gesù ci aveva ammoniti: “Chi vuol salvare la propria vita, la perderà; chi perde la propria vita per causa mia e del Vangelo, la salverà.” Questo è il segreto della vita cristiana e in questi giorni noi lo possiamo scoprire seguendo Gesù e ascoltando la sua parola.

    Vi auguro a tutti una Settimana Santa totalmente in volontà di Cristo.

  15. 15 Shania March 27, 2010 at 19:19

    Once upon a time, a long time ago, there lived a King. He was no ordinary king. He was different from other kings because He did everything backwards from the way other kings did them. From the very day he was born, you could tell that this king was going to be different. Most kings are usually born in a palace, but this king was born in a stable surrounded by donkeys, sheep and cows. It wasn’t a very big beginning for a king. In fact, very few people even knew that a king had been born. Only a handful of shepherds and three wise men got the word that a king had been born.
    As the infant king grew into a man, he continued to be different from other kings. While most kings spent all of their time building up riches of silver, gold, and jewels, this king owned nothing at all. And while most kings surrounded themselves with servants, He chose to be a servant. He could often be found helping others.
    As time went on, people became very unhappy with their King because He just didn’t act the way that they thought a king should act. Instead of riding into town on a big white horse the way other kings usually did, their king rode into town on the back of a donkey. Was that any way for a king to act?
    And the people He chose to be his friends! His closest friends were a bunch of smelly fishermen and He could often be seen visiting with the poor and eating with sinners.
    Finally the people decided that they had put up with this King long enough. If He couldn’t act the way a king should act, then they didn’t want Him to be their king any more. They made a plan to have Him arrested and thrown into prison.
    Their plan worked. When the day came for his trial, the King stood before the people. Instead of shouting “Hail to the King, Long live the King!” they shouted, “Crucify Him! He is not our king! Crucify Him!.” So they crucified the King. They nailed Him to a cross; they put a crown made of thorns on his head; they poked Him with sharp sticks and made fun of Him. What a way for a king to die! After He was crucified, they took His body and put it in a borrowed tomb.
    Wait, that isn’t the end of the story. Remember … this King was different! King Backward rose from the grave to live forever. Now, instead of being the Backward King, He is the Forever King. He is the King to anyone who chooses Him to be their King. Oh, there are still some people who call Him “King Backward,” but those who know Him don’t call Him that … they call him King Jesus!

  16. 16 Cinzia March 27, 2010 at 23:49

    Ciao Arturo – purtroppo di storie cosi ce ne sono troppe. Di comportamenti terribili durante la Santa Messa ne ho constatati moltissimi … sia da parte dei preti che da parte dei laici. Ce ne avrei di storie da far rabbrividire!

    Ho scritto numerose volte anche all’arcivescovo di Melbourne, ma cio’ non ha cambiato molto … la Santa Messa che lui celebra nella cattedrale ogni domenica e’ bellissima, con aria tradizionale anche se in inglese … ma chissa’ perche’ sembra che non si preoccupi affatto di tutte le altre chiese e parrocchie della sua diocesi.

    Bellissima anche la tua riflessione Tullio. E’ proprio vero che non e’ cambiato nulla in piu’ di 2000 anni. Io ritengo le parole di Gesu’ “Padre perdonali perche’ non sanno quello che fanno” di avere un significato colossale.

    Che tristezza testimoniare oggi quante persone – migliaia e migliaia – che non ne vogliono sapere del loro Redentore. Addirittura moltissimi lo odiano e lo disprezzano, proprio come quelli che lo hanno flagellato e gli hanno sputato addosso.

    Ma noi stiamo con Lui e in questa settimana santa preghiamo con piu’ ardore dicendo anche noi “Padre perdonali perche’ non sanno quello che fanno.”

    Mio Signore, voglio stare con te per sempre …

  17. 17 andrea March 27, 2010 at 23:54

    Concordo perfettamente con Tullio.

