Posted by: fvbcdm | February 17, 2016

Feast of the Founders of the Order of the Servites (17 Feb 2016)

I’d like to call to your attention several things that the Epistle to the Hebrews says to us.

It says, “For the sake of the joy that lay before him, Jesus endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God.”  We need to ask ourselves: What joy? The joy of rising from the dead? No, for if he had not allowed himself to be killed, he would not have needed to rise. No; the joy was that of giving glory to his heavenly Father by his resurrection, because his resurrection is the principal cause of millions of men and women and children down through the ages to believe in him and live for him.

And in giving glory to his Father, Jesus opened for us the gates of salvation that had been closed by original sin. Loving us as he does, he is perfectly willing to die the terrible death of the cross. In fact, he says during his public life, “I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and how eager I am that it should be accomplished!” He was talking about the baptism in his own blood by which he would make atonement for the sins of humanity. Terrible as it was, he wanted it because by that dreadfully painful means, he would make it possible for you and me to achieve eternal joy.

The Letter to the Hebrews goes on to say, “Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart.” God becomes a man. Does mankind receive him with the delight and gratitude and welcome that he deserves? Mankind rejects him, calls him a blasphemer and rabble-rouser, and nails him to a cross. That’s the thanks that the Savior receives from those whom he saves. But from his Father, he receives divine thanks and favor, and from some of us, he receives gratitude and the willingness to live in such a way as to please him and give him glory.

So, let us not grow weary and lose heart. That would not please our crucified and risen Lord. Let us live in such a way that our every day will breathe forth the beautiful prayer that the sacred liturgy uses during Lent and Holy Week: “We adore you, o Christ, and we praise you because by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.” Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This message was composed some years ago.

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