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God the Father Delivered Christ to His Passion

Second Week in Lent Sunday

 

(Source: "Meditations for Lent from St. Thomas Aquinas", pp. 68-70, 1937 Imp.) 

 

GOD THE FATHER DELIVERED CHRIST TO HIS PASSION


God spared not even His own Son, but delivered Him up
for us all. Rom. viii. 32.

 

Christ suffered willingly, moved by obedience
to His Father. Wherefore, God the Father de- 
livered Christ to his Passion, and this in three
ways:


1. Because the Father, of His eternal will, pre-
ordained the Passion of Christ as the means whereby
to free the human race. So it is said in Isaias,
The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isa.
liii. 6), and again, The Lord was pleased to bruise him
in infirmity (ibid. liii. 10).


2. Because He inspired Our Lord with the
willingness to suffer for us, pouring into his soul
the love which produced the will to suffer. Whence
the prophet goes on to say, He was offered because it
was his own will (Isa. liii. 7).


3. Because He did not protect Our Lord from
the Passion, but exposed him to his persecutors.
Whence we read in St. Matthew's Gospel, that as
he hung on the cross Christ said, My God, my God,
why hast thou forsaken me? (Matt, xxvii. 46). For
God the Father, that is to say, had left him at the
mercy of his torturers.

 

To hand over an innocent man to suffering and
to death, against his will, compelling him to die
as it were, would indeed be cruel and wicked.
But it was not in this way that God the Father
handed over Christ. He handed over Christ by
inspiring Him with the will to suffer for us. By
so doing the severity of God is made clear to us,
that no sin is forgiven without punishment under-
gone, which St. Paul again teaches when he says,
God spared not his own Son.

 

At the same time God's goodheartedness is
shown in the fact that whereas man could not,
no matter what his punishment, sufficiently make
satisfaction, God has given man someone who can
make that satisfaction for him. Which is what
St. Paul means by, He delivered him up for us all,
and again when he says, God hath proposed Christ
to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood (Rom.
iii. 25).

 

The same activity in a good man and in a bad
man is differently judged inasmuch as the root
from which it proceeds is different. The Father,
for example, delivered over Christ and Christ
delivered himself, and this from love, and therefore
They are praised. Judas delivered Him from love
of gain, the Jews from hatred, Pilate from the
worldly fear with which he feared Cesar, and these
are rightly regarded with horror.

 

(3 47 3.)

 

Christ therefore did not owe to death the debt
of necessity, but of charity the charity to men by
which he willed their salvation, and the charity
to God by which he willed to fulfil God's will,
as it says in the gospel, Not as I will but as Thou
wilt (Matt, xx vi. 39).

 

(2 Dist. xx. i 5.)

 

Blessed be St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles!

 

The Papal Restoration Staff

PapalRestoration.com

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