    Salvare noi stessi nell’atto dell’assecondare gli istinti umani. Sopraffare i più deboli,arrivare prima per occupare un posto vuoto,scalare la vetta della soddisfazione personale,sistemarsi e vivere felici e contenti(secondo la logica del mondo),dichiarare guerre,escludere il prossimo perchè scomodo,insultare e ridere del prossimo,mettersi sempre al sicuro,…tutte cose dell’uomo istintivo e primordiale,quello che tende alla conservazione della propria specie. Seguire l’istinto o seguire la correzione,e cioè,la Grazia che ci innalza alla divinità? Scegliere l’animalità o perseguire la vera dignità dell’uomo,la dignità di “figli di Dio”?
    Da qui le allegorie infernali,nell’ambito delle quali,l’uomo condannato all’inferno assume morfologia di bestie. Blaise Pascal diceva:”L’uomo non è né angelo né bestia, e disgrazia vuole che chi vuol fare l’angelo fa la bestia”. Rinunciare all’umanità(quella degli istinti) per la Verità è una lotta senza quartiere,ricolma di tentazioni di ogni genere e forma e dunque segnata dell’emblema della sofferenza. La via,infatti,come diceva Kierkegaard, è stretta,stretta dall’inizio alla fine. Non è una strada facile quella di essere seguitori di Gesù. Abbiamo di fronte una via stretta ed in salita,una salita circondata da mille e mille voci. Tra di esse quello che vale è solo lo sguardo silenzioso e virtuoso di Gesù che sa quel che fa parla con la vita ciò che ha detto con la bocca. Inevitabilmente si scontra con il mondo,anzi,il mondo furibondo gli va addosso,come quando lo andarono a prendere per arrestarlo e lo schiaffeggiarono. Gesù ha deluso le aspettative del ragionamento mondano,della libertà terrena guadagnata con l’onore delle armi. Aspettavano infatti in condottiero secondo i modi della terra,ma hanno avuto di fronte un tale che ha detto invece “porgi l’altra guancia”.La confusione,la rabbia e l’odio furente del mondo,che si vede scoperto dalla “luce”. E così uccisero anche il figlio del padrone della vigna(parabola dei vignaioli omicidi). Anche noi,in quanto esseri umani nati da polvere e dotati di istintività terrena,tendiamo a salvaguardare noi stessi e dunque il nostro Ego,la nostra “vita” e tendiamo ad eliminare ciò che ci da fastidio,in quanto visto come un ostacolo alla nostra vita,alla nostra,per così dire,felicità. A volte,la Parola di Dio,da così fastidio che si finge di non credervi o di sostituirlo con qualcos’altro,magari anche senza rinunciare alla spiritualità(e così nascono tutte quelle pseudo religioni). Ma Gesù dice appunto “Chi vuol salvare la propria vita, la perderà; chi perde la propria vita per causa mia e del Vangelo, la salverà.” Gesù non ci toglie nulla,come diceva qualche tempo fa il carissimo Benedetto XVI. Mentre il mondo infatti propone la morte in cambio della vita,Dio invece chiede la nostra vita per donarci la Vita,come Lui ha donato la sua vita per la nostra vita. Nessuno capirà il sacrificio di Gesù(ed anzi lo disprezzerà),se non attraverso la Grazia di Dio,quella della conversione,che non è un termine solo per vecchi o malati,come dicono alcuni(la voce del mondo che ha in odio la Verità perchè attesta che le sue opere sono malvagie),ma è una realtà,una presa di posizione che tocca tutti gli uomini. Seguire la Verità e lasciarsi perdonare da Dio,oppure seguire quella che egoisticamente chiamiamo “la nostra vita”? E guai a chi ce la tocca…per questo hanno ucciso Gesù,non i giudei lo hanno fatto,ma gli uomini di sempre!

    saluti

  18. 18 Cinzia March 28, 2010 at 01:27

    Andrea – WOW!! Mi sbalordisci sempre … tu si che hai capito!

    Se solo tutti i commenti vostri potessero essere usati come omelie in chiesa, invece di ascoltare settimana dopo settimane tante parole “sciacquate e dilungate con acqua” che non valgono un bel niente.

    Grazie Andrea, grazie Gabriella, e grazie a tutti. Buona Pasqua.

