Saturday, March 23, 2013
Rome is Where the Heart is: The Joy of Salvation (The hope we live for)
The mission of the Catholic Church, as was the mission of Christ whom was sent by the Father, is to bring the reality of God and salvation to all.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony to which was borne at the proper time.” – 1 Timothy 2:1-6
Jesus Christ is the embodiment of this message of good news and of truth and salvation, and this truth of salvation is found in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church offers to all the means of salvation and the fullness of faith. The Catholic Church unites the faithful with Christ, and through the work on the cross Christ has earned for us unity with the Father. This is the gift that is freely offered to us that we don’t deserve, yet it is offered anyway. We, however, must respond accordingly to share in eternal life. It is a response of faith so that we may be led by grace to walk in this faith and do the will of the Father (Matthew 7:21; James 2:14-26) so that we may be perfected by Him (Matthew 5:48).
"’All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity.’ All are called to holiness: ‘Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.’
In order to reach this perfection the faithful should use the strength dealt out to them by Christ's gift, so that . . . doing the will of the Father in everything, they may wholeheartedly devote themselves to the glory of God and to the service of their neighbour. Thus the holiness of the People of God will grow in fruitful abundance, as is clearly shown in the history of the Church through the lives of so many saints.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 2013
When Christ ascended into Heaven he left his disciples a final instruction:
“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.’" - Matthew 28:18-20
Christ commissioned the pilgrim church on earth to bring the good news of salvation to all. The Catholic Church is that very church that Christ gave this mission to and it is the Catholic Church today that carries out this mission throughout the world today, providing for people the full means of salvation and the fullness of the Christian faith. The good news is this: no matter who you are, what you’ve done, or where you’ve been, you have a home in the Catholic Church. By the work merited for us by Christ’s work on the cross and through the sacraments that Christ himself instituted, your heart will be made anew and you will be a new creation in Christ.
“Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.” - 2 Corinthians 5:17
“‘The sole Church of Christ [is that] which our Saviour, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it. . . . This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in (subsistit in) the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him.’
The Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism explains: ‘For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the People of God.’" - Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 816
“Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” - Oscar Wilde