God our Father has seen fit to grant us, in the heart of his Son, “infinite treasures of love,” mercy and affection. If we want to find evidence that God loves us — that he not only listens to our prayers but anticipates them — we need only follow the same line of thought as St Paul: “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things in him?” (Rom 8:32)
(excerpt from a homily given by St Josemaria Escriva June 17, 1966)
(Calla Lilly / Julie Cook / 2015)
Imagine this is your last week, as you know it, on earth.
Your death has been set.
There is no maybe that it happens, no maybe it doesn’t.
No 50 / 50 chance.
It’s set in stone.
The end of the week.
No getting around it, it’s going to happen, like it or not.
It is not a death of natural causes or illness.
It is not set to be some tragic accident.
It is not a death by lethal injection, electrocution, firing square, poison, hanging,
nothing so orderly and deemed oddly humane and / or neat.
No, your death is not to be easy.
It’s going to be horrific actually.
Painful. . .
And it comes when all those whom you love have run and hid, with some even turning their back.
Alone, deserted, abandoned.
There is no stopping it
hiding from it. . .
At the end of the week.
Armed with the sickly stalk reality of your demise.
Given it to be brutal, awful, horrible. . .
What do you do?
Do you run?
Do you hide?
Do you beg?
Do you plead?
Do you find another to take your place?
. . .Another to take your place. . .
Ahhhh. . .
A novel idea.
Some hapless sucker who you can perhaps pay off, talk your way around,
promise or lie to that it won’t be so bad.
You’ll tell them they have little if anything to lose, but you on the other hand,
you have too much to lose. . .
You’re too important.
You can’t die.
You have things to do.
They, well, it’s pretty obvious they have nothing.
Nothing to lose. . .just their seemingly insignificant little life.
and you, well you can keep your hide safe for yet another day
However imagine that something odd begins to takes place,
You discover that you don’t have to actually persuade this person.
You don’t have to beg
There is no pleading
No false promises
They want nothing from you.
They don’t want your phony promises
There’s no having to talk them into this
No sugarcoating the horrible details.
“Sure” they say, they’ll do it.
Just like that. . .”sure, for you, I’ll do it, gladly”
Are they crazy you wonder.
Are they daft?
And then you find yourself questioning. . .
their sanity. . .
This seems too easy you think
Why so agreeable?
Maybe you’re starting to feel guilty
A bit bad that you’re setting up an innocent man up for something that is meant for you?
Feeling a tad badly that you’re getting off so easily
Getting away with another’s man’s death, another man’s murder, another man’s execution. . .
The one that was meant for you.
Who’ll miss this fellow?
All that matters is that you’ll escape
You’ll walk free
The horrible, painful ordeal will not be yours to contend with.
Walk away, just walk away, and don’t look back. . .
Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.
Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.