John chapter 3, verse 16
I sense that the concept of Redemption or of Salvation is, for many of us, rather vague and impersonal. And yet it is important that each of us, not only accepts Jesus Christ as our personal saviour but that we do so intelligently, confidently and happily.
"We adore you O Christ and we praise you because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world." I am of that world... this world... and I need a saviour, a rescuer... not merely a protector, but a rescuer... one who can restore me to harmony after I have betrayed myself. In other words after I have sinned.
In God's plan the antidote to our abuse of free will is to be found within the context of the freely accepted suffering and death of Jesus. From that great act of selflessness there flows continuing saving grace. This grace or this "good gift" is transmitted through the Sacraments, through concerned, loving people and through the whispering voice of conscience.
Its benefits are seen, though not always recognized, in all of the good we do and in all of the truth to which we give witness. Its absence or rejection is clearly seen as falsehood, pride, selfishness, greed and all else that is inimical to the teachings of Jesus.
Redemption or salvation is then, the continuing day to day activity of Jesus... through His Spirit... His sacraments and by no means least of all, through His members. It is the way in which we who are free and rational beings are invited to participate in the harmony of Creation.
But why is it that such a great blessing, such an ennobling invitation springs from the horror of The Cross, the scaffold of its day? The sad but simple truth is that without the violent impact of The Cross on our minds and memories, we would tend to forget.
By freely accepting to die on the cross Jesus proved the sincerity of His concern for us. His passion and death proclaim Him to be, not simply the faithful servant of Divine truth but one who truly cares... one whose embrace knows no limits
I am sure that you have all had the experience of trading signs of affection with a child and asking: "How much do you love me? ...And the answer comes back, this much (a big hug)! ...And then repeating the question and getting in response an even bigger hug!
"How much do you love me Lord? ...And the answer comes back...