Christmas Novena ~ MEDITATION 6
The mercy of God in coming from heaven
to save us by his death.
Saint Paul says the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared (Titus 3:4). It was then, when the Son of God made man appeared on earth, that we saw how great the goodness of God is toward us. Saint Bernard wrote that the power of God first appeared through the creation of the world, and sustaining the world has shown God’s wisdom. But God’s mercy appeared to an even greater degree when God took human flesh to save lost humanity by his sufferings and death. And what greater mercy could the Son of God have shown us than to take upon himself the pains we have deserved?
Imagine him as a newborn infant, wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger, unable to move or feed himself. Just to survive, he relied on Mary to feed him with a little milk. Imagine him many years later, in the judgment hall before Pilate, bound to a column by ropes from which he could not loosen himself, and scourged from head to foot. Imagine him on the journey to Calvary, falling down as he went along the road, from weakness, and from the weight of the cross that he carried. Finally, imagine him nailed to that infamous tree upon which he finished his life, in agony and suffering.
Jesus Christ wished to gain all the endearments of our hearts by his love for us, and therefore he would not send an angel to redeem us, but came himself, to save us by his passion and Resurrection. If an angel had been our redeemer we would have a divided heart—loving God as our creator and the angel as our redeemer. But because God, who is our Creator, wants our whole heart, he chose to also be our Redeemer.
Affections and Prayers
O my Redeemer, where would I now be if you had not shown me so much patience, but instead had condemned me to death while I was still in sin? Since you have waited for me, O Jesus, forgive me now and quickly, before death surprises me while I am still guilty of so many offenses against you. I regret, O my greatest Good, having ignored your Word and your commands. I feel like I could die of shame over my sins. But I also know that you cannot ever forsake anyone who seeks you. If I have failed you in any serious way in my life, I resolve from now on to seek only you, and to love only you.
Yes, dear God, I love you above all things. I love you more than I love myself. Help me, Lord, to love you always for the rest of my entire life. I ask for nothing more, and I trust that you will grant it.
Mary, my hope, please pray for me; for if you do, I am certain to receive God’s grace.