The Mystery of Salvation

4 Feb

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The empty tomb — the first Easter and our hope for eternal life.

Salvation. Don’t just remember the story of salvation.

Don’t just read it.

Live it.

You can, you know.

It’s mystery, not magic.

Magic tries to fool you. Mystery – that is, the mystery of salvation – reveals who you really are, who God really is.

I’m Catholic – not just “a Catholic.” I’m Catholic. I embrace the Church as Christ living in the world. I believe every person, baptized in the name of Father, Son and Spirit, is part of the Church.

I believe the Catholic Church possesses the fullness of the means of salvation – Scripture, Sacraments and Tradition.

I believe in Jesus, the Savior, our Lord. I believe that what he did on earth is eternally present to the Father. His life, passion, death and resurrection are all part of that Eternal Now which is eternity.

In prayer and community worship, the believer is drawn into that mystery, that Eternal Now.

Living Salvation Now

In the Eucharistic Sacrifice, the Mass, you and I encounter the fullness of salvation, the fullness of God’s love for his people. We find God’s great love that gave birth to creation and holds it in existence, the great love that offers and gives salvation.

Reflect for a moment on the content, the order of the Mass. In the Mass, salvation is offered now, in the present moment, at Mass and in every moment of our lives.

In every Mass, we enter intimately into the Eternal Now:

  • The Old Testament proclaims our creative, saving and patient God.

  • The Psalms sing out faith in God and our need for God.

  • The selected readings from Acts and other writings from the Apostolic Church call us into the fervor and dynamism of the early believers. We encounter the humanity of the Church and witness Christ’s love in his teaching and relationships.

  • In the Gospel, we sit at the feet of Jesus, hearing him, perhaps hearing him “again for the first time.” We are in the Eternal Now. His love is expressed to each and all of us in his patient endurance, words of hope, powerful healings and in his call to follow him.

  • Then we offer to the Lord our gifts and lives as the bread and wine are brought forth to the altar.

And, since this is the Eternal Now, we truly enter into Holy Week:

  • Passion (Palm) Sunday, Jesus enters Jerusalem. “Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!  …”
  • Holy Thursday, the Last Supper. Jesus gives us himself as he does on the Cross: “This is my Body given up for you … my Blood poured out for you. …”
  • And now, the resurrected Jesus! The invitation to receive our Lord in Holy Communion, to enter into the fullness of his divinity and his resurrected and glorified humanity, the invitation to become more fully his presence on earth.
  • Finally, as one Body with and in the One Lord, we give thanks to God who sends us out into the world.

It’s mystery, not magic. It’s real. It’s true.

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2 Responses to “The Mystery of Salvation”

  1. gary September 13, 2013 at 12:33 am #

    Hebrew children in the Old Testament were born into God’s covenant, both male and female. Circumcision was the sign of this covenant for boys, but the sign was not what saved them. Faith saved them. Rejecting the sign, circumcision, for boys, either by the parents or later as an adult himself, was a sign of a lack of true faith, and therefore the child was “cut off” from God’s promises as clearly stated in Genesis chapter 17:

    “Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, 13 both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

    What was the purpose of this covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? God tells us in the beginning of this chapter of Genesis:

    “And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.”

    This covenant wasn’t just to establish a Jewish national identity or a promise of the inheritance of the land of Caanan, as some evangelicals want you to believe. In this covenant, God promises to be their God. Does God say here that he will be their God only if they make a “decision for God” when they are old enough to have the intelligence and maturity to decide for themselves? No! They are born into the covenant!

    If Jewish children grew up trusting in God and lived by faith, they then received eternal life when they died. If when they grew up, they rejected God, turned their back on God, and lived a life of willful sin, when they died, they suffered eternal damnation. Salvation was theirs to LOSE. There is no record anywhere in the Bible that Jewish children were required to make a one time “decision for God” upon reaching an “Age of Accountability” in order to be saved.

    Therefore Jewish infants who died, even before circumcision, were saved.

    The same is true today. Christian children are born into the covenant. They are saved by faith. It is not the act of baptism that saves, it is faith. The refusal to be baptized is a sign of a lack of true faith and may result in the child being “cut off” from God’s promise of eternal life, to suffer eternal damnation, as happened with the unfaithful Hebrew in the OT.

    Christ said, “He that believes and is baptized will be saved, but he that does not believe will be damned.”

    It is not the lack of baptism that damns, it is the lack of faith that damns.

    Gary
    Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals
    An orthodox Lutheran blog

    • Henry Libersat September 20, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

      Thanks — and pardon tardiness. Faith, yes indeed. But baptism is an action of God that erases original and all sin. Once baptized, the neophyte must learn to walk with the Lord, who founded his Church and gave us his divine life in the sacraments.

      Do you, as a Lutheran, believe this?

      Deacon Henry Libersat

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