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Monthly Reflection by
Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC
"Life in all its fullness“(John. 10,10)

- Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

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Greater Love Has No One Than This, That He Lay Down His Life For His Friends (John 15:13) - Agnes Chew, Hong Kong

By Agnes Chew, Hong Kong

In November 2008, I had to deliver a talk on "Divine Exchange" during an evangelization music concert that I helped to coordinate in Hong Kong. A priest was scheduled to give a talk on "Divine Exchange" at this open-air concert. However at very short notice, an emergency came up for him. It was too late to find another preacher! I realized I would have to do the talk. As I prayed and meditated on the topic, I began to appreciate and understand better the love that Jesus holds for each one of us in His Sacred Heart. My heart was profoundly touched as I began to feel the words that Jesus would speak to each of us – as He was speaking to me! Below is Jesus’ "Divine Exchange" as He speaks in the grammatical first person directly to our hearts:

Beloved Friends,

Many have wondered why I went about bringing salvation to the world in such a painful and terrible way that I did. In a nutshell, the answer is in John 15:13 that says "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." This Scripture quote is special to many of my beloved followers. This line has motivated a number of my disciples to aspire to follow in my footsteps to prove their love for me. They hope that they may be given a chance to die for me as I had died for them. How their holy aspirations warm my Sacred Heart so wounded by mankind’s indifference.

Some of you have wondered how you can love Me more. You can contemplate on how I won redemption for all of you. For convenience, let us call this "Divine Exchange." I came to earth to restore my Father’s Kingdom and to bring all of you to holiness so that you will be able to share My eternal joy. For this noble purpose, you have been created and born. To do that, I had to pay for all your sins. I willingly satisfied my Heavenly Father’s divine justice that is due to your sins. This was prophesized in Isaiah 53:6, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, everyone, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."

When Abraham and Isaac were walking up the mountain path on their way to the preparation of the sacrifice, Isaac asked his father where the lamb for the sacrifice was, and Abraham replied that God Himself would provide one (Genesis 22:8). I am the Sacrificial Lamb that was referred to – a sacrificial lamb that is pure and flawless, wholly acceptable to My Heavenly Father, as atonement for all your sins.

St. Peter said, "He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed." (1 Peter 2:24) I bore on My own Body the punishment due to your iniquities, and in exchange, earning for you the grace of forgiveness and the power to live in My righteousness.

Because of what I had done for you, you are able to leave behind your sinful past in My hands, be freed of any enslaving bondage of sin and avail of My power to live in My holiness.

It does not stop here. There is more. Sin, when it is fully grown, brings forth death. (James 1:15) I, Son of the Almighty, was made a little lower than My angels, for the suffering of death so that I, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. (Hebrews 2:9)

And again St. Paul in his Letter to the Romans explains this aspect of Divine Exchange succinctly – "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ, our Lord." (Romans 6:23)

Beloved, please understand that for every grace you received, I suffered in My Body to earn it for you. It is for this purpose that I was fitted with a human body.

I came that you may have abundant life and that my joy may be yours and that your joy may be complete. I was born poor in a stable that can barely protect My frail infant body from the biting winter chill. I had poor earthly parents, and despite being Son of the Almighty, I worked with my bare hands - the very hands that fashioned the galaxies and the limitless universe. I was hungry. I thirst. My clothes were all taken from me. On the Cross, I was in need of all things! Upon my death, I was put into someone else’s tomb. I did not cringe to endure absolute poverty for your sakes.

Though I am rich, for your sake I took on poverty so that through the grace I earned for you, you may become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)

It is said that time heals all wounds. Beloved, know that it is I who heals all wounds through time.

Come! Let us consider how I heal one of the most painful forms of emotional suffering – shame. Shame results from a situation in which the human dignity is cruelly stripped from a person, exposing him/her to a crippling sense of unworthiness. This could arise from some form of sexual abuse leading to emotional scars which can only be healed by the Grace of God. For your sakes I was subject to the most shameful of death, a death reserved for the lowest class of criminals. I was stripped of all my clothing, and shamefully exposed to the jeering and mockery of passers-by. I was stripped of all my human dignity.

Through My own endurance of the shame of My loved ones, I was able to bring them to share in My eternal glory as prophesized in Hebrews (2:10), "For it is fitting for Him in bringing many sons to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings."

Some of you may have suffered at one time or another, the cross of rejection. It could be caused by rejection of a spouse leading to a marital break up or rejection by a parent even when in the womb. Have you ever wondered how you managed to pull through this brokenness?

For your healing from rejection, I suffered the most agonizing form of rejection from my Heavenly Father. I felt I was stripped of my very life when I articulated the words on the Cross - "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani!" That is "My God, My God why have you forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46) My Heavenly Father had to turn His face away from Me, His only Beloved Son. Laden down with all the sins of the world, I was full of filth! I was beyond recognition to my Heavenly Father. I was not Beloved Son anymore, I was the greatest sinner to whom divine justice had to be rendered. And I was so close to my Father. Remember, it is I who said to Philip, "I and the Father are one!" (John 10:30) My heart wept! Is there anyone who can console Me?

Through My rejection from the Father, I gain the acceptance of you by My Father. "And behold, the veil of the temple was torn into two from top to bottom" (Matthew 27:51a), signifying that after My holy death, my sinful creatures are able to enter into a direct relationship with My Heavenly Father through Me.

Beloved, know that real love is sacrificial and is measured by the sufferings endured for love’s sake. I endured the maximum suffering that a human body can take (cf St. Lawrence Justinian). To win your love and loyalty, I laid down My life for you. I did it to show how precious you are to Me (Isaiah 43:4) and how to love like Me. I am your perfect model on how to love.

As for your redemption, I did it the hard way: through My Agony, My Pain, My Most Precious Blood, My Sweat, My Tears, My most agonizing and cruel Death on the Cross. Through Divine Exchange, I receive with infinite love and without condition all the sins, infidelities and the bitterness that you gave Me; and I pour upon you My graces of forgiveness, healing, freedom, love, joy, peace and eternal life!

If you are able to meditate on My Passion, you will have a deeper understanding of My unfathomable love for you. The more you understand My love for you, the more joyful your heart will become, and doing My will become your greatest desire on earth. I have loved you with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)

For My sake, will you try to love Me more in return?

As I heard Jesus speaking to each of us with so much love, I felt a conversion of my heart. At the end of my talk, a young visiting priest from Canada expressed that he was touched by Jesus’ "Divine Exchange" and volunteered to hear the Confessions of any members of the crowd on the spot! How many hearts were touched by this talk on Jesus’ "Divine Exchange" is God’s knowledge but the first heart that He really changed forever is mine!

 
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Divine Australia invites you to healing Masses and retreats to be held across various venues in New South Wales, Sydney. To be led by Fr Augustine Vallooran VC. For details, email Fr Roni George, Director, Divine Australia - drcsydney@gmail.com.

Date: 2 - 7 October, 2018

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Date: January 2018 - December, 2018

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Date: 22 September - October 1, 2018

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