Filling up the quota
St. Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, a letter which he wrote from prison, said: 'It is now my happiness to suffer for you. This is my way of helping to complete in my poor human nature the full tale of Christ's affliction still to be endured for the sake of his body, which is the church.' Our Lord says, 'It is finished.' Paul says, 'It is not finished.' Certainly the sufferings of our Blessed Lord were finished in him as the head of the Church, but they are not finished in his body. The quota of the physical Christ is finished. The quota of the mystical Christ is not. So St. Paul says: I am helping to fill up that quota. And so Christ's wounds are eternally fresh. They're all over the world. They're in those who have the faith, and they're in those who do not have the faith. This vision will come to us as we live close to the cross and meditate on the Passion of our Lord. Nothing gives us so much understanding of the love of God, the sacrificial love, as God coming down to this world from heavenly headquarters and saying, I will take the pain as my own. This vicarious love is the agape love of Christianity. No wonder, then, St. John tells us about the Lamb, the Lamb with the marks of slaughter upon him. If Christ is in agony until the end of the world, and he is, then our vision changes. The Passion is not a past history like the battle of Waterloo. So maybe we had better change our lives to be more closely linked with the Lamb who has the marks of slaughter upon him.