|Blood and Water from the Pierced Heart of Jesus|
Jesus, I trust in you!
In today’s Gospel Reading, Jesus said, “The Son of Man must endure many sufferings.” I say, “So what?” So what if he has to suffer? Do we not all have to endure suffering? Even Gautama Buddha acknowledged this and made it one of the central truths of Buddhism: “All life is suffering.”
Jesus also said, “He must be put to death.” I say, “So what?” All of us have to die one day. This is the way of all flesh, so the Bible says. And so if he dies, we also will die.
What makes the suffering of Jesus so unique? What makes his death so different? The prophet Zechariah gives us beautiful words for our first reading: “They shall look on him whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one who mourns for an only son, and they shall grieve over him as one grieves over a first born.” Who is this only son? Zechariah is definitely referring to the Lord Jesus. At the River Jordan and at the Mountain of the Transfiguration, God the Father introduced Jesus to all: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” Jesus is the Only-Begotten Son of God and our Lord.
Who is this first-born? Again, the prophet is definitely referring to Jesus. St. Paul said that Jesus is the first-born of all creation. He is also the first-born of the dead. It is ion knowing that the prophet was referring to Jesus that we appreciate the prophecy even more: “They shall look on him whom they have pierced.” When our Lord Jesus died on the Cross, a soldier pierced his side with a lance. And out of that wounded side flowed Blood and Water. From the pierced Heart of the Savior came forth in abundance Blood and Water. Thus, the prophet said, “On that day, there shall be open to the house of David and to the other inhabitants of Jerusalem, a fountain to purify from sin and uncleanness.” That fountain that purifies sin and uncleanness is that opened side of Jesus, his pierced heart from which flowed Blood and Water. This fountain of Blood and Water purifies us from sin. This fountain of Blood and Water empowers the Sacraments so that they may have the capacity to bring about the forgiveness of sins. This is why we go to Church. We acknowledge that we are sinners and we wish to draw close to the purifying fountain of our Savior’s heart. This is why I simply scratch my head at people who accuse churchgoers of self-righteousness: “Pasimba-simba pa kayo. Akala mo kung sinong malilinis, eh panay makasalanan naman pala.” “Yang pari ninyo, pamisa-misa pa. akala mo kung sinong malinis, eh makasalanan din naman pala.” Excuse me? They are badly mistaken. The reason why we go to church, the reason why I offer mass is not because we feel righteous but because we acknowledge our sinfulness and so we need to draw close to the fountain of mercy which is the Savior’s heart. To accuse us of self-righteousness is like saying to a person who takes a bath: “Paligo-ligo ka pa. Akala mo kung sinong malinis, eh marumi naman pala.” The reason why we bathe is because we are soiled. When I tell someone to take a bath, the person oftentimes smell his armpits and say, “Father, I don’t smell bad.” Thos who refuse to take a bath are those who think that they are clean. Those who refuse to take a bath are those who think they don’t stink. In like manner, those who refuse to go to church are those who think that they are righteous enough that they don’t need to go.
And so we ask, “Why does the suffering of Jesus forgive sins? Why does his death take away sins? Why do the Blood and Water flowing from his wounded heart wash away sins?” The answer is given by the Gospel reading: Jesus is the Messiah of God. The Lord asked his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “The Messiah of God!”
Indeed, You, O Lord Jesus are the Messiah of God. That is why your sufferings bring to us forgiveness of sins. Even if we were to endure all the sufferings that the world can offer, none of us could obtain for the world forgiveness of sins.
You, O Jesus, are the Messiah of God. That is why your death takes away the sins of the world. You are the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Even if we were to die a million times, none of them could take away the sins of the world.
You, O Jesus, are the Messiah of God. That is why the Blood and Water flowing from your opened heart wash away our sins and purify us from uncleanness. Even if we were to wound ourselves and bring out all the blood and water that would bodies can give, none of us can purify the sins of the world.
You, O Jesus, are the only Begotten Son of the Father. You are the first-born of all creation. You are the first-born of the dead. You are the Messiah of God. You are the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Have mercy on us and on the whole world.
O Fountain of life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty yourself out upon us. O Blood and Water that gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in you!
O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!