Christ did not redeem us by half measures. He offered up His lifeblood for our salvation. There is a prodigality about the way His Precious Blood was poured out; the Agony in Gethsemane, the scourging at the pillar, the crowning with thorns, His carrying the cross, the crucifixion itself, the spear in His side. The shedding of Christ’s Blood was necessary to achieve His purpose – the redemption and salvation of the human race, past, present, and future. Certainly all are redeemed; less certain is who in the end will be saved, or not. The choice is ours. Salvation is offered to all who seek it and who willingly cooperate.
The quantity of His Precious Blood which our Lord shed was more than sufficient for the atonement. St.Thomas Aquinas reminds us that one single drop of the Saviour’s Blood would have been enough to redeem the whole world. The outpouring of the Precious Blood in such an overflowing quantity shows the Savour’s immeasurable generosity in paying the price that was required to reveal the Father’s infinite justice and His infinite mercy.
The mercy won for mankind by the Precious Blood is first unlocked for us in an individual and personalized way in baptism-confirmation, then subsequently in the sacrament of penance. When we hear those merciful words “I absolve you from your sins” the power of the Precious Blood floods over our immortal soul, sin is forgiven and the slate is wiped clean. What a relief it is to hear those words of absolution, restoring us to the grace of our baptism.
The Church gives us the three weeks of Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima to prepare for Lent itself. Similarly we now have Passion Week in preparation for Holy Week and the sacred triduum. The heights and depths of the Lord’s atoning Passion cannot be fully comprehended in any length of earthly time, let alone in just the few days of Holy Week. And once Holy Saturday comes, we are naturally caught up into the extended feast of Eastertide.
Before that, Passiontide is the all too brief period of anticipated mourning and repentance. We should enter into it wholeheartedly. The universal Church is now in mourning. The crucifixes and images are veiled in penitential purple. We mourn for the sufferings of Christ, and for our sins which caused those sufferings.
If our Lenten penance has been inconsistent we can make a renewed effort in Passiontide. Turn off the mobile for a few hours each day, and the laptop, and the tablet.
Use the time. Think about the Passion.