Friday, April 10, 2020

On the Son Who Became a Servant

by Justin Soutar

Today is Good Friday. Today we devoutly recall and prayerfully reflect upon the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation. Today we contemplate in silent awe this profound mystery of God's infinite love for sinful humanity and for each one of us. This mind-boggling love impelled the Creator to send his own co-equal and eternal Son to earth as a man, a creature, to be tortured and executed by his own creatures. Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God, willingly took upon himself the unimaginably horrific burden of all the sins ever committed and the eternal punishment due for them, freely and deliberately offering himself as a sacrifice to the Father so that we might be freed from sin and spared the awful destiny of eternal separation from God. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that whoever believes in him may not perish, but may have eternal life" (John 3:16). Divine justice and divine mercy are seamlessly united in Christ's unique sacrifice on the Cross, which is made present in the celebration of each Mass.

This is the incomparable mystery of the all-holy God who purifies his sinful creatures, the King of Heaven who ministers to his unfaithful earthly subjects, the Lord and Master who washes the feet of his servants who betray and abandon him. Jesus is the Son of God who humbled himself to become a suffering servant so that we, God's servants, might be exalted to the status of his adopted sons and daughters. What the animal sacrifices of the Old Covenant merely symbolized and prefigured, Christ himself has definitively accomplished: atonement for sin. Fully divine and fully human, Jesus Christ is the greatest hero of world history because by his one and only sacrifice on the Cross he atoned for all human sin, thus making possible the reconciliation of fallen humanity with God.

"We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world."

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