the scroll and its seven seals."
Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David.
In Revelation 5:6 we read:
"And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth."
Jesus is the lamb and a lamb is slain for sin, and in John 12:32 we read:
"and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."
By saying the Father no longer needs to see Jesus on Calvary anymore because "it is finished", or that it is over and done with as an event, is to step in between Jesus and the Father to say "No more, no suffering for me, Lord." Peter tried that once, he was not going to let Christ go to the Cross for him, and Christ said "Get thee behind me, Satan." Jesus is the Lamb that is slain and upright on the Cross in Revelation as a perpetual sacrifice. In fact, Scripture just told us that the Lamb standing upright on the cross is still standing between the Throne of God and sinners as the perpetual sacrifice Christ offers to the Father when we come to exist and sin and stand in need of redemption.
We are "one" IN the Lord IN the "One Bread."
St. Peter tell us the same, that we are bonded to God and therefore with each other in the Mass where we become partakers of His divine nature.
In 2nd Peter 1:4 we read:
4: "by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature."
Does the Book of Revelation indicate the same? Yes, in Revelation 2:7 we read:
7: "He, who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God."
Paradise was lost on earth in Eden, but it is restored in the Paradise of Heaven on earth where the earth is united to Heaven in the Mass.
In Revelation 22:14 we read:
14: "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates."
This means we have to do something. It is not enough to say that Jesus died for me and it ends there. We must confess, consume the Lamb of God, and serve Him in love. This is how we wash our baptismal robes.
In Zechariah 12:10 we read:
10: "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of compassion and supplication, so that, when they look on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a first-born."
How can we look upon Him who was pierced if it is all over as an event 2,000 years ago? We look upon him who was pierced in the Holy Mass.
The Lord said "Blessed is he who believes and has not seen." For a defense of Catholic teaching on the Mass from a Scriptural perspective click Here.
If we truly appreciated what the Mass is we would do whatever it takes to get to Mass, daily, if possible; and at a minimum we should send what we suffer in our day to Christ in the Holy Eucharist as a spiritual offering so he makes even that one with his own suffering. There is so much loneliness and suffering in the world, it should become a veritable treasure to the world and the Church if it is only given to Christ.
One example of loneliness is felt among many couples who are unfulfilled in their marriage. Very often one of the spouses wants a deeper relationship in God while the other is not interested, perhaps dabbling in pornography and infidelity, or is just indifferent over time. To the one who wants a relationship in God you feel as though the rest of your life is destined to dumb anguish and meaningless days, trying to get through each day without giving in to despair. You live waiting for your spouse to respond to the prayers you offer for them, but nothing. It only gets worse, or so it seems, and as long as your spouse does not respond you feel you can never be fulfilled in this life. You are greatly mistaken. There is fulfillment waiting for you in spite of what you may think. You need to look to God for fulfillment first; the very loneliness you experience in this unfulfilled marriage should be seen as God speaking to you.
Perhaps your marriage suffers because you put aside counsel of the Church before you married and what you suffer now are the consequences for a choice you made, but none of us are exempted from the consequences of our choices. If that is the case it does not have to end there, you are still called to sanctification. He calls those who suffer in marriage to himself as your first love, above all persons and things, and if you respond to God you will be fulfilled in ways you could never have imagined. As the Groom of the Church he knows what ingratitude is in a covenantal relationship, just look at all of us who sin against him, and are indifferent to him.
The sorrows and loneliness you experience should become a stepping stone to God because in the end the only relationship that matters is your relationship with God. If you turn to God in your loneliness you will be surprised to see that Christ is suffering over your spouse more than you are. In fact he is suffering over what you are personally suffering more than you are yourself, and that is because he who is the truly innocent one in all of this is one with you in your own human nature; your suffering is one with his suffering.
Look at what comes of this when you look to Christ first. You end up looking at Christ in a way you did not see him before, and suddenly you no longer feel alone and abandoned because you see Jesus, the truly innocent one who is in Gethsemane, alone, suffering, and wanting your company as you suffer together over your spouse. We cannot begin to fathom what it is he suffers as a man regarding those things we suffer, and the reasons we suffer. He is love in his essence as a divine person, and we pass him by every day like he is of no account, even when it comes to those things we suffer. You can change all that, you can stand in for the Apostles who fell asleep and keep him company as he suffers over your spouse, and what you suffer because of it. Who better than you to keep him company over a spouse you both suffer over? Meet Christ in Gethsemane in the Holy Mass so he is not alone in this and in all suffering.
There is yet another way to understand your suffering. All suffering given to God can become 'creature comfort', meaning the sinful creature gets to console the sinless God/man. Just imagine what that means! And more, does the Creator want and appreciate the consolation of the sinner while he suffers for them? He sure does.
When Veronica stepped forward to wipe the face of Jesus it was her sin which caused Christ's suffering, yet, she stepped forward and wiped his face in compassion, and to prove he appreciated her gesture of compassion he miraculously left the image of his face on her veil.
When the apostles, who were sinners as well, accompanied him to Gethsemane Christ did not want to be alone, he wanted their company, but they fell asleep.
We also have the angels, creatures who did not sin, who came and consoled him after his 40 days in the desert, and in Gethsemane where they ministered to him after the apostles fell asleep.
