The price of our ransom

What does God think of humanity?  What does God think of us?

If one could look from some distant point in the universe, at all the suns birthing worlds, all the planets spinning through space, at nebulae and quasars, pulsars, comets, moons and asteroids, the prodigious wonders of galaxies coming to life and others passing away, there would be one spot in creation more beautiful, more blessed, more full of light than all the rest. And it would be our own earth.

This is not because of those of us who inhabit this planet. In fact, we are often so caught in quagmires of darkness that we cannot be said to be responsible in any way for this beauty. Yet exceptional beauty there is because of God’s personal presence among us.

God’s interventions in human history are respectful, astounding and full of a wisdom we do not readily comprehend. From the beginning of time, God’s response to our sin, after pointing out the consequences which logically flowed from them, was to promise a redeemer. The first sin led all of us into captivity. But God was immediately prepared to pay the ransom.

Historically, the amount of ransom demanded is determined by the value placed on the person held. The largest ransom ever paid was by the Incas in 1532 to Francisco Pizarro for the release of their leader. The amount of gold given him would be worth about $2 billion in today’s markets. Pizarro took the ransom but did not honor the agreement. He executed the Incan leader anyway.

The ransom paid by God for us is infinitely beyond any sum, no matter how great. That in itself tells us something of the value God places on each one of us. St. Peter says:

“You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1Peter 1:18-19).

Jesus gives his very life, down to his last drop of blood, in order to redeem us.

July is a month which the church dedicates to honoring the Precious Blood of Jesus. Why the Precious Blood? Because the Precious Blood of Jesus is the price of our salvation. It is God’s answer to our sin. It is the ransom he freely and willingly gives as an expression of his unfathomable love for us.

And this ransom, which is of infinite worth, has been paid once and for all. It may be claimed for anything and anyone, for salvation, conversions, protection, liberation from bondages, reconciliation, purification, healing, restoration of relationships with the Trinity, the saints, each other, for the souls in Purgatory, for advancement of the work of the kingdom.

How do we access this ransom that is ours? Most easily through the sacraments, through the Mass, through prayer.  St. Paul says that where sin abounds grace super-abounds (Romans 5:20). He can say this because of the ransom which Christ has paid. We are entitled to all the good things of God because of this ransom. And we are left all of the channels in the church by which we may acquire them.

Pope St. John XXIII stated, “The world can still set itself right and always will be able to, because the voice and Blood of Christ cry out for pity and mercy… Devotion to the Precious Blood is the devotion of our time…It is devotion for all souls, for the whole world.”

If you really want to know what God thinks of humanity, what he thinks of you, ponder well the astounding price Christ has paid for you and for all of mankind and let your heart respond with unceasing awe and overflowing gratitude.

   Sister Anne Marie Walsh, SOLT, is a sister of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity and serves at Domus Trinitatis, Willey.



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