The Catholic Thing keeps mining the wonderful treasure of Bishop Sheen’s book, Life of Christ; and today’s selection is beautiful.

An excerpt.

When Our Savior breathed His last, the bones of the thieves were crushed to hasten their death. The Law had commanded that the body of one who was crucified, and therefore accursed of God, should not remain on the cross during the night. Furthermore, with the Sabbath of Paschal week nigh, it was urgent upon the followers of the Law to kill the thieves and bury all who were crucified. But there was a prophecy yet to be fulfilled concerning the Messias. The fulfillment came when: “One of the soldiers opened His Side with a spear; And immediately blood and water flowed out.” (Jn. 19:13)

The Divine Miser had hoarded up a few precious drops of His Blood to pour forth after He gave up His spirit, to show that His love was stronger than death. Blood and water came forth; Blood, the price of Redemption and the symbol of the Eucharist; water, the symbol of regeneration and baptism. St. John, who witnessed the scene of the soldier piercing the Heart of Christ, wrote about it later: “He it is, Jesus Christ, Whose coming Has been made known to us by water and blood; Water and blood as well, not water only.” (1 Jn. 5:6)

There was something more than a natural phenomenon here inasmuch as John gave it a mysterious and sacramental significance. Water stood at the beginning of Our Lord’s ministry when He was baptized, Blood stood at the close of it when He offered Himself as a spotless oblation. Both became the ground of faith, for at the baptism, the Father declared Him to be His Son, and the Resurrection witnessed again to His Divinity.

The messenger from the Father was impaled with the message of love written on His Own Heart. The thrust of the lance was the last profanation of God’s Good Shepherd. Though He was spared the brutality that was arbitrary, such as the breaking of His legs, nevertheless, there was some mysterious Divine purpose in the opening of the Sacred Heart of God. John, who leaned on His breast the night of the Last Supper, fittingly recorded the opening of the Heart.

Retrieved April 3, 2015 from