Reflections on the Passion Part VI
by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
“At about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying: ‘Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’” (Matthew 27:46)
Our Lord shouted from the height of the Cross. That heart-wrenching cry was due to the extreme sense of abandonment in which, seemingly, God had left the Word Incarnate. The soul of the Redeemer suffered a spiritual agony caused by the lack of divine comfort.
However, the most excruciating pain was caused by the consideration of the sins He had before Him. He not only saw the sins of the people around Him and those of all who had abandoned Him, but also the offenses against God that would be committed in the future.
Because the Incarnate Word could see everything, this foresight also made Him suffer in His Via Dolorosa, His Sorrowful Road. The whole of history passed before His exhausted gaze clouded with blood, in a body where life was ebbing away. Certainly the Divine Savior was overwhelmed by the vision of the immense and universal disorder of our days, and this led Him to that anguished cry: “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”
Divine Providence has ordained that we witness today’s tragic scene. In doing so, the Redeemer of human kind invites us to open our eyes and examine this situation head on just as He, in the Garden of Gethsemane, measured all the horrors of His Passion.
“One of the soldiers with a spear opened His side: and immediately there came out blood and water.” (John 19:34)
Our Lord had already died when the soldier, known as Longinus, pierced His side. In this way, Our Lord’s Sacred Heart shed the last drop of blood, the last drop of water, for our salvation. What extreme mercy! What extreme goodness! What extreme compassion!
All the blood in the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ was shed, to show that He gave us everything. He did this without holding back a single drop, because of His immense desire to save us. One drop of His blood would have sufficed to save the world, yet He shed all His blood to the point that the last drops were mixed with water. He wanted to hold back nothing in order to redeem us.
My God, how many times have I pierced the Heart of Jesus like the lance of Longinus? It could have been through grave sin; but certainly through my chronic habit of indifference, which is the reason I do not change, I do not progress nor do I want to progress. I see others progressing, but I can’t be bothered.
According to tradition, Longinus was blind in one eye. A bit of the water gushing from Our Lord’s side fell on his blind eye, which was healed, and he later became a saint. Who knows, maybe I will also receive this grace of becoming a saint. Oh Lord, at the moment of Your death, I beseech You to grant me this grace.
Go to: Part VII
DAILY QUOTE for April 8, 2020
SAINT OF THE DAY
St. Julie Billiart
He hung on a cross that day, writhing in pain and discomfort, the infamous highwayman.