St. Alphonsus Liguori on the proofs of Christ’s fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah August 19, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Bible, catachesis, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, reading, Tradition, true leadership, Victory, Virtue.
From the great Moral Doctor Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori’s book The Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ, numerous OT prophecies that point to the proof of Jesus Christ being the Messiah. He then segues to a most beautiful reflection on the great love we should have for our Blessed Lord in meditating on His Sacrifice on our behalf:
We must here notice taht in the Book of Wisdom, the shameful death of Jesus Christ is clearly foretold. Although the words of the passage referred to may apply to the death of every just man, yet, say Tertullian, St. Cyprian, St. Jerome, and many other holy Fathers, that they principally refer to the death of Christ. It is said: If He is the true Son of God, He will accept Him, and deliver Him (Wis ii:18). These words exactly correspond with what the Jews said when Jesus was upon the cross: He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him, if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God’ (Mt xxvii:43). The wise man goes on to say, Let us try Him with insults and torments; let us condemn Him to the most shameful death (Wis ii:19). The Jews chose the death of the cross for Jesus Christ, because it is shameful, in order that His Name might be forever infamous, and no more held in remembrance, according to….Jeremias: Let us cast wood into His bread, and wipe Him out from the land of the living, and His name shall be remembered no more (Jer xi:19). How, then, can the Jews of the present day say that it is false that Christ was the promised Messiah, when the prophets themselves foretold that He should die with a most dishonorable death?
And Jesus accepted such a death. He died to pay the price of our sins; and therefore, as a sinner, he desired to be circumcised; to be redeemed with the price when he was presented in the temple; to receive the baptism of repentance form the Baptist’ and lastly, in His Passion, to be nailed upon the cross to atone for our guilty wanderings; to atone for our avarice, by being stripped of his garments; for our pride, by the insults He endured; for our desires of power, by submitting himself to the executioner; for our evil thoughts, by His crown of thorns; for our intemperance, by the gall He tasted; and by the pangs of His body, for our sensual delights. Therefore, we ought continually, with tears of tenderness, to thank the Eternal Father for having given His innocent Son to death, to deliver us from eternal death; He spared not His only Son, but delivered Him up for us all; and how shall He not also with Him give us all things (Rom viii:32)? Thus said St. Paul; and thus Jesus Himself said, in the Gospel of St. John: God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son (Jn iii:16). ON this account, the Holy Church exclaims on Holy Saturday, “Oh wonderful is it which Thy love has done for us!” O infinite mercy, O infinite love of our God! O holy faith! How can he who believes and confesses this, live without burning with holy love for a God Who is so loving, and so worthy of love?
O eternal God, look not upon me thus overwhelmed with sins;’ look upon Thy innocent Son hanging upon a cross, who offers Thee the many pangs and insults which He has suffered, that Thou mayst have mercy upon me. O God, most worthy of love, and my true lover, for the love of this Thy Son, so beloved by Thee, have mercy upon me. The mercy I ask is, that Thou shouldst give me Thy holy love. Oh, draw me wholly to Thyself, from the mire of my corruption. Burn up, O Thou consuming fire, all that Thou seest impure in my soul, and that hinders me from being wholly Thine.
Let us give thanks to the Father, and let us give equal thanks to the Son, that He has been willing to take upon Him our flesh, and, together with it, our sins, to offer to Go, by His Passion, a worthy satisfaction. It is on this account that the Apostle says that Jesus Christ has become our mediator; that is, that He has bound Himself to pay our debts. As the mediator between God and man, He has established a covenant with God, by which He has bound Himself to satisfy the Divine Justice for us; and, on the other hand, has promised to us eternal life on the part of God. Therefore, in anticipation of this, the Preacher warns us not to forget the Grace of this divine surety, who, to obtain salvation for us, has been willing to sacrifice His life. Forget not the Grace of the Surety, for He hath given His soul for thee (Eccl xxix:20). It is to give us the better assurance of pardon, says St. Paul, that Jesus Christ, with His blood has blotted out the decree of our condemnation, in which the decree of our eternal death stands written against us, and has nailed it to the cross on which He died to satisfy the divine justice for us (Col ii:14).
O my Jesus! By that love which caused Thee to give Thy blood and Thy life upon Calvary for me, make me die to all the affections of this world; make me forget everything, that I may not think of anything but to love Thee and give Thee pleasure! O my God, worthy of infinite love, Thou hast loved me without reserve, I desire to love Thee also without reserve. I love Thee, my greatest good; I love Thee O my love, my all!
Oh wait, how did that get there?!? I meant this: