Jesus made of himself the offering in
his human nature for our sake--the offering for our sins. Our whole mission
as intercessors is to be one with the Lamb of God who takes away sin. It is
the Lamb alone who takes away the sins of the world:
"He is at once priest and sacrifice, God
and temple. He is the priest through whom we have been reconciled, the
sacrifice by which we have been reconciled, the temple in which we have been
reconciled, the God with whom we have been reconciled. He alone is priest,
sacrifice and temple because he is all these things as God in the form of a
servant" ("From a treatise on faith addressed to Peter by Saint Fulgentius of
Ruspe, bishop" in LH vol. II, pp. 383-84).
This is his
redemptive mission for the remission of sins that he graciously gives us a
share in. What the Lamb has done for us he is desiring to continue from within
us:Jesus calls us into union and
mission with him. We have already spoken of this union--transforming union--in
the previous teaching. We participate in the redemptive mission of the Lamb
as we allow the Holy Spirit to bring us to Calvary mystically.
Our mission is to make up now in
our bodies what is still lacking in the sufferings of Jesus for the sake of his
Body, the Church. Therefore, as intercessors we carry about in our bodies
the 'death of the Lord' so that others may have life:
"We must sacrifice ourselves to
God, each day and in everything we do, accepting all that happens to us for the
sake of the Word, imitating his passion by our sufferings, and honoring his
blood by shedding our own. We must be ready to be crucified"("From a homily by
Saint Gregory Nazianzen, bishop" in LH vol. II, p. 393).
For, this is
a life-giving mission for the salvation of souls. It is a mission where we
offer our lives as a sacrifice so that others may receive graces of spiritual
re-birthing within themselves. Part of our mission also involves gaining graces
to help prepare other souls to enter into the same dying process we have
entered into so that they, too, can experience the full power of the
resurrection within themselves.
Through us Jesus desires to continue
his redemptive missionof giving life to
his Bride, the Church. Our mission, then, includes the renewal of the Church
from within through intercessory prayer. Our vocation 'to be love in the
heart of the Church' necessitates a call to victim-hood--becoming victim lambs
modeled after Jesus, the Lamb. Jesus is seeking victim lambs who will allow
their hearts to be pierced so that he can continue to pour forth his life and
redemptive love through us. We are to be distributors of his manifold
graces for others. If people are going to have an experience of salvation and
forgiveness of their sins, there is a need for victim lambs who are willing to
be brought to the cross in order to take on sin in union with Jesus so that sin
can be taken away: "Make your own the expiation for the sins of the whole
world" (Saint Gregory Nazianzen, LH vol. II, p. 393).
Obedience unites us to the sacrifice
of the Body of Jesus. Through our obedience to God and our union with Jesus,
we are joined with the Lamb in removing disobedience from souls--disobedience
being the primary sin of the world. Therefore, our mission necessitates
that we live a lifestyle of sacrificial love and the daily dying of self-denial
that allows the Lamb to live and offer again now from within us. If we allow
Jesus within us to continue to take on sin, other people can also become 'the
very holiness of God'.
there any areas of my life where I still resist being associated so closely
with Jesus as a victim lamb?
there any areas of my life where I find sacrificial love and self-denial to be
Any scripture from the text; Eph. 5:1-2; Heb. 10:12-14; 1
TIME TO EXPIATE"
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Remember that we must be a praying Church: Am I praying for our Church
and our world?