Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ember Wednesday


St. Paul said:
“if I speak (i.e. languages) without love, I am no more than a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. And though I have the power of prophecy, to penetrate all mysteries and knowledge and though I have all the faith necessary to move mountains. If I am without love, I am nothing. Though I should give away to the poor all that I possess and even give up my body to be burned. If I am without love, it will do me no good whatever” (1Cor. 13:1-3). We may then begin to imagine here what aspect of love is he talking about.

The Holy Scriptures say:
“You must see what great love the Father has lavished on us by letting us be called God's children” (1Jn. 3:1); “This is the revelation of God's love for us, that God sent His only Son into the world that we might have life through Him. Love consists in this: it is not we who loved God, but God loved us and sent His Son to expiate our sins” (1 Jn. 4:9 10). The depth of God's love was shown to the world by sending His Son to die on the cross and opened for us the grace of the Sacraments, as a fountain of graces necessary to lead us to eternal life- “on that day, a fountain will be opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to cleanse themselves of sin and defilement” (Zach. 13:1-6). It is the cleansing power and merit of the expiatory sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross that make us worthy to be called children of God - “but as many as received Him, He gave them power to be made the sons of God…who are born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (i.e. rebirth through the Sacraments, Jn. 1:12-13); “how much more will the blood of Christ, who offered Himself, blameless as He was, to God through the eternal Spirit, purify our conscience from dead actions so that we can worship the living God” (Heb. 9:14).

The main purpose of sending His Son into this world is to restore for mortals, the life of grace; a sharing in the Divine life of God, which was lost in Adam, (without which we remain disgusting in the sight of God - "And we are all became as one unclean, and all our justice
as the rag of a menstrous woman: and we have all fallen as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind have taken us away" Isa. 64:6). And this life of grace we receive through the Sacraments which Christ established with His death on the Cross. Christ continues to communicate this life of grace through the Sacraments, so that the merits and effects of His death will reach His children in all generations. Therefore, whenever we fail to cherish them with love, gratitude, reverence and good deposition, it amount to abuse of God's love - “No one who believes in Him will be judged; but whoever does not believe is judged already,… and the judgment is this: though the Light has come into the world, people have preferred darkness to the Light” (Jn. 3:18-19).