Jesus was the first to exercise victim
love, and he did so for all of humanity when "he gave himself up for us with a
wonderful love" (Roman Missal, "Preface for the Most Sacred Heart of
Jesus", p. 358). Now, he invites us to no longer live for ourselves but rather
to participate intimately with him in this "wonderful love"--this
"fragrance" of victim love that so pleases the Father. Jesus "was the first
to offer himself as the saving Victim" (R.M. "Pref. I of the Most Holy Eucharist",
p. 440) when he "handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God
for a fragrant aroma" (Eph. 5:2).
The Body and Blood of Jesus are
"participatory" flesh and blood: At the Incarnation when he took upon himself
the flesh and blood of our human nature, Jesus began to participate in our
humanity. As the Vatican II document, "Gaudium et Spes" (22:2) states: "By his
Incarnation, the Son of God has united himself in some fashion with every
man." Now, with his blood shed and heart pierced--revealing the depth of
his love for us--the Lamb calls the Church to participate in his offering for
the salvation of souls. He now continues his ministry of sacrificial love
through his Body, the Church:
"The Church participates in the
offering of her Head. With him,she
herself is offered whole and entire. She unites herself to his intercession
with the Father for all men" (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1368).
the gift of His indwelling Spirit he "enables us to live in him all that he himself
lived, and he lives it in us" (CCC # 521).
Jesus, the saving Victim, is now
seated at the right hand of the Father in our human nature. Through the
immeasurable gift of his offering, our human nature has been brought into the
very presence of the Father in Heaven; there, at the right hand of the Father,
the Lamb "lives forever to make intercession" (Heb. 7:25) for us.
What "wonderful love" is victim
love!As the psalm writer asks, "How can
I repay the LORD for all the good done for me?" (Psalm 116:12).To the gift of such victim Love given for me
I will respond with love. I will allow the Holy Spirit to make of me a complete
gift to both God and to humanity. I will offer my life. I will say 'yes' to
this sacred commitment: I will live New Covenant consecration (anointed,
to be offered)! I desire Jesus to extend the mystery of his dying and rising to
me and continue it in me. For he wants to fulfill the mysteries of his life in
me (see Liturgy of the Hours, vol. IV. St. John Eudes, p. 559-60).
As an intercessor I am called to
victim love--to be one with "the sacrificial Victim who dies no more, the
Lamb, once slain, who lives forever" (R.M. Pref. III of Easter, p. 414).
Victim love is lived by the surrender of my life to God and allowing Jesus to continue
to offer his life to the Father for the salvation of souls--now, through my
As we read in the Roman Missal,
the official prayer book used in our Roman Catholic Eucharist, "By the oblation
of his Body...[Jesus] showed himself the Priest, the Altar, and the Lamb of
sacrifice." (R. M. Pref. V of Easter, p. 418). In Jesus, the priest who
offers and the victim who is offered are one and the same. On the cross Jesus
offered the Temple of his body for the salvation of souls. On the Altar of
his willing, surrendered heart of obedient love the "one, all sufficient"
offering was made to the Father on our behalf. We must believe that the Lamb
"enables us as members of his Body to share in what he lived for us in his
flesh" (CCC 521). An intercessor, called to offer and to be offered in victim
love, must sacrifice from "the altar of intimate offering"--which is one'sheart!
do I experience victim love in my own life?
I ever resist victim love in my life?
Any scripture from the text; 1Cr. 6:17; 1Cr. 10:16; 1 John