Last Sunday, during the Holy Mass this distressing image came to my mind: Jesus, scourged and beaten up, completely bathed in blood, carrying the cross moves slowly forward. There’s a deep sorrow in His face. And these words flashed in my mind “Every time we sin, we give those scourges to Jesus. Every time we sin, we are one of those Pharisees who mocked at Jesus.” I had heard these words before – the words that had pierced the very bottom of my heart. I had heard it at a retreat I had attended about a month back.
In my mind, with my eyes closed, I rushed to Jesus and tried to hold Him. I was terribly upset. My heart could not bear this sight. I didn’t know what to do. Feeling completely disturbed and unstable, I asked Jesus what I can do for Him to lessen His pain. And then suddenly the thought of all those poor souls entrapped by the Satan in his vicious cycle of continued sinfulness came to my mind. One sin lead to another and then to another, and before they know it, they are trapped in the chains of great sins.
These souls didn’t even know the state of their sinfulness. Deceived by the temptations of their bodily desires, they found no way out. They thought they were having fun, enjoying the pleasures of life and of the body, only to realize later that, lust brought them neither pleasure nor happiness. All there is left was an empty hollowness, a void that no amount of physical pleasure can fulfill.
The Satan laughed out and Jesus was weeping.
And then, this thought came to my mind: They are living in sinfulness because there is nobody to pray for them. Jesus’ heart is ever full of mercy. It is outpouring with mercy. But, this mercy reaches a soul only through the medium of prayer. Prayer is the vehicle which transports the mercy and love of God into human souls. Without prayer, no soul can attain the benefits of God’s unfathomable mercy.
In the Book of Isaiah, we see that tired with the offences and wickedness of His people, God rebukes them and forbids them to enter His presence with their sinful feet or make offerings with sinful hands (Is 1:1-17). But the next lines show the Lord’s compassion towards His people. “Come now, let us set things right. Though your sins be like scarlet, they shall be white as snow” the Lord says (Is 1:18).
He promises them all the goodness of the land, but puts forth a condition – “If you are willing, and obey” (Is 1:19). See how God respects man’s freewill and never compels them. The choice is always ours, though we must bear in mind that all choices have their own consequences. The good choices win God’s favor and the bad ones take us away from the Lord.
God’s mercy can save all. But along with being the Lord of compassion, He is also a just God. He segregates the good from the evil like wheat from chaff (Mt 13:49, Mt 3:12) and throws the evil into unquenchable fire. Quoting from the Diary of St. Faustina “My mercy does not want this, but justice demands it.” (Diary, 20)
The Lord is ever merciful. We only need to turn to His mercy, and along with our salvation, we need to make sure that we carry many with us to the Lord’s feet.
Christ died for all of us. He died for the faithful as well as for the unfaithful. God brings rain on the good and evil (Mt. 5:45). Likewise, God tenderly loves each one of us – both the good and the evil. The destruction of a single soul causes God great pain because He created them, and He is their loving Father. God does not want any one of us to perish (Mt. 18:14, 2 Pt 3:9).
Through our prayers we need to reach out to each one of God’s lost children, so that God’s mercy turns in favor of all. We need to save souls, we need to do it for Jesus.
The pains of Jesus should not go wasted and His mercy should not go unused. The crucifixion and death of Jesus should find its end result.
“He bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we may die to sin and live in righteousness” (1 Pt. 2:24). Yes, we need to die to sins and live in righteousness. Likewise, we need to call all our brothers and sisters to the death and salvation of Christ.
Not a single soul should go without receiving the grace and glory of Christ. Not a single soul should be lost. Christ suffered for each and all of us.
I cannot bear the sight of Christ weeping for the lost souls. I cannot bear the sight of the ignorant souls mocking at and scourging Jesus all over again (through atheism, homosexuality, pornography, masturbation, adultery, pre-marital sex, abortion, substance abuse, self abuse…oh the endless evils of our times!).
The Lord’s heart mourns and weeps for each of these souls.
I have decided to pray for them, and win them back for Jesus. Will you join me?