The amazing gift is that Calvary is present to all of time, and therefore all of his life is present to all of time. We can meet him in any place grace inclines us to meet him in his earthly life. We can meet him at the foot of the Cross, in Gethsemane, in Bethlehem, in the Temple, any place grace inclines us to God, even when we can only send our angel to Holy Mass to make a spiritual offering united to the Mass.
We can approach him, like Veronica, knowing that we are sinners, knowing that what he is suffering is caused by our own sin. Nevertheless, we can approach him and say:
"Lord, I know I have done this to you, I am sorry, but I don't want you to be alone. I don't like being alone myself, so take my suffering, take my loneliness, regardless of whatever form my suffering takes, and make it one with your own so that you can do with it whatever you wish, and for whomever you want. If by uniting my suffering to that of your own can lighten the load of your Cross let me help you, Lord, if what I am suffering can in any way be the cause of one less drop of blood spilled in your sweat, let it be done, Lord."
If you present yourself to Christ in this manner he will look at you, and you will be to him as a willing Simon of Cyrene and Veronica who was moved to compassion for HIS sake, and there will be a look of love between you and Jesus that you could never have imagined. He will show you this is the greatest love known in the world because your suffering which was once dumb anguish and loneliness now has a redemptive value because he makes it one with his own suffering.
For your act of compassion and kindness, not because of what YOU get out of it, but to glorify God for this great opportunity, like Veronica, he will leave the imprint of his face on your suffering and it will manifest itself to others in the virtues of long patience, forgiveness, kindness, and all the transformative virtues.
In reality, your suffering becomes the equivalent of Veronica's veil which you can take up to wipe the face of Christ, and others will see the face of Christ on the veil of your very person, his image will show forth in you. Your life will become fulfilled in God with a mission you did not know was possible as Christ turns your suffering from "Mission Impossible" to "Mission Accomplished", depending on whether or not you want to join him in his mission of saving souls with him.
In Holy Mass there begins a conversation between Christ and you, where you discover a new found love in Christ that he has for you and that you have for him; it is here he will elevate you in the spiritual life. Bitterness will drip off like dross because you now experience what it is for Christ who still loves you in spite of your own sins against him where and when you were also unfaithful to his grace in your own life.
We, in all of our pride, ingratitude, ineptitude, shortcomings, failures, bitterness, and grudges against those who slight us in the least way, or in very serious ways, stand under the shadow of Christ on the cross who looks at us from the altar at Holy Mass and sees us as we are. We cannot begin to fathom what we must look like to the eyes of pure innocence, we hope to have some sense of what that is so that we can approach him with contrite hearts. We have all been unfaithful to grace, but hatred has no place in the heart of one who understands they themselves have been forgiven of so many sins.
There is more room in your heart now for God to speak with you in a much more personal and tender way. He will make a heart of flesh where a heart had been turned to stone because of bitter sorrows, disappointments, and failures in those we live with. To some degree, in one way or another, everything we see in others we are guilty of ourselves in our relationship with Christ, and when we come to see that mercy can take root in our hearts because if we truly want mercy for ourselves we will come to understand we must extend mercy to others.
Now you can live what Saint Paul spoke of when he said "While death is at work in us (believers), life is at work in you (unbelievers)."
In Holy Mass you and Christ have a new found, and much deeper relationship that does not depend at all upon anyone else in this world for you to be complete and fulfilled in him. God is first, you are made for him, and as far as your spouse is concerned you are simply trying to offer what you suffer that they may get to heaven. You can live in this quiet relationship where Christ dwells in your heart as he said he would with the Trinity, and what awaits you in the life to come begins here on earth. The base of the cross is now planted on the Calvary of your own personal suffering. Graces will be accorded to the unfaithful spouse that they repent of a misguided and badly chosen way of life before they die, but if they don't, well, it is their choice; you cannot force someone into heaven. They may get what they want and they won't like it, but you will get what you are made for, God himself.
Any type of suffering can be united to Christ if we will only offer it to him, and in each of them is a path to Christ in the Holy Mass just as we have seen in a suffering marriage. The suffering can be divorce, abuse, illness of any kind, loneliness, loss of a loved one, tragic accidents, the list is endless, but it can all be the equivalent of Veronica's veil if we have the will to give it to Christ so that he makes it one with his own suffering on Calvary where we meet him substantially on Calvary in the Holy Mass. Be sure to consider your suffering as Veronica's veil with which you can wipe the face of Christ in his sorrows.
Within the heart of every man and woman ever born cries out the need to love and be loved, regardless of material wealth or status. The heart of Christ is for us, he knows every thought and need we have, yet, we do not avail ourselves of this treasure as we should. Some tragically turn to alcohol, drugs, immorality, and despair to bury their pain and emptiness, but such things are merely a temporary anesthetic that dulls the pain for a moment, only to wake up to a deeper sorrow. Do not look for escape, look to be fulfilled in the Holy Mass.
Please consider offering up any sacrifices you may endure in your day for the purpose of this Apostolate. Each time you look upon a Holy Mass Crucifix offer your joys and sufferings, your entire day and all that is in it, to the Lord for an increase of devotion to the Holy Mass for yourself and for others, for an increase of devotion to the Holy Eucharist in the form of Eucharistic Adoration, Novenas, and for vocations to the Priesthood. Grace will be granted to you through the intercession of the Most Holy Virgin Mary. We can meet in heaven through the Holy Mass.
God Bless You,