Saint Paul says, ‘The goodness and kindness of God, our Savior, has appeared.’ When the Son of God made Man appear on earth, then was it seen how great is God’s goodness towards us. Saint Bernard says that first God’s power was manifested in the creation of the world and His wisdom in its conservation, but His merciful goodness was especially manifested later in His taking human nature on Himself, in order to save fallen mankind by His sufferings and death. For what greater proof of His kindness towards us could the Son of God show us than in taking on Himself the punishment we had deserved?
See Him as a weak, newborn infant, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Unable to move or feed Himself, He has need of Mary to give Him a little milk to sustain His life.
Or see Him again in Pilate’s courtyard, tied with fast bonds to a column and there scourged from head to foot. Behold Him on the way to Calvary, falling down from weakness under weight of the cross that He must carry. Finally behold Him nailed to this tree of shame, on which He breathes His last amid pain and anguish. Because Jesus Christ wished that His love for us should win all the love of our hearts for Himself, He would not send an angel to redeem us, but chose to come Himself, to save us by His Passion and death. Had an angel been our redeemer, men would have had to divide their hearts in loving God as their Creator and an angel as their redeemer; but God, who desires men’s whole hearts, as He was already their Creator, wished also to be their Redeemer.
O my Dear Redeemer! Where should I be now, if Thou hadst not borne with me so patiently, but hadst called me from life while I was in the state of sin? Since Thou hast waited for me till now, forgive me quickly, O my Jesus, before death finds me still guilty of so many offenses that I have committed against Thee. I am so sorry for having vilely despised Thee, my sovereign Good, that I could die of grief. But Thou canst not abandon a soul that seeks Thee.
If hitherto I have forsaken Thee, I now seek Thee and love Thee. Yes, my God, I love Thee above all else; I love Thee more than myself. Help me, Lord, to love Thee always during the rest of my life. Nothing else do I seek of Thee. But this I beg of Thee, this I hope to receive from Thee.
Mary, my hope, do thou pray for me. If thou prayest for me, I am sure of grace. Amen.