Monday of the Twenty-third week in Ordinary Time
"...so that they might discover a reason to accuse him"
The Lord will say to those who despise his mercy : “O man, it is I who formed you from clay with my own hands, I who breathed spirit into your earthly body, I who deigned to bestow on you our image and likeness, I who set you in the midst of the delights of Paradise. But it is you who, despising the commandments of life, chose to follow the tempter rather than the Lord…
Following this, while you were driven out of Paradise and, through sin, held fast in the bonds of death, moved by pity I entered into the virgin’s womb to come into the world without compromise to her virginity. I was laid in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes; I bore the indignities of childhood and the sufferings of being human, by which I made myself like you with the sole object of making you in my likeness. I endured the blows and the spitting of those who mocked me, I drank the vinegar with the myrrh. Beaten with rods, crowned with thorns, nailed to the cross, pierced by the lance, I rendered up my soul in torment that I might rescue you from death. See the marks of the nails by which I was hung; see my side pierced through with wounds. I have borne your suffering to give you my glory; I have borne your death so that you might live for eternity. I rested, enclosed within the tomb, so that you might reign in heaven.
Why then have you lost what I suffered for your sake ? Why have you set aside the graces of your redemption?... Give me back your life for which I gave you my own; give me back the life that you are constantly destroying with the wounds of your sins.”
Saint Caesarius of Arles