The Paschal Mystery, which we enter into even more deeply in these days immediately preceding the Easter Triduum, is the center and heart of Christian life; it is the mystery of Christ, who takes upon Himself the sins of all humanity and offers His very life to free us from the bondage of sin.
Paul, tells us that we must always bear in our body the dying of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may be made manifest in us (cf. 2 Cor 4:10). We are to be nailed to the Cross with Him, feel the same thirst for souls that He felt, willing to offer our lives so that they may have life.
Blessed James Alberione invites us to make the Paschal Mystery relevant in our lives and reproduce its reality in our hearts, identifying ourselves with Christ, letting ourselves be baptized into the death of Christ, sharing in His very thirst, in His all-consuming desire for salvation of souls.
We read in the Gospel of John:
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.” There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.
In the words of Blessed James Alberione:
“I thirst (Jn. 18: 28). The lengthy and cruel sufferings of the Redeemer brought on a great thirst, but with the word “Sitio!” he alluded to another thirst even more parching than that which tormented his body. Jesus thirsted for our souls. And this ardent thirst has not yet been extinguished. From the Tabernacle Jesus invites us to love him, unite ourselves to him, to slake the burning heat of his thirst. Let us not grow weary, but bring souls to Christ!”
“Do we understand how much souls cost Jesus Christ? What it means to save ones’ soul or to lose one’s soul?”
“Anyone with an apostolic spirit feels the thirst for souls. The apostle has two aspirations: souls and the sanctification of souls. He desires the salvation of all, that the kingdom of God may be established over the entire earth.
“Therefore, in the Masses at which he assists, in his Communions and visits to the Most Blessed Sacrament, the apostle always asks the salvation of everyone: sinners, separated Christians and non-Christians; he carries them all in his heart.
“The holy torment of the apostolic soul is to reach those who are going lost. He wants to plant the cross everywhere, on every coast and in every land: “Give me souls!” There is a shortage of apostolic hearts, of ministers of God with true spirit.”
Let us ask our Divine Master to fill our hearts with His own thirst as we pray:
I thirst! My heart thirsts for love! You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.
I thirst, because I cannot remain indifferent and uncaring about the many gifts I have received from you, my good Father, Redeemer, Power, Wisdom, Infinite love.
I thirst, because first you loved me and called me to a vocation of love in discipleship, in the proclamation of your word.
I thirst, because you pursue me with grace and desire – drawing me back to yourself when I abandon you. The greatest misery is not to love you.
I thirst, because I am aware that the more my thirst increased, so much the more you let me drink and filled me with gladness.
I thirst, because I have never found a contradiction in your truth, never an error; instead you have led me with surety in the way of your will, guiding me with a secure hand through the times of darkness and uncertainty.
I thirst, because only you satisfy the intellect, the will, the heart; only you are worth every sacrifice, worthy of all love, unlimited and unconditional in your own love.”
Blessed James Alberione invited Paulines to make reparation for the evil committed through the media. He wrote:
“To repair, is:
- to console.
- to make restitution for the honor denied Jesus.
- to imitate and participate in the life of Christ, in the apostolate and with our sufferings.
The Pauline Offertory reflects this great thirst and is one of the Founder’s great gifts to us.
As we honor Jesus, Victim and Sacrifice, in His sacramental presence, we ask for the grace to be joined always more closely with Him in this vocation of reparation, offered in love for this troubled humanity so loved by Him and we renew our offering to Him – “a small victim, with Jesus, the Victim.”
A Eucharistic Offertory for the Media (Pauline Offertory)
in union with all those celebrating the Eucharist throughout the world,
I wish to unite myself with the heart and intentions of your beloved Son, Jesus,
who offered his life for our salvation:
—that the media may always be used to support the good of each person and the common good; to uplift the sacred dignity of every human person, especially those who are poor and most vulnerable; to nurture marriage and family life; to bring about solidarity, peace, greater justice, and equality for all people; and to build respect for the gifts of God’s creation;
—in reparation for the errors and scandals spread throughout the world through the misuse of the media;
—to call down your mercy upon those who have been deceived or manipulated by the misuse of the media, and led away from your fatherly love;
—for the conversion of those who have spread error, violence, or a disregard for the dignity of the person by wrongly using the media and rejecting the teaching of Christ and his Church;
—that we may follow Christ alone whom you, Father, in your boundless love sent into the world, saying, “This is my beloved Son, hear him”;
—to acknowledge and to make known that Jesus alone, the Word Incarnate, is the perfect Teacher, the trustworthy Way who leads to knowledge of you, Father, and to a participation in your very life;
—that in the Church the number of priests, religious, and lay people who are dedicated as apostles of the media will increase in number and grow in holiness, making resound throughout the world the message of salvation;
—that all those who work in the media with good will (writers, artists, directors, editors, technicians, producers, advertisers, and distributors) may grow in wisdom and uprightness, living and spreading worthy human and Christian values;
—that the undertakings of Catholics in all forms of media may continually increase, so that by more effectively promoting genuine human and Christian values, they will silence the voices that spread error and evil;
—that well aware of our inadequacy and unworthiness, we may recognize our need to draw near the font of life with great humility and trust and be nourished with your Word, Father, and with the Body of Christ, invoking light, love, and mercy for all men and women.
Based on a prayer of Blessed James Alberione
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