Monday after Sexagesima
February 17, 2020
The Goodness of God
Meditation from Meditations for Lent from St. Thomas Aquinas by St. Thomas Aquinas
He that spared not even his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how hath he not also, with him, given us all things? –Romans 8:32
1. Since the Apostle makes mention of many sons when he says (ibid. 5:15), You have received the spirit of adoption of sons, he now separates this Son from all these by saying his own Son, that is to say, not an adoptive son, but a son of his own nature, co-eternal with him, that son of whom the Father says, in St. Matthew (3:17), This is my beloved Son.
The words he spared not mean only that God did not exempt Him from the penalty, for there was not in Him any fault to be matter for sparing. God the Father did not withhold from his Son an exemption from the penalty as a way of adding anything to himself. God is perfect. But he so acted, subjecting his Son to the Passion, because this was useful for us.
This is why St. Paul adds, but delivered him up for us all, meaning that God exposed Christ to the Passion for the expiation of all our sins. He was delivered for our sins, says Isaias, and the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all (53: 5, 6). God the Father delivered him over to death, decreeing him to take flesh and to suffer, inspiring his human will with a burning love by which, eagerly, he would undergo his Passion. He delivered himself for us, St. Paul says of Our Lord (Ephesians 5:2). Judas, too, and the Jews delivered him, but by an activity external to His.
There is something else to notice in the words, He that spared not his own Son. It is as though it said: Not only has God given other saints over to suffering for the benefit of mankind, but even his own, proper Son.
2. God’s own Son, then, being made over for us, all things have been given us, for St. Paul adds, How hath he not also with him, that is, in giving Him to us, given us all things. In other words, all things thereby are turned to our profit. We are given the highest things of all, namely the Divine Persons, for our ultimate joy. We are given reasoning minds in order to live together with them now. We are given the lower things of creation for our use, not only the things which appeal to us but the things which are hostile. All things are yours, says St. Paul to us, and you are Christ’s and Christ is God’s (1 Corinthians 3:22, 23). Whence we may see how evidently true are the words of the Psalm (Psalm 33:10), There is no want to them that fear him. (In Romans 8.)