Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Jesus saves

In all the dust-up over the recent and very troubling revelations about sexual abuse in the Church it was refreshing to read yesterday that the Holy Father attributed this to sin in the Church. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, it's true. Priests sin, bishops sin, and even deacons manage to freely do something we know is wrong now and again, not to mention avoid doing things we should do, and the laity sin, too. We are all guilty of sins of commission and omission, things we have done and things we have failed to do, as we acknowledge, in some manner, each time we gather for Mass. Some sins rise to the level of being grave, or at least sins with grave matter, times when we act in a knowingly evil manner, sometimes to our own great surprise and consequent horror. We have sometimes not only failed to do good, but outright refused to avoid evil by positively embracing it. As I mentioned last week, all of this only proves the Christian thesis, not that we are sinners in the hands of an angry God, but sinners in the hands of a loving God, whose mercy is boundless.

"In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10). This, my friends, is the good news: Jesus Christ is the Gospel!


I turn, as I often do, to St. Paul, who wrote a long time ago to a Christian community he did not found and one he had yet to visit:

"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation" (Rom 5:6-11 ESV).

Jesus didn't die for the godly, for the righteous, He died for people like me, the ungodly and the unrighteous to save me from God's wrath. As Psalm 49 reminded me last night: I am unable to redeem myself, to "pay to God a ransom. Too high the price to redeem [my] life; [I]would never have enough to stay alive forever and never see the pit," Jesus Christ not only has enough, but gave it all for me and for you.

Once in awhile we need to strip off all the varnish and see the beauty of the wood, the blood-stained wood of the Cross.

Alithos Anesti

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