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Friday, 20 April 2012

Reflection/Homily: Third (3rd) Sunday of Easter (April 22 2012)

              Theme: The Journey from Redemption to Salvation

After the fall of Adam, there was a big gap between God and man. Man could no longer find his way back to God because he was blindfolded by sin. He wallowed in darkness looking for a meaningful existence but could not find any being outside of God’s presence.

Filled with pity and love, God initiated a plan to bring man back to Himself, a plan that would involve a two-staged journey. He decided to begin the first stage of this journey with His only Son about two thousand years ago.

The first stage which was accomplished by Christ with his passion and death was intended to prepare man for the final stage which he has to accomplish by himself. The first stage of the journey was from sin to redemption and the second stage was from redemption to salvation.

The redemption brought by Christ destined us for salvation. Our repentance from sin prepares us for salvation and our reconciliation with God and our neighbour draws us closer to our salvation.

Thus, in the first reading (Acts 3:13-15,17-19), Peter explains to the Jews how they could use this redemption brought by Christ to work out their salvation through repentance and reconciliation.

He told them that though they had a hand in Christ’s death, he had been raised up and has won redemption for all men including his executioners. They only had to repent from their sins, get reconciled to God and they would be saved.

Brethren, God is not interested in what we were, He is interested in what we are. God is not interested in the Jews as the murderers of the innocent Christ, but as His adopted sons and daughters. God is also not interested in the evil you may have done in the past, He is interested in the present state of your soul. If you repent and get reconciled to him, your past has no effect on you because Jesus has paid the price for your sins on the cross.

Today, we are invited to concentrate on the second and final stage of our journey, which is the journey from redemption to salvation. Christ has accomplished the first journey by redeeming us with his blood. We then have to work out our own salvation individually using the graces accruable from the sacrifice on the cross. Do not count on the redemption brought by Christ and continue to live in sin. God needed no effort of ours to redeem us but He needs our effort to save us. Our redemption is an unmerited gift but our salvation would be a merited gift.

God took the initiative in our redemption but wants us to take the initiative in our salvation. This initiative could be properly taken when we avoid sin and practice virtues. We may not be perfect in our spiritual lives but as the second reading (1 John 2:1-5) exhorts us, when we sin, we must come back to Christ knowing that he is our advocate with the Father since he is the sacrifice to expiate our sins.

That is why in the gospel reading (Luke 24:35-48), after his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples and explained to them after eating with them that he was destined to suffer and be raised from the dead so that repentance for the forgiveness of sins could be preached in his name. To this, we are witnesses.

Therefore, beloved brethren, today we are invited to brace ourselves for our journey from redemption to salvation. We are required to witness to the resurrection of Christ by leaving a life of repentance and through this means prepare for our salvation. Repentance is a process and we must be involved in this process each time we sin against God and our neighbour. May God through the death and resurrection of Christ grant us the grace to remain focused on our journey to salvation. God loves you. 

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3 comments:

  1. Anonymous8:43 am

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful reflection with us on the journey from redemption to salvation.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous8:45 am

    What is the difference between redemption and salvation?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous5:26 pm

    Brief and straight to the point. Bravo Padre..

    ReplyDelete

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