You and I have been “redeemed”, (yes, like an empty soda bottle) bought back from the devil at the price of Jesus’ sinless life. He made us, He lost us --due to our own sinful choices-- and He bought us back. He gave His life to purchase us and set us free. ("For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body." 1 Corinthians 6:20).
St. Bonaventure boldly proclaims, “He who desires to go on advancing from virtue to virtue, from grace to grace, should meditate continually on the Passion of Jesus … there is no practice more profitable for the entire sanctification of the soul than the frequent meditation of the sufferings of Jesus Christ.”
This past Sunday we read the Passion of our Lord according to the Gospel of Mark. I am sure I am not alone when I say that it pained me each time the text prompted me to yell out with the crowd, “Crucify Him!” It was like a punch in the gut...did you feel it too? And yet it is such a clear reminder that it was for my sins, my rejection, my denials of Him that He suffered and died. And through this great act of love--(“Mount Calvary is the academy of love." according to St. Francis de Sales) He accomplished His great purpose-- redemption!
So, the the punch in the gut feeling...
compassion= "feeling of sorrow or pity excited by the sufferings or misfortunes of another," mid-14c. literally "a suffering with another". "com"= with, "passion"= suffering. Sometimes in Middle English it meant a literal sharing of affliction or suffering with another. Properly, to be moved as to one's bowels, (for the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity).
Jesus is “love-sick” for us, He has compassion for us and suffers with us in the misery of our sin and when we realize and own our sin and clearly understand that it was for THIS sin, our sin, my sin, that He suffered and died, we suffer too.
But the awesome news is this: He does not leave us in our suffering and misery…when we confess our sins and receive His forgiveness, He raises us to new life with Him!
Just you wait...Sunday’s comin’!
“Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love; in your abundant compassion blot out my transgressions.” Psalm 51:3
Thank You for dying for me, for paying for my sin and by Your grace, raising me up and setting me free! Thank You that together we can do all things through the strength of Your Spirit that lives inside of me! Thank You that death and suffering do not have the final word because of what You have done! Praises be to You Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory! Come! And be resurrected in me!
I ask this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.