  19. 19 Mary Nicewarner March 28, 2010 at 01:42

    God bless you, Gabriella. Thanks for this post. I especially loved the last few paragraphs, the depths of God’s love for us really hits me when I meditate on Jesus’ passion and death on the cross.
    Have a good week and a Happy Easter🙂

  20. 21 ginny March 29, 2010 at 14:22

    Thank you Gabriella for this posting. We need to turn to our Redeemer, especially here in the US. We live in a sin cursed country and in dire need to be saved.

  21. 22 Duilio April 2, 2010 at 18:10

    L’amore ci si rivela nell’Incarnazione, nel cammino redentore di Gesù Cristo sulla nostra terra, fino al sacrificio supremo della Croce. E, sulla Croce, si manifesta con un nuovo segno: “Uno dei soldati gli colpì il costato con la lancia e subito ne uscì sangue e acqua” (Gv 19, 34). Acqua e sangue di Gesù che ci parlano di una donazione realizzata sino in fondo, sino al consummatum est: tutto è compiuto (Gv 19, 30), per amore.

  22. 23 Osteria Volante April 2, 2010 at 22:50

    Ciao Gabriella,
    ti faccio ora tanti auguri di una Santa Pasqua perché da domani sono fuori. Ciao!

    L’oste

  23. 25 Elizabeth Mahlou April 4, 2010 at 08:15

    Wishing you a blessed Easter! (I, too, have taken the week off from writing posts.)

  24. 26 booklady April 6, 2010 at 03:10

    Happy Easter and many blessings for you and yours!


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In Domino laudabitur anima mea.





"That sense of the sacred dogmas is to be faithfully kept which Holy Mother Church has once declared, and is not to be departed from under the specious pretext of a more profound understanding."- Pope Leo XIII, Testem Benevolentiae

Nessuno di noi entrerà in Paradiso senza portare con sé un fratello o una sorella. Ciascuno di noi deve uscire dalla folla e reggersi sulle proprie gambe, fiero di essere un Cattolico e capace di testimoniare la sua Fede.
Ci stiamo comportando come se la Fede Cattolica fosse un affare privato. Questo non è affatto vero. Penso che potremo andare molto, molto lontano, se riusciremo a convincere tutti i Cattolici a farsi carico della salvezza del mondo intero.
Il mondo ha bisogno di essere salvato e deve essere ciascuno di noi a farlo.




Cantate …


Cantate Domino canticum novum. Cantate Domino omnis terra. Cantate Domino et benedicite nomini Ejus. Annuntiate de die in diem salutare Ejus.

Causa nostrae laetitiae




“We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe”.
(John Henry Newman)



Pueris manus imponit

Iesus vero ait eis - Sinite parvulos, et nolite eos prohibere ad me venire - talium est enim regnum caelorum.




“There is another essential aspect of Christianity: the interior, the silent, the contemplative, in which hidden wisdom is more important than practical organizational science, and in which love replaces the will to get visible results”.
(Thomas Merton)



Lo Spirito Santo


Uno dei Suoi nomi è "Consolatore"!




Confession

Confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin. All hope consists in confession. In confession there is a chance for mercy. Believe it firmly. Do not doubt, do not hesitate, never despair of the mercy of God. Hope and have confidence in confession.




“Almeno sei volte durante gli ultimi anni mi sono trovato nella situazione di convertirmi senza esitazione al cattolicesimo, se non mi avesse trattenuto dal compiere il gesto azzardato l'averlo già fatto”.
(G.K. Chesterton)



"Whatsoever I have or hold, You have given me; I give it all back to You and surrender it wholly to be governed by your will. Give me only your love and your grace, and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more."

(St. Ignatius of Loyola - Spiritual Exercises, #234)



"Mia madre è stata veramente una martire; non a tutti Gesù concede di percorrere una strada così facile, per arrivare ai suoi grandi doni, come ha concesso a mio fratello e a me, dandoci una madre che si uccise con la fatica e le preoccupazioni per assicurarsi che noi crescessimo nella fede".
J.R.R. Tolkien scrisse queste parole nove anni dopo la morte di sua madre.






Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13)




“Beati sarete voi quando vi oltraggeranno e perseguiteranno, e falsamente diranno di voi ogni male per cagion mia. Rallegratevi ed esultate perché grande è la vostra ricompensa nei cieli”.