Message of the Week

… so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life

Fourth Sunday of Lent

St. Paul tells us in his letter to the Ephesians that we are saved through grace: God’s actions of sending his Son to die for us, and raising Jesus from the dead show the love God has for us. It comes entirely from God. When Paul says that no one can boast about being saved, he means that we can’t add up our good deeds like reward points for heaven. He also means that we can’t brag about our faith because we can recite the creed or answer an altar call. So if being saved is not a matter of saying the right things, or doing good deeds, what is it?

The answer comes from the gospel. Jesus tells us that he will be lifted up, or crucified, so that we can believe in him and have eternal life. When we “believe in” someone, we put our love and trust in that person. We know that we are loved and so respond by giving love. Our response of love inspires us to stop being selfish and start noticing that others need our help. Jesus describes it as living in the light: we are not ashamed to help someone, forgive someone, or comfort someone.

That brings us back to the question about salvation: it is not something we do or say. It is what God does for us. Our response of faith is also his gift. So when we recognize all that God has done for us and believe in his Son Jesus, the Spirit will guide us to live that faith and share it with others.

Tom Schmidt,  Diocesan Publications

Readings:  Fourth Sunday of Lent | USCCB

Whoever Serves Me Must Follow Me

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