JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR US
He hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.
He hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood. Behold, O men, how far the love of Jesus for us has carried him, in order to cleanse us from the filthiness of our sins. He has even shed every drop of his blood that he might prepare for us in this his own blood a bath of salvation: “He offers his own blood,“ says a learned writer, “speaking better than the blood of Abel: for that cried for justice; the blood of Christ for mercy.”
Whereupon St. Bonaventure exclaims, “O good Jesus, what hast Thou done?'” O my Saviour, what indeed hast Thou done? How far hath Thy love carried Thee? What hast Thou seen in me which hath made Thee love me so much? “Wherefore hast Thou loved me so much? Why, Lord, why? What am I?'” Wherefore didst Thou choose to suffer so much for me? Who am I that Thou wouldst win to Thyself my love at so dear a price? Oh, it was entirely the work of Thy in finite love! Be Thou eternally praised and blessed for it.
O all ye that pass by the way, attend and see if there be any sorrow like to My sorrow. The same seraphic Doctor, considering these words of Jeremias as spoken of our blessed Redeemer while he was hanging on the cross dying for the love of us, says, ” Yes, Lord, I will attend and see if there be any love like unto Thy love.” ‘By which he means, I do indeed see and understand, O my most loving Redeemer, how much Thou didst suffer upon that infamous tree; but what most constrains me to love Thee is the thought of the affection which Thou hast shown me in suffering so much, in order that I might love Thee.
That which most inflamed St. Paul with the love of Jesus was the thought that he chose to die, not only for all men, but for him in particular: He loved me, and delivered Himself up for me? Yes, he has loved me, said he, and for my sake he gave himself up to die. And thus ought every one of us to say; for St. John Chrysostom asserts that God has loved every individual man with the same love with which he has loved the world: “He loves each man separately with the same measure of charity with which he loves the whole world.” So that each one of us is under as great obligation to Jesus Christ for having suffered for every one, as if he had suffered for him alone.
For supposing, my brother, Jesus Christ had died to save you alone, leaving all others to their original ruin, what a debt of gratitude you would owe to him ‘ But you ought to feel that you owe him a greater obligation still for having died for the salvation of all. For if he had died for you alone, what sorrow would it not have caused you to think that your neighbors, parents, brothers, and friends would be damned, and that you would, when this life was over, be forever separated from them? If you and your family had been slaves, and some one came to rescue you alone, how would you not entreat of him to save your parents and brothers together with yourself! And how much would you thank him if he did this to please you! Say, therefore, to Jesus:
O my sweetest Redeemer! Thou hast done this for me without my having asked Thee; Thou hast not only saved me from death at the price of Thy blood, but also my parents and friends, so that I may have a good hope that we may all together enjoy Thy presence forever in paradise. O Lord! I thank Thee, and I love Thee, and I hope to thank Thee for it, and to love Thee forever in that blessed country.
By St. Alphonsus de Liguori